Arroyo Seco
The Arroyo Seco AVA, established in 1983, is located in the southeastern portion of Monterey County; the towns of Soledad and Greenfield are the principal hamlets in this district. This is a diverse territory, as the western boundaries are defined by the Santa Lucia Highlands range; gaps in the range mean that coastal breezes pass through the vineyards, moderating temperatures, providing long hang time for the grapes. The AVA is named for a local creek that brings moisture (often via melted snow) to the area, ensuring balanced growing conditions. Just over 7000 acres of vines are planted on sandy loam soils; vineyards are situated between 170 to just over 2000 feet. Principal varieties include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot, with small plantings of such grapes as Grenache, Gewurztraminer and Barbera. (Wine/Appellations)