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

  • Viognier

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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

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

Popular Wineries in Santa Ynez Valley View all

  • Kalyra Winery

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

  • Alexander and Wayne

    Alexander and Wayne is the continuation of one of the oldest wineries in Santa Barbara County, or...

  • Harrison Clarke Winery

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

  • Rideau Vineyard

    We invite you to visit our charming Tasting Room and Winery for the most incredible wine tasting ...

  • Margerum Wine Company

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

  • Andrew Murray Vineyards

    "Handcrafted wines, from hillside vines, planted exclusively to Rhone varieties..." Andrew Mur...

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Santa Ynez Valley on Snooth

  • 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,...


  • Zaca Mesa Viognier 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore


  • Verdad Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2005

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jillpickle


  • Ojai Stolpman Syrah 2004

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jillpickle


  • Know the Bath St. from previous years. It was OK, but nowhere I'd choose on ... ... Los Olivos and the whole Santa Ynez valley doesn't hold a candle to Santa Barbara when it comes to accommodations. I'd splurge in the latter, and make do in the former. Fess Parker (in his main place in the Valley, not SB) was better when he was alive, but that'... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


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