The City of Gonzales, California is the supply and demand hot spot from which much of the Salinas Valley’s thriving specialty crop and wine-growing industries operate. California wine enthusiasts will find easy access to the up and coming River Road Wine Trail where, more often than not, the winemaker is behind the bar pouring just released or limited release wines.

Located right off of California's historic El Camino Real Highway 101, the River Road Wine Trail has been designated as one of "Three Perfect Days" in Monterey County.  Aptly named "Vineyard Venture" by the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, wine enthusiasts can get up close and personal with the vines, winemakers and wines that have distinguished Monterey County Wines as some of the best California has to offer.

1973 saw the first commercial plantings in the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH).  The SLH appellation was established in 1991.  Today there are approximately 46 vineyard properties and approximately 5,900 acres in production with names like Sleepy Hollow, Vigna Monte Negro, Double L, Pisoni and Mer Soleil.

Radiating from the heart of Gonzales River Road, are approximately 11 vineyards with tasting rooms, picnic areas, wine country charm, down-to-earth staff, and visitor amenities:

Hahn SLH Estate Winery
Manzoni Estate
Ray Franscioni Wines
Scheid Vineyards Greenfield
Talbott Vineyards
Ventana Soledad
Marilyn Remark
Odonata South

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Wine & Travel Magazine provides very useful and timely information regarding local wineries, tasting rooms, restaurants and events. Some recent articles can be viewed and downloaded in the News & Features section located on the sidebar.

Service & Learning

Are you interested in adding a little service to your adventure?  In the months of May through October Ag Against Hunger offers service learning opportunities through its gleaning programs (harvesting what is left in local ag fields).  Ag Against Hunger is the premiere agency in the Tri-County area working to make sure the bounty of the harvest can be shared by all.  "Since 1990, the generous donations of surplus produce from our local growers and shippers have helped Ag Against Hunger bring 190 million pounds of produce to tens of millions of hungry children, adults and seniors."

While gleaning local fields, volunteers gain valuable insights and experience into what it takes to produce crops that make this area the "Salad Bowl of the World."  And, very simply put, your dedication of a few hours will bring food to people who are hungry.

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