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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Andrew Murray Vineyards

    "Handcrafted wines, from hillside vines, planted exclusively to Rhone varieties..." Andrew Mur...

  • Westerly Vineyards

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

  • Firestone Vineyard

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

  • Vogelzang Vineyards

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

  • Palmina Wines

    Palmina is more than a winery and enoteca. It is a philosophy and it is a passion. It is a str...

  • Kaena

    Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii I grew up under the loving care of my “Tutu” Lucille Hollinge...

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Belle Glos Meiomi Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    One of the best California's Pinot Noir's. Made by Joseph Wagner a Napa legend. This wine is smooth, velvety and full of fruit. Only a hint of spice. Just how I like it. Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105


  • The Ojai Vineyard Puerta del Mar Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of light showing through the red hue in the glass. Red berry on the nosealong with some orange blossoms and clove (?). Again, red berry fruit on the tip of the tongue. A suggestion of the clove or, maybe, cinnamon pops up mid-palate. A very light-bodied red wine. The saving grace for me is the nice acid. That moves it over to the I li... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Buttonwood Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Santa Ynez Valley 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Earthy notes of black currant and blackberry with notes of leather and toasted resin on the nose. Full and rich in the mouth, with delicate notes of ripe plum and dried fig, red licorice and creamy vanilla. The palate is warmly spiced with tingling acidity and delicate chocolate notes finishing with a touch of leather. This is a wonderfully comp... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Lafond Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills Lafond Vineyard Clone 667 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Smoky and red fruited on the nose with full cherry notes that have a hint of sweetness to them but do carry a toasted and lightly burnt note. Full on the palate with creamy red raspberry preserves and black cherry with some light leathery notes and a freshness to it. Tart with cranberry notes to the finish but in a nice way. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Andrew Murray Tous les Jours Syrah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1


  • Had a great first full day here in south central California. Started off with a ... The other syrah was a 2014 Santa Barbara County blend of two vineyard sites. Again, this was also a fairly big red just slightly more refined (toned down) than the Zotovich but equally well made. I had to have a bottle of that Zotovich, it's going in the way bac... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Lompoc Wine Company Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Berry notes, smooth finish and great balance. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity


  • Meiomi Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    http://2015.top100.winespectator.com/lists/ Read More

    Wine review by alm mtw


  • Thanks for the mention Outthere! Greatly appreciated.Grenache in the US is ... ... ... into cooler area.In the Santa Barbara County area, for instance, there are wonderful Grenaches coming out of the Los Alamos area with vineyards such as Watch Hill and Thompson, out of the Ballard Canyon area (Larner, Stolpman, Tierra Alta among others), and... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...


  • Mer Soleil Chardonnay Reserve Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Weebus


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