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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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

  • Rideau Vineyard

    We invite you to visit our charming Tasting Room and Winery for the most incredible wine tasting ...

  • Firestone Vineyard

    Founded in 1972 by father and son, Leonard and Brooks Firestone, Firestone Vineyard has enjoyed 3...

  • Alexander and Wayne

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

  • JCR Vineyard

    Planted in the spring of 2008 with dormant vines, the five acres of pinot noir and half acre o...

  • Gainey Vineyard

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

  • Château Le Bernat

    Château Le Bernat is the enchanting story of a meeting between two wine lovers with a shared pass...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • 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?


  • Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills Ten 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Beginning to show age in 2014. Tobacco, leather, musty raisins on nose and palate. Needed about thirty minutes to fully open. Deep cherry austerity. A regal wine, for certain. Read More

    Wine review by cma238


  • Qupe Marsanne Santa Yenz Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1


  • SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: our origins and future in a single glance I am going to create a winery in Los Angeles, on the banks of the Los Angeles river, on the edge of what was once the greatest grape growing region in the whole country. I aim to have this winery up and running by harvest 2015. I have made great progress already and will devote much ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic LA wines, SD vines, London...


  • Zaca Mesa Winery Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Somewhat murky prune color. On the palate, an immediate hit of ripe stone fruitsplum, peach. Sprightly sensation on the tonguelike an astringency or effervescence. Also, a tartness that seems to hit the front of the tongue. Normally, I seem to get that at the back. Some minerally sensations at the back of the palate. A very lengthy, cherr... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Aridus Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Hands down, my favorite Chardonnay! Rich, complex buttery flavor with unapologetic French oak and vanilla! Read More

    Wine review by ariduswineco


  • Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Nice and crisp with lemon pith, green apple, and good acidity. There's some smoothness that adds a bit of complexity. Not much butter or oak which is what I've been liking in my chards recently. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Broc Cellars Cassia Grenache Santa Barbara 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Smoky on the nose with red raspberry and strawberry fruit showing plenty of garrigue spice with a hint of licorice and poppy seeds spice. Elegant, bright, and quite supple on the palate this shows good clarity in the mouth in a slightly rounded style with flavors of strawberries and spice. Gentle and easy going through the modest finish where ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Broc Cellars Martian Mourvedre 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Bio farmed Big and fruity on the nose with a big core of wild black cherry fruit accented with hints of flowers, charred beef, leather, candy red licorice, and a hint of macerated herbs. Medium light bodied on the gorgeous wild cherry and wild raspberry fruit on the palate shows gentle complexity with hint of tar and herbs. This shows gorgeous ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Y'know, this one may be the reasons that a lot of people don't care for Central Coast Syrahs. In the initial tastes, it has a lot of "viney" flavor that is going to turn off a lot of people. Then you get a sour taste--and not the nice acid tartness that I like to get--a "this is just too old" sourness. After a few minutes (of air or me adapti... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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