Morgan: wine from a Monterey County pioneer
San Francisco Chronicle
By: Matt Kettmann
Dan Morgan Lee is a pioneering legend in this corner of Monterey County. Thirty five years after starting his winery, he continues to produce wines that wow at every price point, from the Cotes du Crow Rhone red blend to the top-tier, single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
Lee followed a traditional path to wine, studying at UC Davis and then apprenticing for Jekel Winery in Monterey. A job at Durney Vineyard in Carmel Valley followed, which is where he hatched an idea for his own winery with his wife, Donna, in 1982. In 1996, the Lees purchased Double L Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, and have made it one of the appellation’s iconic properties.
Unlike most other tasting rooms in Carmel, which are found in the plazas and along the cobblestone sidewalks, the Morgan experience is housed in an upscale strip mall called Crossroads Carmel on the outskirts of the village. That usually means easier parking, a sunnier space with more room to spread out and, in this instance, a large gift shop. Inside, track lighting from the vaulted ceiling illuminates the long bar, and there are ample seating areas.
WHAT TO TRY: There are a variety of tasting options, including ones that mix both whites and reds and another that’s solely Pinot Noir-focused. There may also be an opportunity to try Lee Family Farm wines, which are more experimental batches of grapes such as Grenache and Tempranillo.
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