Santa Ynez Valley Wine

The Santa Ynez Valley AVA is a large subregion of Santa Barbara County within California’s Central Coast. The narrow east-west valley has restrained access to the Pacific Ocean, which means limited fog and rainfall, but warm days. Because of varying elevations (higher in the east), there are several microclimates within the Santa Ynez Valley, allowing a spectrum of wine styles from cool climate Riesling and Pinot Noir to powerful Cabernet, Syrah and Merlot. During some vintages, conditions are ideal for Botrytis (“noble rot’) late harvest dessert wines.

As with many locations within California, grapes were originally planted in the region in the 1800s by missionaries at Mission Santa Ines for ceremonial wines, with other more serious wine endeavors developing through the century. Since Phylloxera and the Prohibition all but wiped out the local wine industry, much of the region’s vineyards laid waste until the 1960s when vintners rediscovered the area due to its climate and terroir Read more »

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Popular wines made in Santa Ynez Valley under $20

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Varietals Produced in Santa Ynez Valley View all

  • 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...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Viognier

    This special and exciting variety has taken California by storm and young plantings already demonstrate that this out...

  • Chardonnay

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

Popular Wineries in Santa Ynez Valley View all

  • Kaena

    Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii I grew up under the loving care of my “Tutu” Lucille Hollinge...

  • Margerum Wine Company

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

  • Star Lane Vineyard

    Jim Dierberg, When he has a passion for something, he acts quickly and decisively. Just ask his w...

  • Vogelzang Vineyards

    The unique area called Happy Canyon by locals as well as wine lovers has matured and developed a ...

  • Daniel Gehrs Wines

    In Spring 2000, our winery's new tasting room and gift shop opened in Heather Cottage, a landmark...

  • Stolpman Vineyards

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

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Santa Ynez Valley on Snooth

  • Andrew Murray "Tous les Jours" Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    That does Rhone style reds at this price is good...that they are at a consistently high level is even better. this is big and bold, blueberries, sweetish dark cherry tannins, some cigar box, violets - yumm. 91 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Andrew Murray "Tous les Jours" Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jose pendas


  • Was able to latch onto a couple of these a few years back and just finished my ... ... game.It's out of the Santa Ynez Valley - it's a bold wine, like I like, but it's well balanced with blueberries, pepper, damp earth and cigar box.  The tannins have rounded out to a slightly sweetish black cherry and good acidity makes it juicy and length Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Syrah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mmelko


  • Andrew Murray Esperance Curtis Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    My last vintage was the 2010 and I liked it very much, this - better. I like fuller bodied wines and this fit the bill nicely. Plenty of blueberry, violets, pepper on the nose, leading to notes of vanilla, earth and spice on the palate. Medium chewy tannins and balanced acidity give nice lingering aftertaste. Well done - drink now - Paul 89 ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Qupe Marsanne 2008

    Snoothrank:

    This is just an excellent bottle of Santa Ynez Marsanne/Roussanne from Qupe. The nose is very distinctive, floral and reminiscent of freshly peeled clementine. For an '08 white, this is still very much alive and vibrant. Layers of orange zest, orange marmalade, apricot, ripe peach and a touch of salinity mix with medium plus acidity. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Carr Vineyards & Winery Sangiovese 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Bright and savory sangio from Carr Vineyards out of Santa Ynez. Ripe black cherry on the nose. Fresh ripe blackberry, black cherry and a touch of leather in the mouth. The tannins are still young a bit tight and grippy but not off putting. This has medium acidity and a medium long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Buttonwood Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Santa Ynez Valley 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Earthy notes of black currant and blackberry with notes of leather and toasted resin on the nose. Full and rich in the mouth, with delicate notes of ripe plum and dried fig, red licorice and creamy vanilla. The palate is warmly spiced with tingling acidity and delicate chocolate notes finishing with a touch of leather. This is a wonderfully comp... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • I first noticed tip jars about three years ago in Temecula.  I think we visited three or four tating rooms that day, and every one of them had a tip jar on the conter.  On a trip to Paso Robles two years ago I noticed tip jars in a couple of the four or five tasting rooms we visited.  I do not recall seeing any at the two Edna Valley wineries th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Grenache is grown everywhere in CA, and is beginning to be grown in more ... ... ... Canyon AVA here in the Santa Ynez Valley. The vineyard is planted on 100% sand, and the vines struggle to find and retain water. Therefore, the clusters are smaller and the grapes tend to have naturally lower pH's and higher acid levels than those of the vine... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...


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