Carmel, CA, November 25, 2014 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- When Brian and Jonathan Lee sought inspiration around the transformation of their family’s Carmel inn a few years ago, they looked no further than Monterey County’s Wine Region.
In 2013 Wine Enthusiast magazine bestowed the county as the top wine destination in the world. In the article, writer Steve Heimoff hailed the region’s “beautiful scenery, upscale galleries, glamorous resorts and stellar local wines.”
Faced with a major renovation and re-imagination of the property the Lees once owned but sold seven years ago, the answer became obvious: Name the inn Vendange (French for “vintage”), capitalize on its supreme location, design everything around a wine theme and create two stunning, fully equipped barrel rooms” for traveling families or couples.
“After we sold the property it really declined, and passing by it was difficult for our family,” said Jonathan Lee. “We wanted to modernize it and make it beautiful again, but also we knew we wanted to make each suite on our property a reflection of Monterey County’s flourishing wine industry.”
The Lees had the idea to partner with local wineries, especially those with tasting rooms in Carmel (currently there are more than two dozen tasting rooms, wine bars and bottle shops in the village, and the Carmel Wine Walk is thriving).
The wine-centric idea was to have wineries “adopt” a room at Vendange, putting their personal stamp on the furniture and décor. Each suite now provides a romantic ambiance of luxuriousness and charm.
“It took some time to get our ideas across to local wineries (Twisted Roots came on board first), but once they completed their suite, and the wineries could visually see the ideas we were striving for, the rest took off from there.”
Following the lead of Twisted Roots were: Galante, J. Lohr, McIntyre, Dawn’s Dream, Joullian, Ventana, Manzoni, Tudor, Cima Collina, Holman Ranch and Blair.
The novel idea allows the wineries to reflect their own style and statement through the rooms, while Vendange allows the wineries to use the rooms for clients or wine club members to create valuable cross-promotion.
“For us it creates a cachet and makes it a unique experience,” Lee said.
The family also created the two adjoining “barrel rooms,” designed ideally for couples rooms to create a relaxed “hang-out” experience. Each room is more than 900 square feet, with separate bedrooms, radiant floor heating, private patios, personal entrances and parking spaces. One room comes equipped with a high-end kitchen, complete with granite countertops, Viking appliances and all the comforts of home.
Whether it’s a walk around the manicured gardens, or quiet conversation and complimentary wine and cheese tasting around the fire pit under a lighted pergola, guests at Vendange find themselves pampered in an intimate environment with expert, attentive service.
Nestled beneath the pine trees in a tranquil neighborhood, Vendange Carmel Inn & Suites is one of the few inns in Carmel to provide parking. Located just a short walk from Carmel’s legendary downtown, visitors can absorb a complete wine experience in and out of their suites.
Lee points out that “vendange tardive” means "late harvest" in French. The phrase refers to a style of dessert wine where the grapes are allowed to hang on the vine until they start to dehydrate, concentrating the sugars.
“It fits because we want guests to come here, rest and get sweeter for the next day,” he said.
Marci Bracco Cain
Vendange Carmel Inn & Suites
24815 Carpenter St.
Carmel, CA 93923