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

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • 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...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Viognier

    History of the grape: Viognier is thought to be an indigenous grape of Croatia that was brought to the Rhone in Franc...

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...

  • Château Le Bernat

    Château Le Bernat is the enchanting story of a meeting between two wine lovers with a shared pass...

  • Andrew Murray Vineyards

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

  • Kaena

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

  • Saarloos & Sons

    The Labels and Wines you find from SAARLOOS & sons are Extremely low production. Each wine is a ...

  • Kalyra Winery

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

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Blackjack Ranch Double-Down Syrah Santa Barbara County 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Dark fruit with notes of leather and eucalyptus on the nose. Blackberries and blueberries are carried through with heavily jeweled fruit tones. High acid, medium tannin, and a long finish that shows indication of age. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Stolpman Syrah Originals 2012

    Snoothrank:

    92 acres of Syrah. Clones from Cornas and Cote Rotie are now in the vineyard but these original vines are moderately old vines, old for the region, 18-20 years old. Deeply fruited with hints of vanilla stemmy hints, mineral base notes adding complexity to the core of fresh plummy and red tinged fruit. Velvety and dark on the palate with a bit of... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Rusack Syrah Reserve Ballard Canyon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Originally planted in 1970s then replanted in 2002 and 2003. Two different clones. Added three more since then, four different soil types with clones planted on specific soil types,not simply in blocks Sweetly smoky and toasty on the nose with lots of wood spice and plummy fruit. theres a lovely texture in the mouth, bright and lacking the wei... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Harrison Clark Syrah Cuvée Charlotte Ballard Canyon 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Planted in 1999. 12 acres, planted to Syrah, grenache, and Mourvedre. First harvest of mourvedre this year. Northern end of the appellation at an altitude of 1000 feet. Comes from the ridges in the vineyards with shallowest soils and most limestone influence. All spontaneous fermentation. Limestone gives great ripeness, helps hold the acidity, ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Rideau Vineyard Duplantier Blanc 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A great foray into Rhone blends. Butterscotch pudding on a fall evening. This wine is positively unqiue. Mottled lemon and apple tones bring this wine to another level of satisfaction. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Starlane Sauvignon Blanc 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore


  • Stolpman Syrah "Originals" Santa Ynez Valley 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Woody, somewhat fruityberriesnose. Whoapractically, no fruit to speak of on introduction to the palatealmost a neutral sensation. Some tartnessreminiscent of plumon the edges of the tongue, then something of a hit of tannin. Interestingly, most of the flavor of this on is way in the back of the palate. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Buttonwood Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

    Snoothrank:

    A dark maroon color. Big bold cabernet flavor so it's great for steak or lamb, preferably grilled. Blackberry, cinnamon, tobacco and clove/star anise. Read More

    Wine review by zmapman


  • Stateland Cellars Reserve Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Sugary lemon drop on the nose. A Reddi-Whip can to the palate, this Chardonnay is masquerading as an unctuously delicious Viognier from the Condrieu. Peas and carrots combine with dark wheat to produce the banana split of California Chardonnay -- with a cherry on top. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Stateland Cellars Santa Maria Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

    Snoothrank:

    Cherry cola kick with a kind, clean acidity. Baked currant tart and a vague essence of funk on the finish. A wine fit for a Pinot lover, for certain. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


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