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Monterey County Wine: California Region Named Top Destination By 'Wine Enthusiast' Magazine (PHOTOS)

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Napa? Napa who?

California has a new top wine destination, and San Francisco residents don't even have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to get there.

The editors of "Wine Enthusiast" magazine stunned the local wine world when they named Monterey County one of the world's top ten wine destinations in their February issue but skipped over both of our famous neighbors to the north.

"Monterey has diverse draws for wine-oriented visitors," writer Steve Heimoff gushed. "Glamorous resorts dot the county, featuring world-class cuisine, stellar local wines and full spas that pamper with style."

(We're not sure exactly how that distinguishes the area from Napa or Sonoma -- has Heimoff never heard of The French Laundry or Auburge du Soleil? But we digress.)

Indeed, Monterey's wine region has expanded by 40 percent over the past year, boasting more than 40,000 acres of grapes that generate $630 million a year for the county. Oh, and that drive down Highway One isn't too shabby, either.

Heimoff noted that area's signature Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Syrahs won't burn a hole in your wallet. "Wines with a Monterey or Monterey County appellation can be extremely good values," he wrote. "So if you're in the market, be sure to scoop up a few cases."

Take a look at all the regions Wine Enthusiast named top destinations below, then visit their website to learn more:

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Filed by Carly Schwartz
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