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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Beckmen Vineyards

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

  • Alexander and Wayne

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

  • Margerum Wine Company

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

  • Vogelzang Vineyards

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

  • Firestone Vineyard

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

  • Rusack Vineyards

    Rusack was established in 1995 by Geoff Rusack and Alison Wrigley Rusack with a commitment to cre...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • 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


  • Standing Sun Wild Mouse Rhone Blend Santa Barbara County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Stubs66


  • Ok, I'm sitting in on the VT.  No $100 Santa Barbara County Syrah for me. No arty label.No autographs.And no personalized delivery by the owner.This is the third of these that I have opened, and it keeps getting better.  Some flowers on the nose—orange blossom.  That’s a first for this wine.  Gentle hit of red fruit on introduction—hints of red ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • I was pleased to see the e-mail in my in-box, this morning, announcig a Wine ... ... spendy to me for "Santa Barbara County" wine.  Unless, of course, we are talking about "OT Certified" or "Richard Foxall Certified" wines.  It that is the case, I may have to rethink my priorities.I noticed that the "QTY" boxes on the order forms for each of ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Art Music Virtual Tasting


  • 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


  • Andrew Murray Esperance Curtis Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    My last vintage was the 2010 and I liked it very much, this - better. I like fuller bodied wines and this fit the bill nicely. Plenty of blueberry, violets, pepper on the nose, leading to notes of vanilla, earth and spice on the palate. Medium chewy tannins and balanced acidity give nice lingering aftertaste. Well done - drink now - Paul 89 ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • The Ojai Vineyard John Sebastiano Vineyard Grenache 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very pretty plum color. Perfumey noseviolets, geraniums. A fairly light-bodied red wine. Sweetish berry hit on entrystrawberry. Mitigating earthiness and acid mid-palate. The acid makes this a very refreshing wine. While it is enjoyable to drink, the lack of complexity prevents me from suggesting that others seek it out. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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