Monterey Uncorks New Wine Murals to Draw Tourists

The Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association is hoping that eight new 12-foot-tall wine murals along Highway 101 will lure tourists to this wine-producing region of California.

Monterey County
boasts a whopping 40,000 acres of vineyards, but until now, travelers along the popular highway between Los Angeles and San Francisco saw little of this booming industry from the road.

The murals span a 30-mile stretch along the highway, illustrating Monterey County's wine producing history, depicting key figures in the industry, and pointing out the 35 tasting rooms in the area.

In all, nearly 8 million tourists visit Monterey County every year, and while the MCVGA does not track exact numbers of how many of those are there for the wine, Rhonda Motil, executive director of the MCVGA, tells AOL Travel News: "Having these murals strategically placed along Highway 101 will increase visibility for our wine country immeasurably to millions of travelers. We look forward to increased awareness, foot traffic to wineries, additional wine club members and wine purchases, and to developing relationships with our consumers."

Artists John Cerney and Dong Sun Kim painted the murals with funds from a Rural Business Enterprise Grant under the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The wine region produces world-class wines from Pinot Noirs to signature Chardonnays, according to Koleen Hamblin, spokesperson for the Monterey County CVB.

"The new [Vineyard Ventures Exploration] River Road tasting trail, with 10-plus tasting rooms, has expanded [wine] tasting opportunities, and a cache of hand-crafted small lot wines can also be found in Carmel Valley and beyond," Hamblin said.

Wine lovers can also follow the Coastal Connoisseur Itinerary along the Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea coastline and the Country Charm trip to Carmel Valley.

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