Ventana Vineyards just might be Monterey, CA’s best kept secret…
Hailed as “the best kept secret in Monterey” by Robert Whitley, Whitley on Wine, Ventana Vineyards is one of the first wineries established in Monterey County. They have been making their award-winning wines for over thirty years. It is widely known that Ventana Vineyards has been designated as the “The Most Award-Winning Single Vineyard in America.” Ventana -Spanish for window – runs along the Ventana Wilderness and, according to some, represents a “window to the future in viticulture.” Ventana is one of eight AVAs in Monterey County with vineyards located near Soledad along Highway 101.
There are two opportunities to try Ventana wines. The main tasting room overlooks the Ventana Vineyard. The other tasting room is conveniently located in Monterey at the Old Stone House on Highway sixty-eight. Ventana also sells many of their wines online, however, there are some that are only available at the tasting room.
Expert Viticulturalist, Doug Meador, originally founded the winery in the mid-seventies. Today the winery is co-owned by a group of local growers “who have lived and worked in the region for generations.” The group’s goal is to offer superior and unique wines and, at the same time, employ responsible farming techniques that focus on sustainable growing. There are several ways they accomplish this: Utilizing vineyard irrigation energy efficiency, running John Deere tractors that contain a fuel efficiency meter, and participation in the Positive Points System sponsored by the Central Coast Vineyard Team.
There are more than fifteen wines offered at Ventana Vineyards including red wines that the winemakers proudly claim to age a minimum of 18 months, waiting an additional half of a year for it to rest, then release it a full twenty-four months later. A few years ago Ventana Vineyards announced their association with Mistral Vineyards, adding even more wines to their already impressive list of offerings.
If you are staying at the Bay Park Hotel in Monterey, the Ventana Vineyards tasting room is located just five miles away at 2999 Monterey-Salinas Hwy, Monterey, CA 93940. For more information on hours and special events please visit their website: Ventana Vineyards.
Written by local photographer and writer Laura Wrede.