Santa Barbara County Wine

The Santa Barbara County AVA lies within the Central Coast territory of California. Like much of the state’s wine regions, grape planting began with the Catholic missionaries to make wine for ceremonial mass. Though Santa Barbara can boast some of the earliest plantings, beginning in the 1780s with Father Junipero Serra bringing Mission grape cuttings from Mexico and planting them in what is now the Milpas Creek district. From there, mission vineyards spread to San Jose, Santa Cruz, Carpinteria and Goleta  (an adobe winery built there in 1804 has the distinction of being the area’s oldest landmark).

 
But also like most of California’s wine regions, production in Santa Barbara was hurt by the late 1800s Phylloxera crisis and further brought down by the Prohibition between 1921 to 1933. It wasn’t until the 1960s that a U.C. Davis study identified Santa Barbara County as a favorable wine-growing region due to its combination of soil types, geology, water and coastal Read more »

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Popular wines made in Santa Barbara County under $20

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Varietals Produced in Santa Barbara County View all

  • Syrah

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • 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...

  • Viognier

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

Subregions of Santa Barbara County

  • Santa Maria Valley

    The Santa Maria Valley AVA is located in the north of Santa Barbara County in California’s Cent...

  • Santa Ynez Valley

    The Santa Ynez Valley AVA is a large subregion of Santa Barbara County within California’s Cent...

Popular Wineries in Santa Barbara County View all

  • Daniel Gehrs Wines

    In Spring 2000, our winery's new tasting room and gift shop opened in Heather Cottage, a landmark...

  • Beckmen Vineyards

    Founded in 1994 by Tom and Steve Beckmen, Beckmen Vineyards is a family-run, estate winery loc...

  • Vogelzang Vineyards

    The unique area called Happy Canyon by locals as well as wine lovers has matured and developed a ...

  • Gainey Vineyard

    This year the Gainey family celebrates their 47th year of farming and ranching in Santa Barbara C...

  • Westerly Vineyards

    The diversity of Santa Barbara County is reflected within the range of Westerly Wines. Our pur...

  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery

    When Fred and Linda Rice and their three children moved in 1989 from Santa Barbara to a peaceful ...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Perhaps earlier cheap-and-good PN posts from that other thread can be migrated ... easy to drink.Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County          Ponzi Tavola&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good pinot noir in the $30...


  • Ken Brown Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Santa Rita Hills 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by timad2000


  • Arcadian Stolpman Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anstett


  • Rusack Syrah Ballard Canyon Estate 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Light red fruit on entryplum, mostly. Savoriness, some earthiness, very moderate tannin and very moderate acid. An enjoyable, easy-to-drink wine. Definitely a drink now wine, not a candidate for taking up cellar space. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Beckman Vineyards Cuvee le Bec 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Wonderful effort here. Bright red fruit, a touch of blackberry add to earthiness, sweet black cherry tannins and good acidity to give this a fresh, lingering finish. Drink now - 89 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Beckman Vineyards Cuvee le Bec 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by effell


  • Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Syrah 2010

    Snoothrank:

    This is the 2010 vintage so lets see how it is after several years of aging.....sampling Aug 2017Nice violet hues with rusty red, brown/tawny beginnings and dark red cranberry skin coloration as well.....some particulate is swirling around so decanting is an option but not necessary. The aromas have probably given way to a degree but I am picki... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • 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


  • Looking merely at wine, was wondering how the current hodge-podge of Trump policy initiatives may affect the beverage we like so much. A couple of early guesses:USDA budget cuts will mean California's Wine Institute budget will likely be cut by 1/3 (Wine Industry Insight's figure). Will quite possibly see fewer facts about harvests, and other us... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Current thoughts on our...


  • Melville Estate Verna's Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Rich and filling with blueberry, meaty tones, pepper, sage and medium tannins and bright acidity leads to medium length finish. Well melded now this is readt to drink. 92 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


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