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

  • Kaena

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

  • Firestone Vineyard

    Founded in 1972 by father and son, Leonard and Brooks Firestone, Firestone Vineyard has enjoyed 3...

  • Gainey Vineyard

    This year the Gainey family celebrates their 47th year of farming and ranching in Santa Barbara C...

  • Stolpman Vineyards

    The vineyards at the Stolpman estate enjoy the warm days and cool nights of Ballard Canyon, which...

  • JCR Vineyard

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

  • 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

  • Melville Syrah Estate Verna's Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    More purple than red color. Something of a musty, fungal nose. On the tongue this wine seems viscous. Red berry fruit and blueberryOK, not red--on entry. It is close to being annoyingly sweet, but, somehow, it backs away. Earthy mid-palate. Another pretty-easy-to-drink-but-not-terribly-sophisticated wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Qupe Marsanne 2008

    Snoothrank:

    This is just an excellent bottle of Santa Ynez Marsanne/Roussanne from Qupe. The nose is very distinctive, floral and reminiscent of freshly peeled clementine. For an '08 white, this is still very much alive and vibrant. Layers of orange zest, orange marmalade, apricot, ripe peach and a touch of salinity mix with medium plus acidity. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Carr Vineyards & Winery Sangiovese 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Bright and savory sangio from Carr Vineyards out of Santa Ynez. Ripe black cherry on the nose. Fresh ripe blackberry, black cherry and a touch of leather in the mouth. The tannins are still young a bit tight and grippy but not off putting. This has medium acidity and a medium long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • I guess that since you are the originator of this thread, you get to make up ... ... wine were sourced from Santa Barbara County.  Paso Robles is located in San Luis Obispo Count Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Nyx Santa Barbara County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Another Tasting Room quarterly selection. Very similar to the Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Very dark opaque purple plum in the glass. Opens with Fig and Red Plum; a bit of Vanilla and Black Tea; then Red Cherry, Tobacco and Smoke.These carry over to the palate with a bit of a kick in the mouth with medium Tannins and Acidity. Ope... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room quarterly selection. Pale translucent ruby red in the glass. Opens with nearly ripe Strawberry and Cherry; then Red Plum and Fig; then Baking Spices and Slate. Most of these carry over to the palate with more minerality, leather, and herbs as it opens more. Medium mouth feel, with a medium finish. A bit of alcohol, but smooths out... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Belle Glos Meiomi Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    One of the best California's Pinot Noir's. Made by Joseph Wagner a Napa legend. This wine is smooth, velvety and full of fruit. Only a hint of spice. Just how I like it. Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105


  • The Ojai Vineyard Puerta del Mar Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of light showing through the red hue in the glass. Red berry on the nosealong with some orange blossoms and clove (?). Again, red berry fruit on the tip of the tongue. A suggestion of the clove or, maybe, cinnamon pops up mid-palate. A very light-bodied red wine. The saving grace for me is the nice acid. That moves it over to the I li... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Buttonwood Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Santa Ynez Valley 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Earthy notes of black currant and blackberry with notes of leather and toasted resin on the nose. Full and rich in the mouth, with delicate notes of ripe plum and dried fig, red licorice and creamy vanilla. The palate is warmly spiced with tingling acidity and delicate chocolate notes finishing with a touch of leather. This is a wonderfully comp... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Lafond Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills Lafond Vineyard Clone 667 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Smoky and red fruited on the nose with full cherry notes that have a hint of sweetness to them but do carry a toasted and lightly burnt note. Full on the palate with creamy red raspberry preserves and black cherry with some light leathery notes and a freshness to it. Tart with cranberry notes to the finish but in a nice way. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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