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

    This special and exciting variety has taken California by storm and young plantings already demonstrate that this out...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Whitcraft Winery

    A long-standing member of the Santa Barbara winemaking community, Chris Whitcraft is obsessed wit...

  • 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...

  • Lane Tanner

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

  • Foxen Vineyard

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

  • Byron Vineyard & Winery

    In the 1980s Santa Barbara gathered fame as a cluster of serious vintners started producing Pinot...

People getting updates on Santa Maria Wines

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Santa Maria on Snooth

  • Bedrock Wine Co. Bien Nacido Vineyard X-Block Syrah 2017

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice wine. Light stone fruit on the tongue. Interesting spiciness--cinnamon--at mid-palate. Some very noticeable tannin. Not the biggest wine, but it is fairly full-bodied. Moderate finish. I have another bottle that I will ignore for some years. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Foxen Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Translucent ruby red. Leathery nose. Medium light bodied. Dried cherries with a touch of effervescence with a soft drying finish. This is great wine. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Interesting wine. For those who complain about new world wines being hyper-fruit forward, take a look at this one. It has only the slightest suggestion of fruit. What is there suggests blackberry or plum, but it only suggests. Nothing, at all, suggests sweetness. Some savoriness, mid-palate. Some pepperiness. No tannin to speak of. There ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Flying Goat Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Murky, almost prune color in the glass. Tangy nose of stone fruit. Initial taste is of slightly over ripe stone fruit or, maybe, over ripe table grapes. Fairly full-bodied. Seems hot. Has a definite acidic spritz. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Hillside Estate 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Murky plum color in the glass. Similar "murky" nose--it smells old, not funky, old. E x t r e m l y mild fruit on entry. Dried fruit, but not sweet, at all. Some salinity. Some tartness. Tannins are completely resolved. An unusual, but completely enjoyable wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very easy wine to enjoy. Light hit of blackberry and black plum on the tip of the tongue. As the wine passes back I get some salinitity and earthiness. Very sedate tannins and acids. Not terribly full-bodied, but this wine will not be out of place with a beef entree that was not heavily sauced. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • "Walla Walla is amazing.  But it is about a 5 hour drive from ... so ... so the Santa Barbara/Ojai/Santa Maria areas. Home bases by someone(s) in the group are good anchors to rely on--if that's intelligible. Read More

    Forum post in the topic The Face to Face Club - a... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Quite dark plum color. Berry and violet aromas. Nice level of red berry, plums on the tip of the tongue. Quite deft with tannin and acid components. Clearly, this wine is the result of Adam Tolmachs adopted IPOB philosophy. While this is not a big fruit-forward California wine, make no mistake, it is however, it is a wine for California win... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Cambria Chardonnay Bench Break 2014

    Snoothrank:

    grassy, herby, yet light Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • The Ojai Vineyard Solomon Hills Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Attractive garnet color in the glass. Light flowery nose. Very subtle entry. Tangy red plum flavor along with violets. Fairly light-bodied. Very enjoyable wine. Nice acid tartness makes this easy to enjoy with or without accompaniment. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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