History of Corkscrews

A little history of the Corkscrew Restaurant

In the 1930s there was a little wooden house on the property occupied by a realtor’s office. Great joy came about when a horse-drawn cart from Carmel would come down the winding road and the realtor would shout, “Hey somebody rode by today!” Property was cheap and the weather was great. Since then life has greatly changed, however we have managed to maintain a lot of our history.

Carmel Valley, the home of horse ranches, fruit orchards and dairies is going through a rebirth. Many of the old Carmel Valley families have taken an interest in renewing their commitments to agriculture and the manicuring of the old family ranch.

Our restaurant parallels this commitment and reflects the history of our community through its menu, gardens and décor. The early California style furnishings and the choice of building materials, stonewalls and flower & vegetable gardens are a tribute to our heritage. We feature the great wines of the Carmel Valley Appellation, and its signature red wines. Our building has had many uses: it has been a motel, residence, beauty salon, SPCA gift shop, window glass shop and, of course, many restaurants. In its short life, our restaurant has had many famous visitors from all over the world. We are privileged to be a part of the evolving history of this property and to be a part of the Carmel Valley community.

A little history on corkscrews…

In the 17th century, Europeans rediscovered a technique that had been lost since the fall of the Roman empire: using corks to stop bottles. Instead of using the clay urns of Roman times, they now used glass bottles that could create a much better seal. This combination allowed wine makers to age their wines and create some of the first fine wines. It is believed that the idea for corkscrews came from the “worme”, a tool used for cleaning out the inside of gun barrels. The first corkscrews were very basic in design. As the popularity of wine spread over Europe and into the New World, corkscrew makers made elaborately ornate tools to decorate the table and celebrate the occasion of wine opening. Wine enthusiasts and inventors since then have created many different mechanical devices in all shapes and sizes. You will find some of these interesting designs in our permanent collection at the Corkscrew Café.