The Trip: DMO Mojo
Location: Monterey, CA
Miles Traveled: 595
Destination Highlight: Wine-blending event at A Taste of Monterey
When I learned I would be attending the seventh annual DMO Mojo at Monterey, I couldn’t have been more excited. It would be my first visit to this lovely seaside city and my first time attending an event hosted by MMGY.
I’d always heard great things about Monterey, but I’d never had the chance to actually go there. Living so close to the beaches in Southern California, I thought there would be no big difference – but I was wrong. This small charming city on California’s northern central coast surprised me in every single way.
This natural beauty is famous for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where Mojo’s kickoff reception was held. Imagine mingling with guests right in front of the largest tank in the Open Sea exhibit with over 3,000 sardines, ocean sunfish, sea turtles and stingrays. The Mojo attendees strolled through the aquarium, enjoying hors d'oeuvres, drinks and amazing views of the jellyfish and shiny sardines swimming by.
The Mojo event covered a lot of great content, with the audience tackling some interesting topics facing the travel trade today. We shared lots of industry updates and reviewed many statistics on travel patterns and consumer behaviors.
The theme of this year’s event was wine, which is a key part of the cultural landscape in Monterey. One of the many things I enjoyed during this trip was the wine-blending team-building activity at A Taste of Monterey. Attendees were divided into six teams to explore how to blend their best-tasting wine. Teams had to come up with a name for their special blend and present a creative marketing plan. We had a nice evening watching the sunset while blending wine with our teams.
During the dinner at A Taste of Monterey, I was lucky enough to sit next to the Boëte Winery founder and owner, who told me all about the boutique winery and its specialty wine selection. Boëte is famous for their bold red wines. What makes their wine stand out is that they grow their own grapes and make their wines by hand, from pruning to fermenting and aging, to blending and barrel selection – all with old-world winemaking techniques, without any machines. This means that they have a very limited yet excellent supply. There is something extremely admirable about a winery that sticks to their craft with proven tradition and passion over any modern winery that may have lost the human touch.
To me, it’s the people, the attitude and the cultures that make a destination special. I have experienced them all in the past three days. Monterey residents are proud of their city’s jewels. I can spot the love and passion for this place in everyone – from the taxi drivers and the aquarium staff to the winery owners and even the clerks of a local candy shop. That’s what makes a place beautiful.
Thank you, Monterey, for hosting us in such a distinct and memorable way. I will be back! #SeeMonterey