Monterey County: A Diverse Winegrowing Region
Over 200 years ago, the Franciscan friars planted the first crop of wine grapes in Monterey County near the Soledad Mission. They recognized that the region’s climate, which features midday heat tempered by morning and late-afternoon fog, was perfect for developing the intense fruit character winemakers love.
We know now that these climate conditions, which persist throughout our winegrowing season and infuse our wines with an impressive style and structure, are attributed to a marine canyon located beneath the cold waters of the Monterey Bay. The immense size and depth of this underwater masterpiece has earned it the nickname, “The Blue Grand Canyon™.”
The impact of the canyon is seen through a visual representation called “The Thermal Rainbow™,” which extends north to south along a 90-mile valley and varies from cold to warm. Ocean air and winds provide a natural air conditioning system, mitigating temperatures, extending the growing season, and allowing a slow, gentle ripening of our grapes.
Today, Monterey County remains one of California’s largest and most critically acclaimed winegrowing regions, with over 42 fine wine varietals and 175 unique vineyards, which are planted specifically within The Thermal Rainbow. The cooler northernmost areas are held in high esteem for producing exceptional California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while sun-loving Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel flourish in the warmer south.