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...

  • 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...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Viognier

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

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

  • Zaca Mesa Winery

    Zaca Mesa Winery, located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California, is dedica...

  • Kalyra Winery

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

  • Stolpman Vineyards

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

  • Koehler Winery

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

  • Harrison Clarke Winery

    The great Syrah areas are still being discovered, the future for great Syrah is in the Santa Ynez...

  • Château Le Bernat

    Château Le Bernat is the enchanting story of a meeting between two wine lovers with a shared pass...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • Testarossa Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Consistently magnificent with an exquisite balance. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Santa Barbara County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by khardman00


  • Kaena Grenache Santa Ynez Valley Tierra Alta Vineyard 2010

    Snoothrank:

    This is a really good grenache from Kaena. Dark berries, a hint of licorice, slightly minty, medium tannins and a real nice finish. This has a medium body that balances out nicely with the medium alcohol, overall extemely enjoyable! Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Lucas & Lewellen Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jadam318


  • Beckmen Cuvee le Bec Santa Ynez Valley Red 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Bluish purple in the glass. Fairly floral nose--lilacs--with also some sort of caramel or molasses scent. Lots of flavors on the palate--slight sweet cherry on the tip of the tongue, cinnamon on the edges, anise at the back. Good acid. An unfortunate bitterness and some heat on the very back of the throat. US$16.99 at Total Wines. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara Usa 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by REHalFR


  • Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Hillside Estate 2003

    Snoothrank:

    Something of a geranium floral nose with a lemony hint. Initial mouth sensation is tart, then drying tannin. I think this wine is quite broad shouldered with very little fruity flavor--maybe something like blueberry. This is my kind of wine. US$33.99 at the Wine Club in Santa Ana in 2007. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Epiphany Vineyards, http://www.epiphanycellars.com/ in Los Olivos, its at the end of the street.  Amazing stuff for such a small vineyard.  Also a huge fan of Dragonnette Cellars, http://dragonettecellars.com/.  Most of their stuff needs to be aged but great for tasting and the staff is very knowledgable.  If you are in the mood for fun and its ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Barbara County...


  • 5 yrs ago, bought an '06 Santa Barbara County Syrah (actually 6 of them) from a winemaker named CLEB wines. It was "Evelyn Noir Syrah" from Black Oak Vineyard.  I think I paid $17. After trying 3 of them over the first 3 yrs, I gave up and just figured it to be a bad choice, a mouthfull of tanins shrouded in alcohol. They were moved to the botto... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Barbara County...


  • I had a Pinot Noir, last night, that I have to admit was pretty darned ... ... darned good--Ken Brown 2009 Santa Barbara County.  Since my PN cred is, pretty much, non-existent, others may or may not agree with me on this one, but I liked it.  It had the cherry and slightly woody flavor that I seem to get a lot in Pinot Noir, but it also had s... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


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