Monterey County is home to over 175 unique vineyards up and down and in and out of the 90-mile long Salinas Valley and its tributaries. There are 8 primary vinticultures (pertaining to the different types of soil). On the northernmost edge of the valley where the temperatures are too cold for most winegrapes, grapes for Pinot Noir and Chardonney are abundant. The valley, described by the Monterey Wine Country as a “rainbow of temperatures, climates, and soil, ranging from cold to very warm. The result is that the Monterey region vineyards grow and produce grapes for over 42 wine varieties.
Monterey is deemed a world-class winegrowing region including the nine viticulture regions of Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley, and San Bernabe.
Monterey County’s wine growing history dates back just two hundred years ago, when settlers and Franciscan friars first came to this region. The Spanish missions in Soledad, San Antonio, and other California missions and ranchos, began growing grapes from vines brought from the Old Country. Unfortunately, those grapevines withered and grape growing stopped until the 1960s when Professor A.J. Winkler from the University of California, Davis, published a report classifying the potential grape growing districts according to climate of the Central California valleys as equal to the premium wine growing regions of Napa, Sonoma (California), Burgundy, and Bordeaux (France).
To learn more first hand about the fine selection of wines from Monterey County, you might attend one of the upcoming events sponsored by the Monterey Wine Country Vineyards. This Saturday, February 9 from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM the McIntyre Vineyards is hosting a Liquid Love Match at the Hyatt Monterey, in the McIntyre Tasting Studio. Admission is just $5.00, so while you’re out and about this Saturday, why not stop by to see if you can make a match.
On Valentine’s Day, February 14 Cima Collina Winery is holding it’s Valentine’s Dinner at the Cima Collina Winery at 19-A East Carmel Valley Road. The dinner will be held from 6:00-9:00 P.M. (wine club members, $75/$99 for non-members). “Enjoy a multi-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Sarah LaCasse from Earth Bound Farm, paired with Cima Collina Estate Wines.” For more information contact www.cimacollina.com or call 831.620.0645.
Next Saturday, February 16, the De Tierra Vineyards invites you to the Grand Opening of their Tasting Room. De Tierra Vineyards is opening its first tasting room at Mission and 5th in downtown Carmel. Between 5:00-8:00 P.M. you are invited to attend the Grand Opening. Complementary appetizers will be provided by Allegro Gourmet Pizzaria. Stop by to meet the crew. sample some fine wines, and see what De Tierra Vineyards has to offer. For more information, visit De Tierra’s website. Get some friends together, and take a leisurely drive to visit the local vineyards, have a picnic lunch, take a walk, and enjoy the beauty of Monterey's Wine Country.