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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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

  • Mon Lis

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

  • Testarossa Vineyards

    Testarossa Winery, located in the historic Novitiate of Los Gatos, approximately sixty miles sout...

  • Krutz Family Cellars

    I guess it all started in 1990 when my folks stumbled into The Cheese Shop in Carmel, CA. Had th...

  • Chalone Vineyard

    Perched in the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above California's Salinas Valley, th...

  • Alhona Vineyards

    Rick Alhona was born in the Telegraph Hill area of San Francisco, where it was quite common for I...

  • Pisoni Vineyards & Winery

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

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Monterey County on Snooth

  • Strato Monterey County Riesling 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room quarterly selection. Pale Gold in the Glass. Opens with Oak, Cinnamon and Baking Yeast; moves on to Vanilla and a sweet Bubblegum; then finishes with some Slate, Half & Half and more Vanilla. Long smooth finish with Oak and Vanilla along with Pear, Tropical Fruit, and Hibiscus.Had this alone, but would work well with Asian and oth... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Sterling Vineyards Pinot Noir Vintner's Collection 2014

    Snoothrank:

    full-bodied and delicious, one of my favorite pinot noir wines. Great price, and amazing flavors of cherries and plum. I love the acidity level, it is well-balanced and a delight Read More

    Wine review by katherinerosegary


  • Hahn Estates Gsm 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Fruity and a tad sweet with light acidity and light tannins. Smooooth. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • @DVOGLER....."The great thing is we all have the freedom to think whatever ... a few days of tastings in Monterey county! Found what I thought was a great buy at Wrath. Pretty much all their Pinot's were very nice, not RR or Sonoma Coast, but very, very nice at only $35 a bottle at retail, and less an additional industry discount of 20% made it... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine you would not drink...


  • J Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay Arroyo Seco 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by twilightblue02


  • Mythmaker Monterey County Pinot Noir Rose 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room Quarterly Selection; Pale Orange Red in the Glass. Opens with Prune & Cherry, then Honey, Cinnamon and Clove; These 3 carry over to the palate. Very light, with a medium long finish of Cherry, Candy, and baking Spice. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Wrath Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Boekenoogen Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    GREAT WINE FOR THANKSGIVINGCan't wait to enjoy with the family Read More

    Wine review by Dickie wines


  • Belle Glos Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands las Alturas Vyd 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by yarnanimal


  • Lustra Monterey County Pinot Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room quarterly selection that I just got around to tasting. I cannot remember having a Pinot Blanc before, so have nothing to compare this one to. It felt like a Riesling to me, a bit sweet (too sweet really) and a hint of effervescence. Straw and gold yellow in the glass. Opens with Peach, Strawberry, and Cotton candy. Moves to Melon,... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Wente Vineyards Pinot Noir Riva Ranch 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Cherry cola and cinnamon notes on the nose with classic black cherry and vanilla supporting. Elegant notes of black cherry, dark chocolate and licorice on the palate, with some clove and cedar notes, a touch of black pepper and a finish of vanilla.88 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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