Monterey County Wine

 

The Monterey County AVA is part of the Central Coast region in California, below San Francisco. Franciscan friars first planted grapes in the area in the 1800s, though those crops of Mission grapes (a.k.a. the Chilean Pais grape) were left to rot as California came into its own from Mexico. It wasn’t till the 1960s that viticulturalist A.J. Winkler at U.C. Davis published a report classifying Monterey County as one of the most climatically suitable regions to grow quality wine grapes. 
 
Things boomed from there with established vineyards choosing Monterey for expansion as well as new, smaller boutique wineries. The northeastern portion of the region near Monterey Bay is the coolest, with conditions well suited to growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Moving further up the climate gets warmer, suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel. Most of the growing areas benefit from conditions that allow for a long growing season, with long ripening of the grapes which Read more »

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Popular wines made in Monterey County under $20

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Varietals Produced in Monterey County View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Subregions of Monterey County

  • Carmel Valley

    The Carmel Valley appellation shares few of the gentle charms of the nearby seaside town of Carme...

  • Chalone

    enjoys one of the finest expressions of terroir anywhere. Distinctive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir ...

  • Santa Lucia Highlands

    The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is a region within the Monterey district of California’s Central ...

Popular Wineries in Monterey County View all

  • Paraiso Vineyards

    The rugged Santa Lucia Mountains frame Monterey's County's fertile Salinas Valley on the west, se...

  • Morgan Winery

    Morgan Winery is family owned and operated since 1982 and is committed to making refined wines fr...

  • Pisoni Vineyards & Winery

    Pisoni Vineyards is nestled in the rolling foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountain range, 25 mil...

  • Heller Estate Vineyard

    Overlooking the Cachagua region of Carmel Valley, ("Cachagua" is believed to be an Indian derivat...

  • Mon Lis

    We are proud to announce the release our 2005 Mon Lis Sleepy Hollow Vineyards Pinot Noir. When th...

  • Seawind Wines

    Seawind Wines is a journey of discovery. To discover grapes that ripen with optimum flavor, bala...

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Monterey County on Snooth

  • GT, I'll set you up with the Port varietals.  Pierce Ranch in Monterey county has all kinds of Iberian grapes, and Clay Mauritson makes a port style wine with the port grapes.  There's a handful of other places growing them. We had the Wind Gap Trousseau Gris a little while ago at Pizzaiolo when we had a non-red wine kind of meal.  It was quite ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Hahn Estates Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Robust yet smooth Read More

    Wine review by LucyNH


  • Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvignon Monterey County 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by alex7ktrc


  • Scott Family Estate Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce


  • Rex Goliath Pinot Grigio Monterey County 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by marymarchell


  • Don't know how much you can get back up into the hills of inland San Diego county, Greg, but I grew up very frequently traipsing across the backcountry mountains of Ventura, Santa Barbara and LA Counties, occasionally even up into San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties, too. You come home with your clothes all smelling of sage and many, many othe... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Looking for a less expensive...


  • J. Lohr Estates Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Dark and distinguished color in the glass. Light purple fruits break apart on the palate, scattering a strawberry pink-fruit essence. Lots of heat on the front and back palate with a distinct overlay of blackberry and cherry notes. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Emark, if you want to see an Italian Lagrein, drive over to Orange.  WineX ... ... down at the south end of Monterey County/Salinas Valley.  I've had all-Graciano Rioja from Spain.  Oz Clarke thinks Graciano is the best grape of Rioja, but it's difficult to grow and lost ground to Tempranillo, which isn't a bad grape, either.  This was tarter t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • REPLY BY AHSAN12, 18 SECONDS AGO.Thanks for all the suggestions for ... ... Napa and Sonoma, the Delta, Monterey County and San Luis Obispo areas just for a start (a true blessing), and have traveled the whole of California, and southern Oregon, life has gifted us with awesome drinking and toasting treats equal to the culinary delights offered... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Fat, rich, creamy and buttery...


  • Thanks for all the suggestions for Chardonnay's, many untried. A new road ... Napa and Sonoma, the Delta, Monterey County and San Luis Obispo areas just for a start (a true blessing), and have traveled the whole of California, and southern Oregon, life has gifted us with awesome drinking and toasting treats equal to the culinary delights offer... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Fat, rich, creamy and buttery...


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