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

  • Rideau Vineyard

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

  • Westerly Vineyards

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

  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Star Lane Vineyard

    Jim Dierberg, When he has a passion for something, he acts quickly and decisively. Just ask his w...

  • Margerum Wine Company

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

  • Koehler Winery

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

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Andrew Murray "Tous les Jours" Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    That does Rhone style reds at this price is good...that they are at a consistently high level is even better. this is big and bold, blueberries, sweetish dark cherry tannins, some cigar box, violets - yumm. 91 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Andrew Murray "Tous les Jours" Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jose pendas


  • Sea Glass Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Not a bad entry level pinot and well worth $10. It has a dark cherry profile that adds richness with an earthiness and touch of spice. Good daily drinker. 86 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • I know the SEA GLASS Wines (Santa Barbara County).....good value indeed!Thanks for posting, RCKR 1951! Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Syrah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mmelko


  • Haven't hit all the single vineyards in quite awhile but their broader ... ... ... broader bottlings (e.g. Santa Barbara County) have been insipid and disjointed and lacking any depth or balance for awhile now--to where I have stopped buying them. They were interesting back in the '90s. My (relatively, since stopped acquiring as mentioned) re... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • The CFO is out of town so I had to do something with my time, what better way ... ... Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County2014 Douloufakis Liatiko Dafnes2013 Feudi del Pisciotto Frappato Carolina Marengo2008 I Pentri Kerres Beneventano IGT2014 Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana IGT2012 Quinta dos Roques Encruzado2013 End of the Vine Pinot Noi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • The Ojai Vineyard Fe Ciega Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    PnPed. Almost a prune color in the glass. Very funky nose which I would presume to be Sulphur and which I would further assume would blow off if I was more patient. Very pleasant introduction of strawberry and cherry. The next thing I notice is that this wine is slightly more tart than so many others. I am very OK with that, but some may ob... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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


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