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

  • Viognier

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Palmina Wines

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

  • JCR Vineyard

    Planted in the spring of 2008 with dormant vines, the five acres of pinot noir and half acre of...

  • Rideau Vineyard

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

  • Andrew Murray Vineyards

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

  • Rusack Vineyards

    Rusack was established in 1995 by Geoff Rusack and Alison Wrigley Rusack with a commitment to cre...

  • Alexander and Wayne

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

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Sea Smoke in the coastal Santa Rita Hills area of Santa Barbara County offers a commanding view of Sanford’s pioneering efforts on the south side of the valley. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...


  • Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Bright, strawberry, smooth easy drinking. I like! Read More

    Wine review by robfohl


  • Andrew Murray Syrah Santa Barbara County Watch Hill Vineyard 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Intense! Read More

    Wine review by jillpickle


  • Andrew Murray Tous les Jours Syrah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fruit forward and nicely balanced but a bit more briary than previous vintages. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • I really need to go to OT's non-wine related project page and post about ... off the mark, as it was from Santa Barbara County.Finally, I ordered four bottles of 2010 Le Paturnie Brunello from WTSO.  It's a sister wine to Vitanza, which has been good (and a good value for Brunello), so I pulled the trigger when it was a mere $25. It arrived ye... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Verdad Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2005

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jillpickle


  • Ojai Stolpman Syrah 2004

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jillpickle


  • The Ojai Vineyard "Clos Pepe Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Very attractive ruby color that allows just a bit of light to pass through. Something of a rustic, barnyard nose. Very pleasant on the tonguesome red fruit (cherry, strawberry, plum)but not terribly up-front. A medium-bodied wine. A light touch of acid that is more discernable in the its medium-length aftertaste than in the mouth. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Seeing you are from Ohio here is a Syrah right in your backyard. Not sure of ... ... Big ripe dark fruit form Santa Barbara County but nice black olive notes and firm tannins on the finish. Wine should be available locally for you or email Loren (Sonkin) loren@sonkincellars.com and ask him where you can buy it. Great guy.Aside from the Persona... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Al, Von's is a brand of Safeway.  Safeway was merged into ... does ... does not carry Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Chardonnay.  I guess I'll have to check Alberson's and Haggen's to see if I owe you.And to let you know where I sit on the car thrift/status thing, I drive a Honda Civic and Peggy drives an Infiniti QX50.  I really like both... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


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