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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Beckmen Vineyards

    Founded in 1994 by Tom and Steve Beckmen, Beckmen Vineyards is a family-run, estate winery loc...

  • Koehler Winery

    Situated on the celebrated Foxen Canyon Wine Trail in the Santa Ynez Valley, Koehler Winery is lo...

  • Stolpman Vineyards

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

  • Santa Barbara Winery

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

  • Saarloos & Sons

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

  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery

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

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • 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) 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

  • Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2013


    Quite pale yellow color. Very light on the nosesome fruit flavors of melon, peach. On the tongue a the fruitiness of a tart peach jumps out. Perhaps some earthiness. Very light touch on the oakno buttery vanilla in this one--makes me wonder if it even was oaked. Very light in body. That and refreshing tartness makes this one a very good sum... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc Santa Barbara County 2013


    Nice crisp taste with a smooth finish. Citrus and honey... Read More

    Wine review by jdavis3379

  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Special Bottling John Sebastiano Vineyard 2011


    Quite dark purple. Noticeable vininess in the nose. Under the palate, I get a hit of that vininess along with a light hit of red fruitcherry, plumbut neither are overwhelming. Towards mid- to back palate Im getting a kind of light herbalnessmint(?). Good acid makes this a sturdy wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Lido Bay's Seven Seas Chardonnay 2011


    2011 vintage. Interesting Santa Barbara chard from Lido Bay Winery. This pours out a rich gold color and has lots of apricot and honey on the nose. On the palate there's more grilled apricot, honey, a touch of oak, and a bit of lemon zest on the back end. This has a bit of thickness in the mouth with medium acidity and a medium finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Santa Barbara Winery Pinot Noir 2013


    Bright cherry aromas with pleasant minerality and some salinity on the nose showing some chalkiness and vanilla notes as well and cinnamon spice rounding the edges. Full and rich in the mouth, with cool strawberry and cherry fruit mingling with streaks of cocoa and raspberry jam and pockets of acidity finding their way through and lifting the pa... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Toretti 2011


    Oh... Santa Barbara County Pinot Noirs... I am a big fan of the French wines, I made it to Napa... and yet... I have a soft spot in my heart (and mouth) for the beauty of the many flavors of their Pinot Noirs. Mr. Toretti knows what he is doing too: silky, yet firm, and sophisticated, this wine will go well with almost any foods (not sure about ... Read More

    Wine review by AlineAlmeida

  • Thornhill Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2013


    A Tasting Room Quarterly Selection; Opens with Grapefruit and Lemon Butter, more butter and minerality, and then vanilla and baking spice. Nice full and rounded mouthful with balanced acidity and slightly heavy body. Opens up further in the glass with a meaty and oaky finish. Had alone, but think it would be superb with food. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • Bernat Estate Syrah "Gratitude" 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by ALICEPEARL

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