Carmel River Inn |
Monterey Hotel |
cooling fogs, and fresh breezes add up to perfect conditions for growing
The Monterey wine
industry began some 200 years ago, when Franciscan friars at Mission
Soledad planted a crop of wine grapes. Monterey wine, however, was not
produced on a commercial level until 1970. Today those humble
Franciscan friar beginnings have grown to more than 45,000 acres of
vineyards, most of which are owned by some of the largest wine producers
Wine tours of the
Monterey wine region are available, or you can simply create your own
self-guided wine tour. Many of the wineries of Monterey County are
spread out over a large area. If you are staying in Carmel, drive
southeast of Carmel and take a circular route from Monterey to Soledad
and back through Carmel Valley to Carmel. This wine tour will take you
to some of the more popular wineries of the Monterey wine country and
will allow you to visit Mission Soledad, where it all started.
At lastest count, there are
approximately 175 vineyards in Monterey County producing 42 varietals, and 85 bonded wineries. Most of these wineries
are open to the public for wine tasting and education on the process of
winemaking. In the nearby Monterey Peninsula and Carmel regions alone, there are about 25 tasting rooms to chose from.
A Monterey wine
tasting tour offers something for everyone. There are 400-acre estates
where you can taste Monterey wine and enjoy your picnic while viewing
the spectacular scenery of Salinas Valley. There are smaller 16-acre
wineries with gardens and cobble stoned courtyards. There is even a
700-acre vineyard complete with roses and grazing cattle.
In addition to the
wine tasting, there are annual events, such as the Winemakers
Celebration, which showcase gourmet food and Monterey wine.
The majority of the
wine grapes grown in Monterey wine country are Chardonnay. These grapes
are even sent to wineries outside the county for processing. There are
also many fine wineries in the area that are known for Sauvignon Blanc,
Pinot Blanc, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel and Muscat.
Many of the Monterey wineries offer wine tasting by appointment, so you
may want to call prior to your arrival; and, of course, remember to
designate a driver for your Monterey wine tour.
Where you go
Coastal Monterey and South East of
Carmel into the Carmel Valley.
What you do Savor the Monterey County
When to go
Anytime, most wine tasting
rooms are open all day. Check their website or look for the Monterey Wines brochure in hotel racks for latest information.
Pictures courtesy of
Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau