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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Viognier

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

  • 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...

Popular Wineries in Santa Ynez Valley View all

  • Rusack Vineyards

    Rusack was established in 1995 by Geoff Rusack and Alison Wrigley Rusack with a commitment to cre...

  • Gainey Vineyard

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

  • Verdad

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

  • Stolpman Vineyards

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

  • Zaca Mesa Winery

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

  • Margerum Wine Company

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

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Santa Ynez Valley on Snooth

  • Longoria Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by dpr


  • Longoria Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    A touch of toast and tar on the nose in front of red fruit notes of cranberry and red currant, dried herb and black pepper. Warm, silky palate on entry develops some edges in the mouth with earthy tar notes coming through alongside fresh red currant fruit. This is nicely balanced with medium tannins grabbing the mid palate before a creamy earthy... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Arcadian Stolpman Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2006

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    No written review

    Wine review by anstett


  • Beckman Vineyards Cuvee le Bec 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Wonderful effort here. Bright red fruit, a touch of blackberry add to earthiness, sweet black cherry tannins and good acidity to give this a fresh, lingering finish. Drink now - 89 points - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Beckman Vineyards Cuvee le Bec 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by effell


  • 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

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    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


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