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

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

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

  • Margerum Wine Company

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

  • Shoestring Vineyard & Winery

    Pinot Grigio, Syrah-Rose, Sangiovese, Merlot & Syrah all International medal winners. Buy direct...

  • Kalyra Winery

    An outstanding portfolio of wines from Santa Barbara County, California and Australia. All create...

  • Palmina Wines

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

  • Cult Vines

    Cult Vines’ relentless pursuit of perfection is embodied in our world-class wine. Our passion ...

  • Stolpman Vineyards

    The vineyards at the Stolpman estate enjoy the warm days and cool nights of Ballard Canyon, which...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Growing up in Ventura/Ojai/Santa Barbara then later visiting family there during whatever kind of trip I never wanted to do I-5 if it was avoidable. Flying from Santa Barbara was an option but only in a big rush and when the limited flight schedule there warranted. Driving down to LAX or any of the other LA airports saved only an hour or two com... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • The Ojai Vineyard Roussanne Bien Nacido Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Clear, pale yellow in color. Lots of fruit and flower aromaspear, apple, geranium. On the tongue, the fruit is most apparentthe pear apple thing, but, also tropical fruit like kiwi. I guess it would not exactly be a news flash if I characterized it as light bodied. Very nice acid content makes for freshness. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Jaffurs Syrah Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by boglebogle


  • Jaffurs Syrah Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by boglebogle


  • Jaffurs Syrah Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Noticeable yeast odor on opening the bottle. In the glass, it is not noticeablemore of tart red fruit. Yes, red plum and a suggestion of cherry on the tip of the tongue. Initial impression is sweet. As the wine passes back I get more of the acid tartness that I like. Some sort of a smoky thing on the rear palate. A tingling on the tongue t... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Ojai Vineyard Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Almost a floral nose. That surprises me a bit. Various fruits on entrypeach/nectarine, green apple, melon, kiwi. Some oaky vanilla or butter, but, really, not distracting. Light-bodied. Not an over-the-top California Chardonnay. This one is pretty restrained. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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?


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