I have seen a couple of postings recently that the Monterey County is one of the best areas to visit for wine lovers, and I cannot deny that fact. We have been there a couple of times and we talk about going again, but who knows when. My Bride is my social coordinator and I just follow, I must say that wine is a big draw for the area, because not only do the areas have dining guides, but they have wine tasting maps and guides to help you find your locations.
The main areas of Monterey for wine are; Carmel Valley, Salinas, Soledad and Greenfield and they all fall under the Monterey appellation, and then there are some sub headings a well. You will need a car to visit the wineries as they are much more spread out then they are in Napa Valley. You can have travel time of up to two hours from where ever you decide to stay to get to some of the wineries.
We like to stay in Carmel-by-the-Sea, or as it is usually referred to as Carmel. What is not to like about Carmel it is just like any small town, which has bed and breakfasts and hotels, retail and restaurants. The only difference is that this town once had Clint Eastwood as the mayor, Doris Day has a bed and breakfast, and the retailers include Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co. There are many fine restaurants to visit and many art galleries. When we arrived on one of our trips one of the art galleries had a poster proclaiming that Tony Curtis was going to be there with some of his paintings, but we were going to be back home by then. I tried to purchase the poster from them and they would not sell it. It was a take off on the classic Norman Rockwell painting of the artist looking in the mirror and painting a self portrait. Only this poster showed the back of a white haired artist looking at himself in the mirror, but the portrait he was painting was Tony Curtis of the Fifties with black curly hair. I just adored that poster.
We wandered around the first day shopping and sight seeing and stopped for lunch at a lively little café and all of the conversation was about the big pro-am golf tournament at Pebble Beach, which is the adjacent community. The big topic was that everyone was entranced watching Bill Murray play golf. They said it was like Caddyshack and that he was pure entertainment, he was clowning and playing a good round of golf at the same time. It was fun to listen to the conversations, have a light lunch as we were looking forward to a fine dinner that evening. While there we had a bottle of Monterey County Merlot 1999 just to begin our holiday there.