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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Syrah

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

  • 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

  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Zaca Mesa Winery

    Zaca Mesa Winery, located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California, is dedica...

  • Shoestring Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Santa Barbara Winery

    Santa Barbara had the good fortune of being the site of one of the numerous California Missio...

  • Star Lane Vineyard

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

  • 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

  • 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


  • 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


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