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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • The Brander Vineyard

    Welcome to the Brander Vineyard - one of the original vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley and the prod...

  • Westerly Vineyards

    The diversity of Santa Barbara County is reflected within the range of Westerly Wines. Our pur...

  • Palmina Wines

    Palmina is more than a winery and enoteca. It is a philosophy and it is a passion. It is a str...

  • Santa Barbara Winery

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

  • Margerum Wine Company

    We are a small producer of Syrah, a Rhone style blend called M5, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, ...

  • Firestone Vineyard

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

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Special Bottling John Sebastiano Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by ALICEPEARL


  • Ken Brown Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Vin Gris 2005

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by EatMei


  • I'm finally getting around to this.  Last week we spent a few days in the Central Coast.  I wanted to do a little wine tasting, and we headed over to Edna Valley.  For some reason Edna Valley seems to be the least appreciated AVA in the Central Coast region. I really don't get it.  There are several wineries there that offer terrific products at... Read More

    Forum post in the topic A 3-Hour Edna Valley Tour


  • Belle Glos Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Clark & Telephone Vineyard 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gman30341


  • Tantara Syrah Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by XZYMURGIST


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