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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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 ...

  • Barbieri Wine Company

    Paolo Barbieri, owner and winemaker of Barbieri Wine Company is focusing on the production of Rho...

  • Cambria Winery

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

  • Flying Goat Cellars

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

  • Lane Tanner

    Lane Tanner specializes in Pinot Noir and Syrah.Lane Tanner has been handcrafting elegant red win...

People getting updates on Santa Maria Wines

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Santa Maria on Snooth

  • The Ojai Vineyard Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice wine. Fruit flavor is of strawberry. Very nice tartness. Maybe a bit of clove spiciness. (?) Fairly light-bodied. I can see the elegance that Pinot Noir fans seem to seek in this wine. Velvety smooth. Nothing smacks you in the face. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • FYI, we consumed that Massolini last night - absolutely wonderful.DM, the ... ... ... to the bus stop at Santa Maria Rezzonico where we got on and rode back.Here's the view from our (small) balcony overlooking Lake Com Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Byron Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    One of the best SMV pinots I've ever had period. Sophisticated and complex with nuanced multi0berry fruits - cherry, blueberry, pomegranate, more - with earthy notes, vanilla and an interestingly twinge of brush and mocha. Bright acidity and juicy minerality lead to lengthy and complete aftertaste - excellent wine - best pinot of the celebration... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Byron Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by khovey


  • Byron Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by khovey


  • Here's the funny thing:  For just a minute, Napa Ridge Cab was made ... made ... It was from the Santa Maria Valley, I think, but I bought it knowing it was a TWG product.  They bought a respectable winery and this was still produced by that winery.  It was pretty darn bad.  I've had Meiomi, and it was weird, but not undrinkable, I thought.  ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine you would not drink...


  • One of the more fascinating facts is that Genova, under their Doge in the 1500s, adopted a new constitution that made them a satellite of Spain!Now, back to the bottle:  The Italian for bottle is fiasco (or bottiglia, now more common). Used to be a restaurant in Maria del Rey with that name, and they explained the whole thing on the menu.  Simil... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Help me out here


  • "As of 2010, Airén was estimated to be the world's 3rd most ... Rouvaillard, Sans Pareil, Santa Maria de Alcantara, Tentillo, Tintella, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcarnero, Tai rosso, Toledana, Uva di Spagna, and Vernatxa. Another question: how many good dessert wines are made with grenache? Certainly Banyuls, but what else? Seems like ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • OT - either of those would be good choices.Al - those wines are not put into barrels as you know barrels. They're kept in ancient oak and several times a year the clear wine is poured off the sediment, as OT says. The old oak and the racking means that those wines always have a slightly oxidized quality to them.As to when they're drinkable, they... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2015


  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by lukejo


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