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

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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

  • Paraiso Vineyards

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

  • Figge Cellars

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

  • Joullian Vineyards

    Joullian Vineyards was created by the Joullian and Sias families of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with...

  • Pisoni Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Smith & Hook

    The spectacular beauty of California 's central coast is probably the best-known region in all...

  • Galante Vineyards

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

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Monterey County on Snooth

  • Bridlewood Pinot Noir Monterey County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Pleasant, unassuming cherry and raspberry aromas. Cherry flavors and good acidity on the palate with a touch of earth and a finish that's a bit spiky with more than a little tar, almost overwhelming the fruit but finishing with some dark chocolate. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Lucia Highlands Grand Reserve 2005

    Snoothrank:

    Had at union 50 Read More

    Wine review by gmb468


  • Siduri Pisoni Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Steves Wines


  • Joyce Submarine Canyon Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anstett


  • Talbott Kali Hart Pinot Noir Monterey 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Light cherry, soft blossom and sticky tar notes on the nose. This has a sweet spice bloom on the palate that is explosive on entry with rich fruit flavors of red currant jam and Bing cherries, good acidity coming through towards a tart finish that's earthy and oaky with a resinous almost pine finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Line Shack Pettie Sirah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anstett


  • Matetic Corralillo Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    This wine was a ridiculous bargain. It was originally a $15-20 wine several years ago, and one of my local shops somehow got a case of it that they were selling for $5 a bottle. I might have been concerned that it was over the hill, but the color was great, and it had a fair degree of sediment indicating a wine made with minimal intervention. ... Read More

    Wine review by Dougman


  • Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay Estate Grown 2014

    Snoothrank:

    cool, mild nose; sweet with notes of vanilla oak; heartwarming! Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Novy Family Wines Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Definitely one of the best twist offs I've had the pleasure of aging. Full bodied, deep dark fruit, complimented by a lasting finish. Read More

    Wine review by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce


  • Angeline Chardonnay Reserve Monterey County 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Sweet spice and creamy caramel notes open on the nose for hints of lemon and green apple, peach and vanilla creamsicle. Tart and citrusy in the mouth, with lemon curd and fresh green apple notes, bright acidity and a creamy, oaky finish that carries a touch of melon and pineapple. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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