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wines monterey county wines

from albariño to zinfandel

alifornia was a late addition to the world of winemaking, to say the least.
When Spanish monks planted the first California varieties of Vitis vinifera,
the famous Bordeaux region of France had already been exporting wine
to most of the world for 600 years.
But the Europeans’ head start has all but vanished. At the 1976 Judgment of
Paris, an international wine competition, Californian wines beat out their French
counterparts in both the red and white categories. Today, California features
more than 1,200 wineries, whose combined annual crop represents 90 percent
of American wine production.
Monterey County has had a lot to do with California’s emergence as the
western hemisphere’s pre-eminent wine region. Although the first vines weren’t
planted here until the 1960s, the unbridled success of pioneers like Chalone,
Wente, and Mirassou ultimately led to the 40,000 acres of grapes planted
Today Monterey County continues to establish itself as one of the premier
wine-growing regions in the country, if not the world. Within Monterey County are
seven different certified American Viticultural Areas, most notably Carmel Valley
and the Santa Lucia Highlands. From the wet and cool air of the coastal regions
to the dry and warm climate of the rocky southern areas, Monterey County
encompasses a diverse range of microclimates which create near-perfect condi-
tions for every varietal and style.
The area’s mainstays--folks like Doug Meador of Ventana, Rich Smith of
Paraiso, Rob Talbott of Talbott Vineyards, and others--revised and fine-tuned the
science of growing grapes in these various sub-regions.
They’re joined by great
boutique wines like Chateau
Christina, Marilyn Remark,
Parsonage, Pisoni, and Sheldon.
And of course there are always
the regional standard-bearers
Chalone, Galante, Hahn/Smith
and Hook, Joullian and Georis.
From the southernmost tip
of the county near Paso Robles
to the inland hideaways of the
Carmel Valley, great wines mate-
rialize from magical soil every-
where in this wine wonderland.

www . bestofmontereybay. com The Best of Monterey Bay 2008 • 2009 69


wineries & and Cabernet since he

decided to scale back
tasting rooms his dentistry practice
and ramp up his winery.
Limited production, most-
Bargetto Winery ly local distribution and
Tasting Room great quality have distin-
Bargetto operates Monterey’s oldest tasting guished Chateau Christina
room and has garnered high praise from oeno- for the past few years. 60
philes for its full line of dinner and specialty Via Milpitas, Carmel Valley.
dessert wines. Call for tour information. 700 659-0312.
Cannery Row, Suite L, Monterey. 373-4053.
Baywood Cellars Julien
Winemaker John Cotta has more than 20 Beautiful stained
years of experience producing wine in California. glass and antiques adorn
His knowledge of Old World techniques com- Chateau Julien’s wine-
bined with up-to-date winemaking technology tasting room. Built in the
give Baywood Cellars the bottling capacity of up style of a French country
to 150 bottles per minute. Tastings daily. 381 chateau, the building’s
Cannery Row, Suite C, Monterey. 645-9035. great hall with its cathe-
dral ceiling adds a touch
of elegance. Tastings daily,
Bernardus Winery tours by reservation only.
Bernardus’ wine-tasting room is located in 8940 Carmel Valley Rd.,
the heart of Carmel Valley Village. Beautiful Carmel Valley. 624-2600.
color photographs of its upper Carmel Valley
vineyard and winery adorn the walls. All the
vintage wines sell out quickly. Tastings daily. Cima Collina
5 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley Village, Cima Collina’s hand-
659-1900. crafted Pinot Noir,
Chardonnay, Sauvignon
Blanc and Merlot are on
Blackstone Winery pour at this art gallery and
This Monterey County tasting room encour- wine-tasting bar in down-
ages visitors to picnic on the grounds as they town Carmel. Most of the wines originate on Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley Village, (800)
enjoy a bottle of limited-release wine. The three Salinas Valley vineyards. Open Thurs-- 625-8466.
winery hosts tours and events and even offers Mon. San Carlos between Ocean and Seventh,
a private VIP dining room. 800 S. Alta St., Carmel. 620-0645. Joullian Vineyards
Gonzales, 675-5341. This small, high-quality producer in the clas-
Galante Vineyards sical Joseph de Maria stone building specializes
Boëté Vineyards, thousands of roses and grazing in estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay
The lime-enriched soil of John and Jana cattle make Galante’s 700-acre property a and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tastings daily, tours
Saunders’ Carmel Valley vineyard yields great place to have a picnic or hold an event. by appointment. 2 Village Dr., Suite A, Carmel
Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet Francs of Their tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea offers a Valley. 659-8100.
notable complexity and minerality. A terroir- chance to taste the very limited estate Cabernet
seeker’s dream. Tastings Thurs-Sun. Valley Hills Sauvignon. Tastings daily. Dolores between Lockwood Vineyards
Center, 7156A Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. Ocean and Seventh, Carmel, 624-3800. Located at the southernmost tip of Monterey
625-5040. County in San Lucas, Lockwood Vineyards
Georis Winery produces some notable wines, including its
Chalone Vineyard Georis’ relaxing Carmel Valley tasting room Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
This rustic and isolated winery is set high and shady courtyard offer intriguing vintages, offerings. Sample Lockwood wines at either of
above the Salinas Valley, affording views of fine furniture and an irresistible array of books the Taste of Monterey sites (see below), or call
the Gabilan Mountains and the vineyards. and gifts. 4 Pilot Rd., Carmel Valley. 659-1050. (800) 753-1424 for other locations.
Recommended wines: Chardonnay, Pinot
Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc. Tastings on Manzoni Estate
Saturday and Sunday and by appointment Heller Estates
Mon-Fri. Stonewall Canyon and Highway 146, Heller Estates Vineyards offers award-win- Vineyard
ning organic estate-bottled Cabernet, as well Low-yield production techniques translate
Soledad. 678-1717.
as Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Heller to well-regarded, fruit-intensive Pinot Noir,
is truly a local wine—its grapes are grown in Chardonnay and Syrah. The new tasting room
Chateau Christina the Cachagua region of the Carmel Valley. is open on weekends. 3.5 miles south of
Frank Joyce has been hand-making small Try the Chenin Blanc. Tastings daily. 69 W. Gonzales on River Rd., Salinas. 675-3398.
batches of the area’s best Pinot Noir, Merlot

70 The Best of Monterey Bay 2008 • 2009 www . bestofmontereybay. com


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Rhone-style wines. Expertly crafted Marsanne,
Roussanne, Rose, Grenache and Syrah wines
are the attention-getting result. Tasting room
open weekends only. 645 River Rd., Salinas.
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The Smith family, led by Richard, has been
on the Monterey County wine scene for more
than three decades. Home to one of the most l^cZ XajW
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the revered Santa Lucia Highlands, Paraiso, ]^hidg^X ZkZci [VX^a^in
under current winemaker David Fleming (Rich’s
son-in-law), continues to turn out top-quality
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Riesling.
38060 Paraiso Springs Rd., off River Rd., (,,%% ;ddi]^aa GdVY
Soledad. 678-0300. HdaZYVY 86 .(.+%
ParsonaGe VILLaGe -(& +,- )***
Bill and Mary Ellen Parsons produce their
estate-grown Cabernets, Syrahs and Merlots
from nine acres of prime sun-drenched Carmel
Valley land. The result is wines of exceptional
flavor and intensity. Their newly opened tast-
ing room also showcases textile art by Mary
Ellen. 19 E. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley.

Stephen Pessagno’s acclaimed wines are
grown in Monterey and neighboring San Benito
counties. Look for the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard
Chardonnay and the Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir,
both grown in the Santa Lucia appellation.
Pessagno’s port is excellent, too. Tastings Fri-
Sun. 1645 River Rd., Salinas. 675-9463.

san saBa
Nestled in the Santa Lucia Highlands,
San Saba Vineyards has been making award-
winning Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and
Cabernet Sauvignon wines in limited quantities
since 1981. San Saba wines are known to be
complex and distinctive. Second label Bocage
uses only estate-grown grapes and has a fresh,
easy-to-drink style. Tastings daily at 35801
Foothill Rd., at River Rd., Soledad. 678-2992.

sCheID VIneyarDs
Since 1972, the Scheid family has grown
premium wine grapes and produced superb
Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet
Sauvignon. These wines exemplify the best
marriage of land, climate and wine-making
expertise. Tours by appointment. 1972 Hobson
Ave., Greenfield. 386-0316.

www . bestofmontereybay. com The Best of Monterey Bay 2008 • 2009 71

To Santa Cruz To San Jose/San Francisco

Silver Mountain
Cima Collina
A Taste of Winery
Monterey • Marina
Monterey • Ca
nn A Taste of



• Salinas Silver Mountain


Carmel •

Established in 1979, Silver Mountain

Galante Ca Ventana Vineyards produces robust and complex world-
Cima Collina rm
el class wines from organic grapes. The tasting
Tasting Room Va
lle room near the Monterey Plaza Hotel offers
Rancho y 68

Rd all current releases and contains a gallery of
Cellars . Marilyn

er R
artwork, as well as a collection of antique sil-



Chateau Julien ver. Tasting daily. 381 Cannery Row, Monterey.


Wine Estate 644-9609.


Chateau Sinnet Bernardus Smith & Hook/Hahn

• Chualar Estates
Heller Estates River Rd.
Carmel Valley Two prime local wineries offer their vino in
Village •
Talbott Blackstone
an elegant wine tasting room. Sample excel-

Pessagno • Gonzales lent wines while enjoying beautiful views of

the Salinas Valley. Smith & Hook’s Cabernets
Galante Gonza
les are hearty and delicious. Tastings daily, tours

Rd. by appointment. 37700 Foothill Rd., Soledad.

• Big Sur



Narrow road, Talbott Vineyard
lots of turns. San Saba Its winery is tucked away in the far-off Santa
Allow 1 hr.
Hahn Estates Soledad Lucia Highlands, so Talbott opened its first local
Smith & Hook • Chalone tasting room in March of 1999. Antiques and
gift items are for sale, and small parties can be
accommodated. Tastings daily. 53 W. Carmel
Paraiso Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 659-3500.
Taste Morgan
Estancia Daniel Morgan Lee has built Morgan
Ar Boyer Vineyards into an area favorite through the
Se roy
co o consistent quality of their solid lineup of
Jekel Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. At their
tasting room in Carmel, vinophiles can sample

vineyards and wineries

the offerings from the renowned Double L and

Los Padres Greenfield Rosella’s Vineyards. Tastings Thur-Sun. 204
Crossroads Blvd., Carmel. 626-3700.
National Scheid
Forest Ventana Vineyards
Located in an old stone ranch house just
minutes from downtown Monterey, the Ventana
• King tasting room offers a full selection of award-
City winning wines. Recommended: Gold Medal
Chardonnays and Rieslings, award-winning
Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah. 2999 Highway

68, Monterey. 372-7415.
Lucas Wines of Carmel
monterey county

Paul Stokes and Lynn Sakasegawa, the hus-

band-and-wife team behind Wines of Carmel,
make Chardonnay and Cabernet grown on their
property high in the hills above Carmel Valley.
Small production, careful techniques and a lot
of love go into this truly local wine. Tasting room
Lockwood locations in Monterey, Carmel and Salinas. For
information, call 659-0750.

Grapevine Express runs

daily 11am-8pm Monterey
to Carmel Valley Village.

72 The Best of Monterey Bay 2008 • 2009 www . bestofmontereybay. com


(831) 675 - 9463

wine merchants
This wine visitors’ center pours selections
from more than 70 local wineries. Visitors may
choose from two tastings featuring 15 different
wines each day, and 200 different Monterey
County wines are for sale. A good starting point
for a wine tour of Monterey County. Tour infor-
mation, maps and brochures available. 700
Cannery Row, Monterey, 646-5446; 127 Main
St., Oldtown Salinas, 751-1980.

This tour company offers guided tours of
the Salinas and Carmel valleys highlighting
the county’s rich agricultural and winemaking
legacy. Tours specialize in wine tasting, agricul-
tural education and local history. Full-day tours 8
include a picnic lunch, wine-tasting fees, and
transportation. 761-8463.
Voted Best Local Red Wine of Monterey County
LOCALS’ PICKS Monterey County Weekly, 2008 “Best Of ”
Pinot Noir
BEST LOCAL “Th Mo A r Wi ning Singl Vi ey r in America”
WHITE has two tasting rooms to experience award winning wines from the Ventana estate.
Chardonnay 38740 Los Coches Road 2999 Monterey Salinas Hwy (Hwy 68 E)
Soledad, CA 93960 #10 Monterey, CA 93940
BEST WINE 831-678-2900 • fax 831-678-2122 831-372-7415 • fax 831-375-0797
MARKET Visit our web site for directions 11am-5pm daily (Oct-May)
11AM -5PM • Weekends and most Holidays 11am-6pm (June-Sept)
Star Market 5 mins from downtown Monterey

o i o
This shop sells a variety of local and region-
al wines as well as world vintages. In addition to
daily wine tastings, it also features fine Italian
and Spanish olive oils and vinegars. 3606 The
Barnyard, Suite A13, Carmel. 625-4457.
Fi e Wines F o A d the o ld
A wine store with an excellent inventory of
premium wines, Monte Vista offers delivery ser-
vices, as well as discounted prices on cases of 315 Calle Principal, Downtown Monterey,
wine. 19 Soledad Dr., Monterey. 375-2135. (831)333-1313
PG LIQUORS Visit our website - Large Selection
This full-service liquor and wine store, locat-
ed in downtown Pacific Grove, delivers in the
local area. Call for details. 225 Grand Ave.,
Pacific Grove. 375-7474.
Located in Historic Old Monterey on the Corner of Del Monte & Calle Principal


Diane Von Furstenberg
Rozae Nichols
Rebecca Taylor
Nanette LePore
Seven Jeans
TSE Cashmere
Trina Turk
MARC by Marc Jacobs
Paper Denim & Cloth
Tracey Reese
Michael Stars
James Perse
Citizens Of Humanity
AG Jeans

Miu Miu
Sigerson Morrison

Marc Jacobs Collection
Miu Miu

Open Daily 10–6
Mission & 7th Avenue
Carmel ~ 626-3368

Rancho Cellars, located near The Barnyard
shopping center, is a fine-wine merchant stocked
with more than 1,600 premium wines from
around the world. Rancho’s wine-tasting bar,
Cepage, offers weekly tasting events. 26340
Carmel Rancho Blvd., Carmel. 625-5646.

A local institution, “Carmel’s Finest Liquor
and Wine Shop” offers friendly assistance
navigating a respectable inventory of premium
wines. Sixth and Junipero, Carmel. 624-1805.

TERRANOVA levels. 241 Alvarado St., next to the Portola pairing experience. 192 Country Club Gate
This purveyor of fine and rare wines from
around the world is located in the heart of Plaza Hotel, Monterey. 641-WINE. Center, Pacific Grove. 646-0107.
downtown Monterey and boasts a knowledge-
able, approachable staff. 315 Calle Principal, WINE MARKET ZEPH’S
Monterey. 333-1313. The wines are arranged and displayed not Specializing in Monterey County wines,
by varietal but by the type of food with which this laid-back shop at the edge of Salinas
WINE FROM THE HEART they are compatible—beef, seafood, dessert, hosts daily tastings and holds regular events
This owner-run store removes the intimida- etc. Whatever your menu, Wine Market offers with guest winemakers. 1366 South Main St.,
tion factor from wine by offering a down-to- a range of appropriate choices established Salinas. 757-3947.
earth tasting room designed to suit all comfort through more than a decade of food and wine

It is the grapes.
Scheid Vineyards produces
small lot, artisan wines from
our ten estate vineyards in
the heart of Monterey County
wine country.

Visit our tasting rooms to

enjoy our expansive portfolio
of award-winners.

Join us at our new Cannery Row

location debuting Fall 2008.
831 455-9990

Tasting Room
1972 Hobson Avenue, Greenfield
(at Hwy. 101 and Hobson Ave.)
Ph 831 386-0316
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily