Laurel Inn & Conference Center

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Drive along the Salinas River in Monterey County and you can’t help but notice the ever-increasing numbers of vineyards. And nestled away in the Santa Lucia Highlands, a number of small wineries are blossoming. These 11 wineries along River Road offer commanding views of the rumpled range and some fabulous tasting opportunities. Here are three wineries that you simply have to check out on the River Road Wine Trail
 

1. Odonata Wines

Odonata Wines is a small family winery that focuses on local grapes that are organic and grown sustainably. Blending old world winemaking with a fresh, new attitude, Odonata works closely with local growers and in its own vineyards to ensure the highest quality wines from the vines to the glass. The Vineyards there are farmed organic, or SIP (sustainable in practice) Certified. Treat yourself to the 2016 riesling or the 2014 grenache.
 

2. Ventana Vineyard

The Ventana Vineyard was planted in 1974. At the time, there were very few vineyards in the area, but today Monterey has taken its rightful place beside Napa and Sonoma as one of the great wine regions of California. Known for its unique planting style and phenomenal estate wines, the vineyard is owned by a small group of local growers who have lived and worked in the region for generations. Check out the 2011 chardonnay or the 2010 dry Rosado.
 

3. Pessagno Winery

Pessagno Winery is the result of a family’s 20-year dream of producing exclusive wines from prestigious vineyards. Pessagno wines capture the natural flavors of the Santa Lucia Highlands and Paicines regions. Wrap your lips around the 2012 quattro premium red blend or the 2013 riesling.
 
With its pleasant and stylish rooms, the Laurel Inn & Conference Center is the perfect accommodation option if you’re planning a trip along the River Road Wine Trail. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast, use the free high speed Wi-Fi, take a dip in the heated pool or enjoy a meal at the onsite Black Bear Diner.