Santa Barbara County Wine

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

  • 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...

  • Viognier

    This special and exciting variety has taken California by storm and young plantings already demonstrate that this out...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • 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

  • Alexander and Wayne

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

  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery

    When Fred and Linda Rice and their three children moved in 1989 from Santa Barbara to a peaceful ...

  • Palmina Wines

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

  • Koehler Winery

    Situated on the celebrated Foxen Canyon Wine Trail in the Santa Ynez Valley, Koehler Winery is lo...

  • Margerum Wine Company

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

  • Verdad

    Louisa Sawyer Lindquist is the inspiration behind Verdad. In the late 80’s, while working at a re...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Rusack Syrah Ballard Canyon Estate 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Light red fruit on entryplum, mostly. Savoriness, some earthiness, very moderate tannin and very moderate acid. An enjoyable, easy-to-drink wine. Definitely a drink now wine, not a candidate for taking up cellar space. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Beckman Vineyards Cuvee le Bec 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Wonderful effort here. Bright red fruit, a touch of blackberry add to earthiness, sweet black cherry tannins and good acidity to give this a fresh, lingering finish. Drink now - 89 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Syrah 2010

    Snoothrank:

    This is the 2010 vintage so lets see how it is after several years of aging.....sampling Aug 2017Nice violet hues with rusty red, brown/tawny beginnings and dark red cranberry skin coloration as well.....some particulate is swirling around so decanting is an option but not necessary. The aromas have probably given way to a degree but I am picki... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Quite dark plum color. Berry and violet aromas. Nice level of red berry, plums on the tip of the tongue. Quite deft with tannin and acid components. Clearly, this wine is the result of Adam Tolmachs adopted IPOB philosophy. While this is not a big fruit-forward California wine, make no mistake, it is however, it is a wine for California win... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Looking merely at wine, was wondering how the current hodge-podge of Trump policy initiatives may affect the beverage we like so much. A couple of early guesses:USDA budget cuts will mean California's Wine Institute budget will likely be cut by 1/3 (Wine Industry Insight's figure). Will quite possibly see fewer facts about harvests, and other us... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Current thoughts on our...


  • Melville Estate Verna's Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Rich and filling with blueberry, meaty tones, pepper, sage and medium tannins and bright acidity leads to medium length finish. Well melded now this is readt to drink. 92 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Melville Estate Verna's Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doowaa73


  • Melville Estate Verna's Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doowaa73


  • Stephen, you should start thinking in terms of sourcing from the US directly. I ... directly. I ... Smoke 2008 Santa Barbara County "Ten" Pinot Noir  |  2 in stock  |  $99.99 Sea Smoke 2008 Santa Rita Hills Southing Pinot Noir  |  3 in stock  |  $69.99 Sea Smoke 2009 Santa Barbara County "Ten" Pinot Noir  |  3 in stock  |  $89.99 Sea Smoke 201... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Learning more about US wine


  • The Ojai Vineyard Solomon Hills Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Attractive garnet color in the glass. Light flowery nose. Very subtle entry. Tangy red plum flavor along with violets. Fairly light-bodied. Very enjoyable wine. Nice acid tartness makes this easy to enjoy with or without accompaniment. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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