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

  • Rousanne

    History of the grape: Roussanne likely gets its name from the light brown color of its skin (“roux” in French). Rouss...

  • Viognier

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

  • Nebbiolo

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

Popular Wineries in Santa Maria View all

  • Tantara Winery

    The growing season was moderate to cool with only a couple of hot spells in June. The biggest fac...

  • Rancho Sisquoc Winery

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

  • Quinta de Santa Maria

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

  • Cambria Winery

    Santa Barbara County is a quiet sanctuary of golden hills and well-groomed vineyards located t...

  • Foxen Vineyard

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

  • Caparone Winery

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

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