Simply put, Monterey County over the last few decades has become one of the world’s great winegrowing regions. Chardonnay and other cool-climate loving grapes have helped establish Monterey’s reputation. In fact, more Chardonnay is grown in Monterey than anywhere else in the United States. All summer long, J. Lohr will be your guide to the very best of Monterey!
Monterey Summer Icons
The region’s scenic destinations are almost too many to count. But there’s certainly five “must-see” locations on everyone’s Monterey photo-op list. Point Lobos, Big Sur, Carmel Beach, Cannery Row, and Fisherman’s Wharf are truly iconic for locals and visitors alike.
Pont Lobos has been called “the world’s greatest meeting of land and water.” Point Lobos Natural Reserve is the crown jewel of California’s 280 state parks. Nestled between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur, the marine sanctuary off of Point Lobos is considered one the best locations for scuba diving on the entire California coast. The park features dramatic views, lots of hiking trails, and a number of small beaches and rockfalls. The historic Whalers Cabin, built by Chinese fisherman, is the home to a museum.
Bixby Bridge. Pfeiffer State Park. McWay Falls. The attractions of Big Sur are many. The Big Sur coastline boasts some of the most dramatic views anywhere. Hugging the coast between Carmel and San Simeon, Big Sur’s sheer cliffs, isolated coves, tide pools, small sandy beaches, and stands of redwoods forests offer up one postcard scene after another. The narrow two lanes of Highway 1 wind their way through it all. The small town of Big Sur itself is famed for local cuisine and art galleries. Poets, writers, artists, and musicians, inspired by the area’s beautiful, remote nature, have called the area home.
Immortalized in the John Steinbeck novel, Cannery Row is a waterfront street in Monterey that was home to several sardine processing plants in the early and mid 1900s. Today, you can still see the Row’s sardine warehouses, though they’ve been converted into spaces for fashionable restaurants, hotels, shops, and, of course, the world-famous Monterey Aquarium. The calm, kelp-laden portion of Monterey Bay alongside Cannery Row is home to dozens of sea otters – and is a popular spot to kayak or paddle board.
The charming village of Carmel-By-The-Sea is one of Monterey’ County’s best known destinations. It is a “walking town” with several blocks of art galleries, boutique shops, wine tasting rooms, and restaurants. At the foot of the village is a famous, pristine, white sand beach. Just south of town is the beautiful Carmel Mission, final resting place of Junipero Serra, founder of the chain of California’s missions established in the late 1700s. Carmel is a famously “dog friendly” town; most restaurants and hotels welcome four-legged companions.
OLD FISHERMAN’S WHARF
At the base of old town Monterey with its historic buildings and adobes, lies Fisherman’s Wharf, originally built in 1845. Besides being home to local, popular seafood restaurants and gift shops, it is still a working wharf. The Monterey fishing fleet is anchored here, as well as passenger vessels for harbor tours and whale watching trips. Old Fisherman’s Wharf is both a fun tourist destination and a still functioning link to Monterey’s fishing and seafaring past.
Monterey’s residents have almost an embarrassment of riches when it comes to locally sourced foods and ingredients from which to choose. As you would expect, the freshest of seafood dominates much of the local food scene. But nearby Salinas Valley is known as “the world’s salad bowl,” with hundreds of varieties of vegetables grown year-round in its fertile soils. And historic ranches, many dating back to California’s Spanish-Mexican era, supply world-class beef to the area. Whether it’s “farm to table” or “ranch to table,” Monterey County is one of the planet’s most diverse, most prolific agricultural regions.BROWN SUGAR AND SOY SAUCE GRILLED SALMON
More Summer Pairings
After an extensive search for the right place to plant his first vineyard, in 1972 Jerry Lohr began planting vinifera varieties near the small town of Greenfield, in what was to become the heart of Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco appellation. In Monterey’s cool, ocean-influenced temperatures and season-lengthening winds, he found ideal conditions for growing Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling. Today, Monterey’s Arroyo Seco AVA is home to J. Lohr’s state-of-the-art white wines production facility and 1,400+ acres of J. Lohr vines.
J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay
What makes a great Chardonnay? It all starts with location. J. Lohr’s pioneering Chardonnay vineyards in Monterey County sit on an ancient alluvial fan with rock-strewn soils, in close proximity to the cooling effects of Monterey Bay. From our Vineyard Series, the limited Arroyo Vista release marries Block 9, clone 76 fruit with eleven months of sur-lie oak barrel aging. The result is a Monterey classic – peach, pear, and citrus aromas and flavors with food-paring acidity and a rich, silky finish.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine, July ’19 issue
J. Lohr October Night Chardonnay
The vineyards for the October Night Chardonnay are planted near the mouth of the Arroyo Seco River where the terrain provides the vines a slightly more wind-protected environment in which to grow. This unique Chardonnay blend provides balanced and complex flavors of ripe citrus, white peaches, and offers a hint of sweet chocolate and toasted oak on the long finish.
Monterey International Wine Competition ‘19
J. Lohr Estates Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc
Named for historic hundred year-old water flumes built over Reliz Creek adjacent to the vineyard. Here the cool climate brings out this noble variety’s lush fruit character. A portion of the blend aged in acacia wood imparts a textured mouthfeel and a hint of spice to the wine’s bright acidity.
L.A. International Wine Competition ‘19
J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay
Simply put, Riverstone is one of the country’s best-loved Chardonnays. The smooth, large river stones found in our pioneering Arroyo Seco vineyard blocks aid in drainage and retain and reflect the day’s heat on the ripening fruit. This is classic Monterey Chardonnay character: stone fruit and citrus aromas and flavors, balanced by cool climate acidity and nine months oak aging.
Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Sept. ’18 issue
J. Lohr Estates Bay Mist White Riesling
Monterey’s cool climate provides perfect conditions for this noble grape variety. A gentle, cool fermentation in stainless steel preserves this wine’s lush fruit components of peach, apricot, and green apple. Crisp acidity and just a touch of sweetness make for a very food-friendly Riesling.
San Diego Wine and Spirits Challenge ‘18