Why Drink Monterey County Wines?
Monterey County, with over 40,000 acres of vines planted, is an up and coming wine region. The region has a history with grapes dating back to two hundred years ago. The Mission of Soledad was the first to plant grapes in Monterey County, although the region didn’t start booming until the 1960’s. Despite the long history with grape growing, many people around the world still aren’t familiar with Monterey County and the beautiful wine region that flourishes here. With many other large wine producing regions in the world, Monterey has to compete, so why should you drink Monterey County wines?
First, Monterey County started out as a grape growing region, selling the majority of its grapes to other regions throughout California. Monterey has come a long way since then, most of the grapes being grown here stay here now! Just recently, the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association has helped pass Bill 394; On February 27th, 2015 Governor Jerry Brown signed the Bill to go in effect in 2019. Bill 394 requires wineries to put “Monterey County” somewhere on the label in addition to the sub-region where the grapes are grown, also known as conjunctive labeling. This will help create regional awareness and recognition; branding Monterey as the reputable wine region that it has become.
Monterey County is unique, it is the only wine region affected by an underwater canyon, known as the Blue Grand Canyon. The Blue Grand Canyon is one of the many reasons that sets Monterey apart from other growing regions. At sixty miles long and two miles deep, the Blue Grand Canyon is one of the world’s deepest marine canyons. The cool water in the canyon supports the famous Monterey fog that hangs out in vineyards throughout most of the region. As a direct result of the Blue Grand Canyon, Monterey has a thermal rainbow. The ocean breeze cools the vineyards down at night, and can make the growing season longer. The thermal rainbow creates a forty-degree temperature difference from the Northern region of Monterey all the way to the Southern region.
Monterey County has many different microclimates, making it easier to grow a variety of grapes throughout the region. There are currently nine designated growing regions (AVA’s) within Monterey County, each have their own unique climates. AVA stands for American Viticultural Area; these are designated areas or microclimates the government declares as a growing region. Monterey has climates that are comparable to Napa, Sonoma, Champagne, Burgundy, and Bordeaux. The cooler regions which are North and closer to the ocean are known for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; while the warmer regions in the South and farther inland are known for growing heavier varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. As a result of the many microclimates, there are forty-two varietals currently being grown here in Monterey County!
With over sixty tasting rooms and eighty-five vintners, Monterey County has a wine for everyone. Come visit us in our tasting room, and remember to drink Monterey!
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