Monterey County Adventure: ATVing in a Vineyard

The Hahn Estate offers a rather rugged way to tour the grapes.

WALKING VS. RUMBLING: Wine, and the enjoyment of wine, has been presented in a certain highly cultivated way over the decades, at least where advertising and marketing is concerned. Poshly dressed people enjoy beverages in long-stem glasses, glasses they hold delicately and with care around the base. The setting is serene, low-lit, and there's probably a vase or expensive sculpture in the corner. And is anyone getting too wild or up-spirited? No, they are not. Refinement and poise all the way.

OF COURSE... wine isn't so highbrow or look-down-the-nosey, as any oenophile knows. Nor do wine tours have to be solely about strolling and stopping as grape-based factoids are shared. There are other ways to get out among the vines beyond legging it in the usual tour fashion, and the Hahn Estate of Monterey County boasts an offbeat one. Nope, you won't land by hot air balloon but you will ATV it on a private tour through the vines.

YEP, ATV... as in ATV. As in All-Terrain Vehicle. As in the vehicles you might associate with the beach or desert or dunes but not a vineyard. The Hahn Estate ATV may not, uhhh, gain air, or hit top speeds, but it will roll wine lovers through the grape-growing countryside. It's a four-passenger deal, and the tour includes "a stop at the wine cellar to learn about the winemaking process." So, bonus: You get nice mountain-high views from the al fresco end of things and a lovely time indoors gaining knowledge. Win and win. Another win? It's $45 a person, which is fine money down for some sunshine time spent rollin' big through picturesque vines.

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