Demand for Salinas Valley wine on the rise

SALINAS, Calif. - The 7th annual Salinas Valley Food and Wine Festival took over Oldtown Salinas on Saturday, serving up food and wine diverse and unique in taste. 

"The pinots are very, very nice,” said Davide Ryglicki of Marina. “Very, very easy to drink. Chardonnays are a little bit more buttery. There's definitely a Monterey thing about all these wines that makes it very nice."

Event coordinators said not only has this event grown, but so has the visibility and demand for wine from the Salinas Valley.

"There's no doubt that our region is growing by leaps and bounds,” said Salinas Valley Food and Wine Festival Founder Steve McShane. “There's more wine grapes, there's more wineries, there's more tasting rooms. We're quickly getting recognized as one of the world leading locations for pinot noir and chardonnay." 

Officials said wine production in Salinas Valley has grown about 30 to 40 percent, which has to do with people from all over the world drinking more wine.

"In places like China where you have a growing middle class that is really pairing wine with food that's influencing things here in the United States and I'll tell you we're capitalizing on it," said McShane.

Some of the wine makers told KION they believe Salinas Valley wineries being featured in local and national publications, winning awards and having solid reputations are also putting Salinas Valley on the map.

"They taste our wines, they go back home and tell their friends and then their friends want to come,” said Jeffrey Blair of Blair Estate Wines. “Most of my visitors to my tasting room are by referral, people who have already been there."

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to local nonprofits.

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