Santa Maria Wine

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The Santa Maria Valley has enjoyed a relatively quick rise to stardom among California’s elite winegrowing regions. The number of wineries in the appellation has rocketed from a mere handful to over 30 in recent years. While the region still trails in numbers compared to Santa Barbara’s other famous appellation, the Santa Ynez Valley, its wineries and vineyard owners are among the best and most respected in California.

The AVA’s east-west orientation allows Pacific fog and coastal breezes to permeate the valley, creating an extended growing season. Combined with low annual precipitation and the warm Southern California sun, Santa Maria Valley enjoys a unique climate for California viticulture. Grapes are mainly grown in well-drained sandy loam and clay-loam soils, on slopes with elevations ranging from 200-800 feet. Much of the AVA’s 7,500 acres of vine is planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with a large portion within its three most famous vineyards: Tepusquet, Sierra Madre and Bien Nacido. Read more »

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Popular wines made in Santa Maria under $20

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Varietals Produced in Santa Maria View all

  • Viognier

    History of the grape: Viognier is thought to be an indigenous grape of Croatia that was brought to the Rhone in Franc...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Nebbiolo

    History of the grape: Two schools of thought exist as to the origins of Nebbiolo (which means “little fog” either for...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Popular Wineries in Santa Maria View all

  • Flying Goat Cellars

    I've been making wine for twenty-five years now, and have a particular passion for Pinot Noir. Th...

  • Foxen Vineyard

    Since that time, their dedication has remained the same—the creation of very small-production,...

  • Quinta de Santa Maria

    Quinta de Santa Maria - 21 hectares with grape warietas - Loureno, Arinto (Padernã) and Alvarnho ...

  • Rancho Sisquoc Winery

    At Rancho Sisquoc Winery we believe in crafting quality wines in small quantities. As one of the ...

  • Vino V Wines

    After 14 years making wine at two world class wineries (Mount Eden Vineyards and The Ojai Vineyar...

  • Caparone Winery

    Caparone Winery has specialized in rich, complex red wines, made using traditional minimalist tec...

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Santa Maria on Snooth

  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2013


    Dried hay and vanilla on the nose with lighter baked apple and french vanilla ice cream. More fruit on the palate than in the nose, with a fair heft from the vanilla, perhaps almost overly so as it feels like it doesn't fit well in the wine, however fans of oakiness might well give it a try. Still, the fruit on the attack is warm peach, apple an... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Belle Glos Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Clark & Telephone Vineyard 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by gman30341

  • Tantara Syrah Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by XZYMURGIST

  • There are too many people.  Feel free to insert a "colorful ... ... adjacent of vineyards around Santa Maria, but there are also plenty of Home Depots, Von's (oops, make that Albertson's or Haggen's) supermarkets, AM/PM Minimarts and tract homes. Yes, most of the Central Coast (from Santa Barbara to Monterey) has long been a bastion of "Slow G... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...

  • Byron Pinot Noir Nielson Vineyard 2012


    Great density and mouth feel for a pinot at this price point. nicely balanced, and I personally prefer pinots with darker fruit characteristics, but my only criticism would be that this is somewhat one dimensional... black cherry flavor dominates. Still an amazing value. Read More

    Wine review by ProPell2

  • I heard a pretty great story from a member of HAMCO (Hell's Angels ... ... through Paso Robles, SLO and Santa Maria, taking side trips in each region.  BTW, after the funeral, there was wine and beer on offer.  Angels, some of them anyway, drink wine.  And while that might not be the point of that particular ride, I think it counts as wine tou... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Speaking of Harley Davidson

  • Darren--'09 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, '11 Block 28 Zin and ... ... ... more than Santa Ynez/Santa Maria Valleys and much more than Paso Robles.  I will give the edge to Sta. Rita Hills for the time being, but stay tuned for updates.Going Italian, tonight. (Last Bottle pose): It's 80 (Fahrenheit) degrees here in the Inland Empire.  So, i... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • I bought a 2007 Qupé Hillside Estate Syrah 1.5L Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley from Invino a couple years ago. We drank it during Thanksgiving this past year.  It was fine, but maybe should have stayed in the bottle for few more years.  I think it may have been in the "dumb phase" that some people talk about.Interesting aside about the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Hey!! Please pardon my previous posting efforts, for I am new to this exciting ... trained for one week at the Santa Maria winery. It was a long drive from Santa Barbara to Santa Maria, but I was compensated....good deal. Having my own lab in Los Olivos empowered me to know that I am capable of exposing myself to every facet of the wine making... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Lab Analyst Fess Parker...

  • Kynsi Pinot Blanc Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

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