Santa Barbara County Wine

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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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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

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

  • 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...

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

  • The Brander Vineyard

    Welcome to the Brander Vineyard - one of the original vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley and the prod...

  • Margerum Wine Company

    We are a small producer of Syrah, a Rhone style blend called M5, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, ...

  • Daniel Gehrs Wines

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

  • Star Lane Vineyard

    Jim Dierberg, When he has a passion for something, he acts quickly and decisively. Just ask his w...

  • Harrison Clarke Winery

    The great Syrah areas are still being discovered, the future for great Syrah is in the Santa Ynez...

  • Alexander and Wayne

    Alexander and Wayne is the continuation of one of the oldest wineries in Santa Barbara County, or...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Rideau Vineyard Duplantier Blanc 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A great foray into Rhone blends. Butterscotch pudding on a fall evening. This wine is positively unqiue. Mottled lemon and apple tones bring this wine to another level of satisfaction. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Starlane Sauvignon Blanc 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore


  • Stolpman Syrah "Originals" Santa Ynez Valley 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Woody, somewhat fruityberriesnose. Whoapractically, no fruit to speak of on introduction to the palatealmost a neutral sensation. Some tartnessreminiscent of plumon the edges of the tongue, then something of a hit of tannin. Interestingly, most of the flavor of this on is way in the back of the palate. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Buttonwood Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

    Snoothrank:

    A dark maroon color. Big bold cabernet flavor so it's great for steak or lamb, preferably grilled. Blackberry, cinnamon, tobacco and clove/star anise. Read More

    Wine review by zmapman


  • Stateland Cellars Reserve Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Sugary lemon drop on the nose. A Reddi-Whip can to the palate, this Chardonnay is masquerading as an unctuously delicious Viognier from the Condrieu. Peas and carrots combine with dark wheat to produce the banana split of California Chardonnay -- with a cherry on top. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Stateland Cellars Santa Maria Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

    Snoothrank:

    Cherry cola kick with a kind, clean acidity. Baked currant tart and a vague essence of funk on the finish. A wine fit for a Pinot lover, for certain. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Buttonwood Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Love at first sniff. I'm on the farm, in the dirt, sunny day with black olive rain. A great example of what a few years can do to soften tannins. But make no mistake -- these tannins are not limp nor weak: They SING across the palate. Fresh tobacco, sweet spice, and plum dance on the tongue. All the best of Santa Ynez. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Testarossa Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Elder Series Bien Nacido Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Testarossa Winery's final vintage of the Bien Nacido Vineyard wines. Severing a ... a ... vintages from this Santa Barbara county designate. Smooth, flavorful, and long lasting finish. Hopefully, they'll meet again Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Foxen Cabernet Franc Santa Maria Valley Tinaquaic 2005

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by thefallsman


  • It's getting quite warm here in SoCal Much fruitier--not sweet--than ... used in this wine are all in Santa Barbara County, but they have "California" on the label.I was at Costco, today, and, so, we're having Salmon tonight.  They had Copper River Sockeye for $9.99 a pound and King for $10.99.  To me, the King looked better.  So, that's what ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


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