Wine/Agricultural Tourism

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

Wine & Travel Magazine proivdes 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.

Sustainable Agriculture

Are you interested in learning more about sustainable agriculture practices?  Gonzales has many agriculture businesses who are at the top of their game and cutting edge in getting more for less while preserving precious resources.  Healthy Soil is a company that offers row crop, golf course and wine grape agriculture producers both water conservation and soil fertility products and programs.  Their staff is often in the habit of providing guided tours and educational presentations to large groups from institutions of higher learning, foreign governments and international agricultural service personnel.
From food waste to fertilizer in 10 days?  Another commercial agriculture company, Converted Organics of California, produces commercial quantities of liquid fertility products that are certified for use on all crops in both conventional and organic agriculture production.  Their in-vessel, high temperature liquid composting (HTLC) process takes cafeteria waste generated in Gonzales' school cafeterias from food waste to fertilizer in just about 10 days!  This product is used in winegrape production throughout California and beyond and is provided for FREE to schools and the City for use on sports turf and in city parks.  Converted Organics also hosts site tours for institutions of higher learning and agriculture producers.