Monterey County is one of the largest wine growing and producing regions in California. Wine grapes were first introduced to the region well over 200 years ago by the Franciscan Friars near the Soledad Mission in southern Monterey County. They discovered early on that the county's climate was perfect for developing the intense fruit characteristics winemakers revere. Approximately 85 vintners and growers are established throughout Monterey County, collectively growing over 40,000 acres of wine grapes- a delightful amount for you to imbibe.

The area boasts vineyards and tasting rooms of some of the country's best known vintners, as well as the rustic charm of local family-owned boutique wineries throughout the valleys, rolling hills and towns. But the secret to the viticulture success is the "Blue Grand Canyon," a deep marine canyon located in Monterey Bay. These cold, deep waters bring fog and moderate temperatures to the area throughout the growing season, and infuse every drop of Monterey County's wine with an impressive style and structure.

Wine Events

Wine is celebrated almost every month of the year so no matter when you visit, rest assured good food and drink will be waiting.

February: With a River Road Wine Trail Valentine's Passport, you'll indulge in wine, chocolates, and special discounts at 12 of Monterey County's best wineries. You'll get to taste special vintages and rarely tasted wines at every spot, eat great appetizers, and listen to live music.

April: The Pebble Beach Food & Wine celebration is a four-day festival of fantastic food and wine tastings. If one event isn’t enough, The Earth Day Food & Wine Festival is a weekend celebration of award-winning food and wine grown on California's scenic Central Coasts. Enjoy barrel tastings, cooking demonstrations, live music, and vineyard tours.

May: The River Road Wine Trail's SpringFest is one of spring's most popular wine celebrations. The free event features barrel tastings, new releases, food and entertainment. Join the vintners of the Santa Lucia Highlands for the annual Winegrowers Gala in sampling limited-release gems and hard-to-get vintages paired with elegant hors d'oeuvres from local master chefs.

June: Join artisans and local wineries in charming Carmel Valley Village for an afternoon of wine tasting, art, food and live music at the Carmel Valley Art and Wine Celebration, our version of a block party. At the Monterey Wine Festival, taste wines from over 50 producers, as well as chocolate, cheese, olives and many other gourmet foods.

August: The Winemakers' Celebration in Carmel's Barnyard Shopping Village is a festive wine tasting event complete with food, music and demonstrations. Sample from more than 40 Monterey County wineries and enjoy live music.

November: Monterey County's Best of the Blue wine tasting event is held at Del Monte Aviation Hangar in November. Enjoy gourmet food and stroll the Try & Buy Wine Market Place.

Year 'Round: Chateau Julien Wine Estate in Carmel Valley holds events throughout the year. Attend their World of Wine Series, Summer Jamboree, Harvest Wine Seminar, or Holiday Spectacular. Just don’t forget to sip and swirl.