“M” appellations


Franciscan friars first planted vines in Monterey in the late 18th century, but it wasn't until the 1960s that the true winemaking potential of the area became known. Professor A. J. Winkler, a viticultural expert from U. C. Davis, published a report that classified Monterey County as Region I and II, classifications comparable to Bordeaux and Burgundy. Soon after, wineries such as Wente, Mirassou, Paul Masson, J. Lohr and Chalone began planting vineyards and today over 40,000 acres of vines are planted throughout Monterey.

Known for one of the longest growing seasons in the United States, Monterey's spring temperatures warm quickly to help prevent frost damage, while cool air drifting off Monterey Bay keeps the vines cool throughout the summer. These temperatures cause vines to bud two weeks earlier than most growing areas, and the grapes ripen later meaning they are picked two weeks after other California regions. Rain can be sporadic and many wineries rely on drip irrigation for water distribution to the vineyards.

Chardonnay may have found its second home in the Monterey area, where cooler summer temperatures allow it to thrive in Burgundian fashion. Currently over 40% of Monterey's planted vines are Chardonnay. Pinot Noir, Riesling and Pinot Blanc are planted in the cooler northern area of the region, while the warmer southern parts are home to black grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel. Syrah is quickly becoming the most popular black grape to plant in Monterey.

Other appellations within the Monterey AVA include Arroyo Seco, Hames Valley, San Lucas and the Santa Lucia Highlands, while Carmel Valley and Chalone rest just outside the border.


United States → California → Monterey County

Appellation Type

American AVA

Wineries (13)

Baywood Cellars
Blackstone Winery
Clos LaChance Vineyards
J. Lhor
J.LOHR Vineyards & Wines
Lockwood Vineyard
Marilyn Remark Winery
River Run Vintners
Silver Mountain Vineyards
Ventana Winery

Wines (25)

2009 Pinot Noir: Lockwood Vineyard Monterey Monterey Red
J. Lohr WILDFLOWER Valdiquie 2009 Monterey Red
J. Lhor Monterey NV Monterey Red
Delicato Pinot Noir Loredona 2006 Monterey Red
Bernardus Vineyards Chardonnay Monterey 2006 Monterey White
Jekel Pinot Noir Monterey 2005 Monterey Red
Château Julien Estate Vineyard Syrah Monterey County 2001 Monterey Red
Muccigrosso Vineyards Lyn Zin Monterey 2003 Monterey Red
Jekel Chardonnay Monterey County 2004 Monterey White
Raymond Estates Chardonnay Monterey 2002 Monterey White
Morgan Syrah Monterey 2002 Monterey Red
Morgan Côtes du Crow's Monterey 2003 Monterey Red
Morgan Chardonnay Metallico Monterey 2004 Monterey White
Morgan Chardonnay Monterey 2003 Monterey White
Morgan Sauvignon Blanc Monterey 2003 Monterey White
Ventana Pinot Noir Monterey 2001 Monterey Red
Ventana Monterey Gewürtztraminer 2001 Monterey White
Ventana Riesling Monterey 2002 Monterey White
Hahn Estates Chardonnay Monterey 2003 Monterey White
Talbott Vineyards Kali-Hart Pinot Noir Monterey 2002 Monterey Red
Logan Chardonnay Monterey Sleepy Hollow Vineyard 2001 Monterey White
J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié 2002 Monterey Red
Logan Pinot Noir Monterey County Sleepy Hollow Vineyard 1999 Monterey Red
Estancia Pinot Noir Monterey Proprietor's Selection 2000 Monterey Red
Niebaum-Coppola Sofia Blanc de Blancs 2003 Monterey Sparkling