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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Chardonnay

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

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...

  • Kalyra Winery

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

  • JCR Vineyard

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

  • Firestone Vineyard

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

  • 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, ...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Ojai Vineyard Kick On Ranch Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Something of an herbal nose with hints of stone fruit. On the tongue it is immediately and not terribly big wine. There are fruit flavorssome strawberry, some cherry. The upper palate gets the fruit sweetness part. A pleasant wine. I question its age-worthiness, but, right now, it is perfect to accompany a casual meal. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Andrew Murray Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Another vintage, another really nice wine. Fruit on the front with a touch of spice and some smooth tannins on the finish. Great value syrah. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Santa Barbara Landing Santa Barbara County Riesling 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Surprisingly good for the money with a beautiful nose of honeysuckle, rose petal and peach. Not quite acid balanced but has fairly rich fruit. Probably 1% RS. A great value. My rating 88. Read More

    Wine review by Zuiko


  • Santa Barbara Landing Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This wine has minimal fruit and is simple and is priced that way too. Their Riesling is much better. My rating 82. Read More

    Wine review by Zuiko


  • Kynsi Pinot Blanc Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Kynsi Winery Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Melville Chardonnay Estate Sta. Rita Hills 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Melon, caramel nose suggests heavy oaking and full ML. On the tongue, I initially get the melon and caramel thing, but, then, a delightfully refreshing hit of lemon/grapefruit acid. Lingering pleasant aftertaste. While I feared this would be an overblown California Chardonnay, I find that this one is more like a white Burgundy. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Ojai Vineyard Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Something of an herbal nose, but, then, some cherry fruit hints. Serious cherry flavor on entry to the palate. Once I get over that, its a pretty good wine. A medium-bodied winealmost insignificant tannin or acid--that would be nice with a grilled game hen or a pork chop. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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


  • 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


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