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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

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...

  • Sierra Madre Vineyard

    Thank you for visiting Sierra Madre Vineyard’s website. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to rea...

  • Rancho Sisquoc Winery

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

  • Flying Goat Cellars

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

  • Cambria Winery

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

  • Caparone Winery

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

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Santa Maria on Snooth

  • The Ojai Vineyard Roussanne Bien Nacido Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Clear, pale yellow in color. Lots of fruit and flower aromaspear, apple, geranium. On the tongue, the fruit is most apparentthe pear apple thing, but, also tropical fruit like kiwi. I guess it would not exactly be a news flash if I characterized it as light bodied. Very nice acid content makes for freshness. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Went into town (Charlotte NC) to take in a tasting of 3 different high end CA ... ... Nacido Vineyards Syrah, Santa Maria 2012 All three were excellent (except for the 1st bottle of the Bien Nacido which had something odd going on, the 2nd bottle was more in line with what was expected). Must say that I found the Lagier-Meredith more to my li... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • The Ojai Vineyard Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Almost a floral nose. That surprises me a bit. Various fruits on entrypeach/nectarine, green apple, melon, kiwi. Some oaky vanilla or butter, but, really, not distracting. Light-bodied. Not an over-the-top California Chardonnay. This one is pretty restrained. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Herman Story 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • 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...


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