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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Merlot

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

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

  • Georis Winery

    Georis Winery grows, produces and bottles only the finest Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. You are ...

  • Heller Estate Vineyard

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

  • Smith & Hook

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

  • Testarossa Vineyards

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

  • Paraiso Vineyards

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

  • Chalone Vineyard

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

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Monterey County on Snooth

  • Hello VV! I hope we can find my comments from Easter on here because I rarely ... Antonio Valley (inland from Monterey county Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Rex Goliath Merlot Monterey County Free Range 2010

    Snoothrank:

    SHOCKING !! Had this last night - house wine in The Office restaurant, Ridgewood ,NJ . One of best Merlots in a long time- had no idea how inexpensive it was. SHOCKING ! You have to taste it to believe it- won't be buying any other merlots for quite a while- try it and be prepared to be shocked Read More

    Wine review by Orange84


  • Hahn Estates Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Wine of the night and at $20 this oozes QPR from start to finish. Why a 92 you ask - stunning depth of fruit, dark cherry, raspberry, full & lush, spice, earthiness, mocha, moderate tannins and well balanced acidity give this a mouth watering, long lasting aftertaste. Excellent wine! Drink or hold - Paul 92 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Hahn Estates Grenache Gsm 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by eyetalian


  • Agate & Elm Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Tasting Room selection; Bright pale silver gold in the glass. Opens with Caramel, Lemon, and a bit of Bullion/Umami; then more Caramel, Honey, & Raisin; then Must/Musk and Honey with a bit of Neoprene - all very pleasant, though. Big and full in the mouth. Long finish of silky Toffee, Lemon, and Ripe Peach with Oak and Cola. Medium Acid... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • DV, my father cut himself pretty well with a utility knife when I was a ... to ... a ... to Sierra Foothills, Monterey County, are options for anyone wanting to extend a stay.  As Emark said elsewhere, life is good.  Very goo Read More

    Forum post in the topic Time for an offline?


  • Copain Syrah Chalone Brosseau Vineyard 2007

    Snoothrank:

    I have found the Copain Syrah Brousseau Chalone to be a fabulous wine.I rate a 95. I loved the flavors,the aromas and the smooth relaxing drinkability.I will buy again for sure. Read More

    Wine review by teund5


  • 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


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