Wine Enthusiast picks Monterey County

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					                      inside: the world’s greatest vintage chart                page

                                                             february 2013

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                       •   wine & food matches made in heaven    page

                       •   southern italy’s hottest aglianicos   page
From classic regions to lesser-known
corners, our editors select this year’s best                                            Rioja, Spain                                   40
in wine, food and cultural adventure.                                                   Danube, Austria                                42

       sense of place—the sights, sounds, smells and spirit of a travel destina-        North & South Forks of Long Island, New York   44
       tion—can endear that area to a person forever. For wine lovers, there
                                                                                        Stellenbosch, South Africa                     46
       is no better way to cement that connection than to explore the world
around those vines. As the wine market becomes ever more global, packed with            Monterey County, California                    48
offerings ranging from the most storied wine regions to the most offbeat, so
does the wine traveler’s itinerary.                                                     Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil                      50
   Each year, our editors travel the world to experience the best wine and food,
                                                                                        Willamette Valley, Oregon                      52
and in turn, discover the most exciting places to visit. Our list for 2013 represents
the wide swath of cultural and culinary experiences on the must-see list.               Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia      54
   Whether your tastes lean toward the rustic climbing trails of South Africa’s
Stellenbosch or a tour of a Puglian castle, this list promises outstanding travel       Douro Valley, Portugal                         56
experiences and unforgettable wines.
                                                                                        Puglia, Italy                                  58

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Monterey                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Prominent WineS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             monterey has a relatively cool
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             climate, so its signature varieties
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             are pinot noir and chardonnay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Dependable producers include
         onterey County is one of California’s premier wine-producing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the testarossa winery, pessagno
         regions, but it also has long been a destination for travelers. It                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  winery, roar, morgan, pisoni
         has beautiful scenery, including Big Sur, the 17-Mile Drive and the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and talbott Vineyards. cool-
Pebble Beach golf courses. It has the tourist venues of Cannery Row and                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      climate syrah abounds, too,
Fisherman’s Wharf. It has the upscale galleries and bistros of Carmel-by-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    from the likes of novy family
the-Sea. In short, Monterey has diverse draws for wine-oriented visitors.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wines and wrath. while most
Glamorous resorts dot the county, featuring world-class cuisine, stellar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     of the county is too cool for
local wines and full spas that pamper with style. The city of Monterey is                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    cabernet, the warm carmel
only about 100 or so miles from downtown San Francisco, making it an                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Valley, sheltered by the santa
easy detour for a multiday trek.                        —Steve Heimoff                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       lucia mountains, features
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             elegant, earthy cabernets from
Where to Dine                            most entrées coming in around                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Bernardus winery and galante
when restaurant 1833 opened              or above $25.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Vineyards. a particularly success-
in downtown monterey, it                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ful small region is arroyo seco,
instantly raised the city’s culinary     Where to Stay                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 buDGet tiP             nestled on the west side of the
reputation. located in one               the chic monterey plaza hotel                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Dig into the famous          sprawling salinas Valley. it’s
                                                                                photo ©shutterstock; ©golfer /; ©morgan winery

of california’s oldest adobe             & spa is conveniently located                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ambrosia Burger with           known for crisp, inexpen-
buildings (hence the name,               on cannery row in the city of                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a sauce that includes chili      sive red and white varieties.
which honors the year in which           monterey. many rooms have                                                                                                                                                                                                                            salsa, for $14.50, at nepenthe     insider tip: wines with a
the structure was built), it offers      expansive views of monterey Bay                                                                                                                                                                                                                      in Big sur. wash it down with      monterey or monterey
fresh, skillfully crafted cuisine        (and sounds, too—the crashing                                                                                                                                                                                                                          local wine on the outdoor        county appellation can be
and a wine list so extensive, it         of surf, the barking of harbor                                                                                                                                                                                                                            deck while enjoying          extremely good values, so if
has been described as an auction         seals and sea lions).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fabulous views.         you’re in the market, be sure to
catalog. the cocktail selection is                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           scoop up a few cases.
easily the best on the monterey          other activitieS
peninsula. the atmosphere is             take a drive, with the top down,                                                                         From left: scenic                                                                                           Where to taSte
lively, crowded and happy, with          on highway 1, which boasts one                                                                            Pfeiffer Beach                                                                                             a taste of monterey on crowded cannery row features the offerings of over 85 local
                                         of the most gorgeous drives on                                                                              in Big Sur;                                                                                              wineries in a tasting bar-type setting. it’s the perfect place to sample the best of
                                                                                                                                                    teeing off at
                                         the planet. the winding two-lane                                                                                                                                                                                     monterey, especially if you’re staying nearby and don’t want to drive. for individual
                                                                                                                                                   the illustrious
                                         highway hugs the coastline and                                                                                                                                                                                       winery visits, start with morgan. the tasting room is in carmel, and you can sample a
                                                                                                                                                    Pebble Beach
                                         offers unsurpassed vistas of the                                                                          Golf Links; an                                                                                             wide range of reserve and regular chardonnays, pinot noirs, syrahs and other wines
                                         majestic santa lucia mountains                                                                           antique Morgan                                                                                              from this well-regarded producer. talbott Vineyards offers some of the region’s
                                         and the deep-blue pacific. head                                                                           in front of the                                                                                            most complex chardonnays and pinot noirs at its location on the river road wine
                                         south out of Big sur and in                                                                              Morgan winery                                                                                               trail, which winds scenically along the base of the santa lucia mountains. chalone
                                         minutes the relatively pricier con-                                                                        tasting room                                                                                              Vineyards is a true pioneer in california pinot noir. its tasting room is way up in the
                                         vertible rental will pay for itself.                                                                                                                                                                                 gavilan mountain range, above soledad, east of the 101 freeway.

                                   LocaL in-the-knoW                                                                                                                  on the Web                                                                                                                                                           When to Go
                                                                                                                                                                      A Taste of Monterey:   Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa: montereyplaza      Restaurant 1833:
                              rhonda motil, executive director of the monterey county Vintners and growers association, says: “Dennis the menace                      Bernardus:                                                Talbott Vineyards:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       september and october
                              park is one of my family’s beloved places for adventure. from making sure you have steady feet on the swaying bridge,                   Chalone Vineyard:       Morgan:                       Testarossa Winery:                                     offer the driest, sunniest
                                                                                                                                                                      Galante Vineyards:     Pessagno Winery:             Wrath:
                              to squealing with delight as you ride the coaster slide, to testing your skill on the rock climbing wall, and finally capping           Big Sur Beach Guide:   Pisoni:                                                                                          weather, with rain more
                              the experience by pretending you are the conductor on the model train—it’s fun for kids and grown-ups alike.”                                                                                                                                                                                           likely as november nears.

 48 | wine enthusiast | February 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 | 49

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