Instead of traveling and tasting from winery to winery,
one ticket gave guests a wine tasting tour of Salinas Valley wines, all at one location.
Nine Wineries. Five food trucks. One band. All in one day of tasting at the
Salinas Wine Trail's Trucks, Tunes, and Tastes.
The Salinas Wine Trail runs north-south and is Monterey County's inland wine region.
Paraiso Vineyards in Soledad hosted the Salinas Wine Trail's one day tasting extravaganza.
Paraiso is Spanish for paradise. And when you look at the winery's location in the Salinas Valley, well, the winery is aptly named. Vistas of the valley floor spread below the winery. The towering hills line the valley west and east.
Owners Jason Smith and Jennifer Murphy Smith are second generation grape growers. The Smith family are primarily local grape growers. The Smith parents started growing grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands in '73. In the past, most of the grapes were sold to other wineries. Then the family decided, “why not showcase Monterey County wines?” So the family started making wine in '89. Now, the family offers three lines of wines. (Paraiso Link.)
Winemaker and owner Denis Odonata has wine roots in Santa Cruz. Now his winery, production site, and tasting room are in Salinas. Estate vineyards in Santa Cruz, and vineyards in Monterey and Santa Clara offer premium local fruit for their wines. (Odonata Link.)
Al Scheid started growing grapes in '72. Now Scheid Vineyards grows four thousand acres of wine grapes and over 39 varietals. They keep the top 2% for their family line of wines, and sell the rest of their grapes throughout California, Washington, Oregon and beyond. Enjoy tasting Scheid wines at their Carmel by the Sea tasting room, or their newly remodeled tasting room in Greenfield. (Scheid Link.)
Hahn Family Wines:
Philip Hahn oversees Hahn Wines. His parents, Nicolaus (Nicky) and Gaby Hahn, purchased land in the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) in the the late '70s. Since then the family has made its stamp on the Monterey wine world and further. Nicky spearheaded establishing the Santa Lucia Highlands as an AVA. Now, the Hahns own about 6,100 acres of vineyards in the SLH. (Hahn Link.)
Chalone Vineyard shared--they have the oldest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in Monterey County. Located in the dry, south-east end of the county, the vines grow in temperatures that drop to 50 degrees at night then heat up to 90 degrees during the day. During a heat spike, the vineyards may reach 115! The Chalone team carefully monitors the grapes. The cool evenings let the grapes settle, producing flavorful, yet delicate wines. (Chalone Link.)
So do keep an eye out for Monterey County wine events (Link.)
Plan a day or weekend for wine tasting along the Salinas Wine Trail.
In the summer, the air is warm with coastal winds sweeping
down the valley, and bonus—no pollution.
You won't find fine lodging or dining nearby.
But plenty of lodging is to be had in Monterey, less than an hour away.
Or stop in Salinas before heading down the Valley and pick up some food for a picnic.
Give yourself time to slow down and enjoy the day.
The Salinas Valley Wine Trail is breathtaking
in a wild, desolate kind of way—with its own siren call.
Here's to your next wine trail,
Visit my Monterey Wineries page for more tasting rooms and Monterey wines.
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