Editor's note: This is part of the weekend series of posts by guest authors, who are fellow bloggers, wine industry folk and/or Basic Juice readers. If you are interested in being a guest author, contact me with a proposal, and we'll see if we can't introduce the world to your handiwork.
Guest Author: Elsbeth Wetherill, co-owner of Escafeld Vineyards, a small family operated winery located in the San Antonio Valley. E-mail her at [email protected].
Already legendary for world class restaurants, romantic hotels and breathtaking scenery, Monterey County has another compelling reason to visit—the wines.
Monterey County is home to nine appellations: Arroyo Seco, Santa Lucia Highlands, San Lucas, Chalone, Monterey, San Bernabe, Hames Valley, and our newest AVA, San Antonio Valley. A wide range of microclimates, with cooler regions in the north and warm, dry appellations in the south, provide local growers and winemakers with the perfect conditions for practically every grape variety and style.
The first stop on your itinerary should be A Taste of Monterey on Cannery Row, where you’ll sample wines from over 40 Monterey County Wineries, including a number of smaller boutique producers who do not yet have tasting rooms. Then pick up a copy of Monterey Bay Wine and Travel Magazine and hit the wine trail. Monterey County is home to over 25 tasting rooms, renowned as much for their hospitality as for their wines.
New to the wine corridor is the San Antonio Valley, recently granted appellation status. Almost a secret, this beautiful unspoiled valley, just 20 miles inland, is home to Mission San Antonio de Padua and William Randolph Hearst’s historic Milipitas Ranch House, which is now a guest lodge and restaurant. You’ll also find some of the most stunning drives on the central coast. 800+ acres of vines and over 20 varietals are planted here, where growers and winemakers work together crafting high-quality wines.