One of the highlights of the nearly 70-mile drive from the shopping center in Carmel to Greenfield is Mesa Del Sol.

Although I was not able to photograph it on its grounds, as visitors are not allowed, I photographed what I could from the road.

The historic acreage is located on the banks of the Arroyo Seco River in Monterey County on East Carmel Valley Road. As Mesa Del Sol's Web site says, it is located amid "unparalleled beauty." If you are into wine, it is also home to award-winning wines.

"This historic estate perched on a mesa overlooking the Arroyo Seco River and the Ventana Wilderness sets the stage for an exclusive and unforgettable retreat," states the Mesa Del Sol Website.

"Home to eagles hawks, and egrets, starry skies, fine wines, picturesque landscapes and endless sunny days, Mesa Del Sol is the perfect place to retreat from the every day.

"Our private vineyard estate is available for exclusive family and group getaways. Stroll through our lush and awe-inspiring grounds and find yourself rejuvenated."

Just taking photos of the beautiful vineyard, barn and water tower were enough to rejuvenate me. There was no traffic on the main road. The silence was interrupted by various birds.

Mesa Del Sol says it has been a favorite of many families for generations ~ more than 100 years' worth.

"One small stone building, a water house, and a portion of one of our cabins date back to the 1800's and are believed to have been a stage stop for travelers headed overland to Carmel Valley or up the Arroyo Seco River to the Mission San Antonio," its Web site notes.

"Around the turn of the century, a health center with various small cabins was developed. The hot dry pure air of the Arroyo Seco Highlands became a soothing setting for those with tuberculosis and other maladies."

Adventurer and President Teddy Roosevelt even stayed at Mesa Del Sol ~ quite the endorsement from a man who traveled the country and the world.

"In 1927, California Senator Fred Weybret purchased the property and moved his family here," according to the Web site.

"The main house was constructed in 1936 out of local redwood and Carmel stone. The Senator and his family lived here until his death in 1945 and the land passed on to a noted Monterey County lettuce baron from Salinas, Steve Rianda, and his talented artist wife, Mary.

"With their three children, the Rianda family lived on the property, named it Mesa Del Sol, and went on to beautify the mesa, adding a pool and other out buildings and cultivating the grounds and gardens over the next 25 years.

"In 1998 another Salinas-born agricultural innovator Jake Hougham, purchased the land. The vineyards were planted and the trout pond was reinstalled at that time.

"Since Jake Hougham's death in 2000, his wife Ann has continued to restore the 14-acre vineyard estate and produce award-winning grapes for many celebrated Monterey County vintners.

"The estate buildings have been lovingly restored, the grounds beautifully landscaped and crops now include fragrant Provence Lavender used in sachets, lotions and oils."

Maybe some day I can book a stay there and see if I can take photos and post them. I recommend visiting Mesa Del Sol's excellent Web site for more information, reservations, etc.
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Keywords:Glenn Franco Simmons, Mesa Del Sol, Mesa Del Sol photos, Mesa Del Sol pics, Monterey County photos, Monterey County pics, photos of Mesa Del Sol, pics of Mesa Del Sol, pics of Monterey County