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Chance in a Glass

Created from Francis Joyce's love of wine, Joyce Wine Company’s vineyard was originally planted to stabilize the steep Carmel Valley hillside from mudslides and protect the family's estate. Russell Joyce, a second-generation winemaker, grew up assisting his father, Francis, at their small vineyard in Carmel Valley, where he learned the ins and out of harvesting grapes, winemaking, and hosting tastings and events.

Making wine is about balance, honesty, and presence for Russell. The less interference throughout the process the more the varietal shines in its purest form. Taking a minimalist approach to winemaking, Joyce Wine Company harvests grapes at their first sign of ripeness. It also doesn’t use additives and wine is aged in neutral barrels to maintain the purity of the grapes from vine to glass.

With autumn in full swing, it’s a good time to sit down with a glass of 2018 Chenin Blanc from Carmel Valley, 2018 Escolle Vineyard Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands, 2018 Estate Pinot Noir from Carmel Valley, and 2018 Gabilan Pinot Noir from Monterey.

“My favorite varietal is pinot noir,” says Russell. “It is the varietal I first fell in love with and although we have had our ups and downs over the years, it is the varietal I still like to drink most and keep coming back to.” The 2018 Estate Pinot Noir is delicate and features hints of under ripened raspberry. Whereas the 2018 Gabilan Pinot Noir showcases bright red fruits with strong currents of umami. Where a lighter experience is desired, the 2018 Chenin Blanc features essences of fresh stone fruits and is a perfect pairing with warm, hearty autumnal seasonings.

Visit the Carmel Valley tasting room seven days a week or The Wine House Wednesday through Sunday.

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