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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Alhona Vineyards

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

  • Testarossa Vineyards

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

  • Morgan Winery

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

  • Bernardus Winery & Vineyard

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

  • Parsonage Village Vineyard

    Bill and Mary Parsons planted their seven acre Parsonage Village Vineyard in 1998. How they arriv...

  • Viña Casa Marín

    Viña Casa Marín is a family-owned winery located in the San Antonio appellation, only 4 kms. from...

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