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

  • Merlot

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

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

  • RiverStone Estate Wines

    Situated in the heart of the Yarra Valley on the banks of the Yarra River at Coldstream, RiverSt...

  • Galante Vineyards

    We produce very limited quantities of Estate Bottled 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from two single vine...

  • Pisoni Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Figge Cellars

    Figge is the brainchild and ;ife's work of winegrower Peter Figge, who flung the doors of the win...

  • Seawind Wines

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

  • Bernardus Winery & Vineyard

    The focus of Bernardus is to create wines that flatter the palate and stimulate the imagination. ...

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Monterey County on Snooth

  • Muirwood Vineyards Chardonnay Arroyo Seco Reserve Zanetta Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by ralbano


  • Gallo Signature Series Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Pure, floral, fresh and fruity on the nose, this is very cherry noted and inviting. On the palate this continues to show excellent purity of fruit, expressing an elegant and delicate but assertive cherry note that's classic Pinot but also a pleasant herbal earthiness supporting the fruit and adding depth and complexity. Easy drinking and approac... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • While going through my grandmother's basement, we found 2 cases of wine. ... and the second, Paul Masson Monterey County Chardonnay 1978 (Second Bottling). I've not been able to find anything out about the latter. I am not a Chardonnay drinker, but was wondering what, if any, value there was ~ 40 years later for the Paul Masson - or should it ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic 1978 Wines Found


  • Talbott Chardonnay Logan Sleepy Hollow Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Oak spice, buttery vanilla and warm baked apple aromas on the nose with floral clover honey notes and a hint of peach. A bit greener on the palate with ripe melon and green apple notes, a tart acidity with some lime zest appearing towards a creamy, yet dusty, finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Novy Susan's Hill Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Big wine - bold berry notes, pepper and gamey notes, with spice and sage, a touch of chocolate and a healthy dose of tannins this built for aging. Drink or hold - 93 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Novy Susan's Hill Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by bobvree


  • Novy Susan's Hill Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by bobvree


  • Novy Susan's Hill Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by bobvree


  • OT is showing off with that Ultramarine, because no one can get it now.  ... Pierce Family in southern Monterey County makes one.  Oz Clarke thinks it is the best grape of Rioja; he attributes its uneven yields and the fact that the second best grape, Tempranillo is so good, to the fact that Graciano didn't really catch on. Dunc, thanks for th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's Your 2016 Wine of the...


  • Talbott Pinot Noir Logan Sleepy Hollow Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Cherry cola, raspberry, blueberry and black cherry aromas with a savory, earthy note and a hint of smoke. This is earthy and smoky on the palate, delivering good fruit flavors of raspberry and cherry amidst a charred vanilla oak musk that carries through to the finish where it meets a tart cranberry note. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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