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

  • 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...

  • Viognier

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

  • 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

  • Verdad

    Louisa Sawyer Lindquist is the inspiration behind Verdad. In the late 80’s, while working at a re...

  • Beckmen Vineyards

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

  • Saarloos & Sons

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

  • Gainey Vineyard

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

  • Shoestring Vineyard & Winery

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

  • 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

  • Stateland Cellars Reserve Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Sugary lemon drop on the nose. A Reddi-Whip can to the palate, this Chardonnay is masquerading as an unctuously delicious Viognier from the Condrieu. Peas and carrots combine with dark wheat to produce the banana split of California Chardonnay -- with a cherry on top. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Stateland Cellars Santa Maria Valley Reserve Pinot Noir

    Snoothrank:

    Cherry cola kick with a kind, clean acidity. Baked currant tart and a vague essence of funk on the finish. A wine fit for a Pinot lover, for certain. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Buttonwood Farm Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Love at first sniff. I'm on the farm, in the dirt, sunny day with black olive rain. A great example of what a few years can do to soften tannins. But make no mistake -- these tannins are not limp nor weak: They SING across the palate. Fresh tobacco, sweet spice, and plum dance on the tongue. All the best of Santa Ynez. Read More

    Wine review by Claudia Angelillo


  • Testarossa Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Elder Series Bien Nacido Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Testarossa Winery's final vintage of the Bien Nacido Vineyard wines. Severing a ... a ... vintages from this Santa Barbara county designate. Smooth, flavorful, and long lasting finish. Hopefully, they'll meet again Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Foxen Cabernet Franc Santa Maria Valley Tinaquaic 2005

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by thefallsman


  • It's getting quite warm here in SoCal Much fruitier--not sweet--than ... used in this wine are all in Santa Barbara County, but they have "California" on the label.I was at Costco, today, and, so, we're having Salmon tonight.  They had Copper River Sockeye for $9.99 a pound and King for $10.99.  To me, the King looked better.  So, that's what ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills Ten 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Beginning to show age in 2014. Tobacco, leather, musty raisins on nose and palate. Needed about thirty minutes to fully open. Deep cherry austerity. A regal wine, for certain. Read More

    Wine review by cma238


  • Qupe Marsanne Santa Yenz Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1


  • SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: our origins and future in a single glance I am going to create a winery in Los Angeles, on the banks of the Los Angeles river, on the edge of what was once the greatest grape growing region in the whole country. I aim to have this winery up and running by harvest 2015. I have made great progress already and will devote much ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic LA wines, SD vines, London...


  • Zaca Mesa Winery Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Somewhat murky prune color. On the palate, an immediate hit of ripe stone fruitsplum, peach. Sprightly sensation on the tonguelike an astringency or effervescence. Also, a tartness that seems to hit the front of the tongue. Normally, I seem to get that at the back. Some minerally sensations at the back of the palate. A very lengthy, cherr... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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