Of the nine recognized American Viticultural Association appellations in Monterey County, three are located in the Salinas Valley. A combination of warm Salinas Valley weather, and cooling coastal breezes from the Monterey Bay make for a texture-rich California growing region. A handful of varietals seem to stand out, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
There are over two dozen wineries in the Salinas Valley, and many wine tasting rooms. Most of these wineries are connected by River Road, which runs south from Salinas. In keeping with the old-fashioned character of the area, traditional white, hand-lettered arrow signs along the road will point you in the direction you need to go.
Visits to Scheid Vineyards in Greenfield and Paraiso Vineyards, Wrath Wines, Manzoni Cellars and Hahn Estates/Smith & Hook Winery in Soledad will give you a taste of the full spectrum of Salinas Valley wines. You can start your trip at either the southern point (Scheid Vineyards) or the northern point (Manzoni Cellars). The settings show off Salinas Valley's beautiful scenery as perfectly as the wines show its diversity.
Refer to the map below to plan your trip. Click on each red placemark for details about the individual winery. Click on the link here to open the map in a new window, suitable for printing and more detailed directions.
A taste of Salinas Valley's wines is sure to leave you longing for more. Visit the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association website for a tasting room map and additional information on Monterey County Wine Country.
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