Santa Barbara Wine

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 old 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 climate conditions Read more »

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Popular wines made in Santa Barbara under $20

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Varietals Produced in Santa Barbara 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Viognier

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

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Subregions of Santa Barbara

  • Santa Rita Hills

    The Sta. Rita Hills AVA is located within Santa Barbara County in California’s Central Coast re...

Popular Wineries in Santa Barbara View all

  • Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery

    Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner/chef Frank Ostini and...

  • Alchemy Wine Productions

    Alchemy Wine Productions combines the forces  of Nic & Gracey Donahue, two free-spirited indivi...

  • Consilience

    Our goal at Consilience is simply to make the most expressive & reliably high quality wines possi...

  • Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

    When Fess Parker was cast in the roll of Davy Crockett in the mid-1950’s, it caused an interna...

  • Drew Family Cellars

    Jason Drew began his winemaking odyssey in 1980, when he helped plant his uncle’s vineyard in the...

  • Carina Cellars

    In the southern hemisphere the constellation Argo Navis is separated into three star clusters: Ve...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Perhaps earlier cheap-and-good PN posts from that other thread can be migrated ... easy to drink.Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County          Ponzi Tavola&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good pinot noir in the $30...


  • Ken Brown Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Santa Rita Hills 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by timad2000


  • Arcadian Stolpman Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anstett


  • Paul, I'll have to try and find a bottle of the Hahn SLH. I've been ... recommend the Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara and Ponzi Tavola. I recently bought an entry level wine from Fess Parker,I'll let you know what I think of it when I drink it.   &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Ever-Changing Value Wines -...


  • Rusack Syrah Ballard Canyon Estate 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Light red fruit on entryplum, mostly. Savoriness, some earthiness, very moderate tannin and very moderate acid. An enjoyable, easy-to-drink wine. Definitely a drink now wine, not a candidate for taking up cellar space. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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


  • Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Syrah 2010

    Snoothrank:

    This is the 2010 vintage so lets see how it is after several years of aging.....sampling Aug 2017Nice violet hues with rusty red, brown/tawny beginnings and dark red cranberry skin coloration as well.....some particulate is swirling around so decanting is an option but not necessary. The aromas have probably given way to a degree but I am picki... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Quite dark plum color. Berry and violet aromas. Nice level of red berry, plums on the tip of the tongue. Quite deft with tannin and acid components. Clearly, this wine is the result of Adam Tolmachs adopted IPOB philosophy. While this is not a big fruit-forward California wine, make no mistake, it is however, it is a wine for California win... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Qupe Chardonnay Y Block Santa Barbara County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Old world in style, shy on the nose, nice acidity with a tannin free finish. Reminds me of Macon Villages and at the same price point. On the second day this wine developed a more fruit forward nose and a tropical palate as well as a little butter. Nice wine, I recommend it. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


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