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

  • 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

  • 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

  • J. Wilkes Wines

    The roots of our new beginning actually took hold in 1984. I had just accepted a position with Bi...

  • Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery

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

  • Casa Cassara Winery & Tasting Room

    We are a small 2500 case winery specializing in handmade wines from Santa Barbara County. Our Est...

  • Consilience

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

  • Mandolina

    Originally planted from cuttings brought from Italy's legendary vineyards, Lucas & Lewellen's Ita...

  • Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery

    Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery at Rancho Santa Rosa is the realization of vintner Bill Foley's d...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Joel Gott Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Really very good. Mouthwatering juice primarily red berry fruits, raspberry and cherry with chewy medium fine tannins, earthy notes and bright acidity. Good aftertaste with medium length. Drink now. 89 points Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Fox, last decade I took both my daughters to a few colleges around SoCal (later ... ... smaller, friendlier UCs (Santa Barbara, San Diego), and even Occidental. Came back and talked to a friend who'd roomed with Ben Affleck (arguably a more interesting life-path there if you choose people in the public eye who are in a position to affect the vi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately? by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • The Ojai Vineyard Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice wine. Fruit flavor is of strawberry. Very nice tartness. Maybe a bit of clove spiciness. (?) Fairly light-bodied. I can see the elegance that Pinot Noir fans seem to seek in this wine. Velvety smooth. Nothing smacks you in the face. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Had the good fortune to attend a Masters of Wine, Syrah Panel Tasting on ... ... on ... I'd try another Santa Barbara Syrah, this was big and ripe and forgettable. Why not try a Chilean? Well, I wouldn't recommend buying this one, but it was there and was a bit different, but forgettable. As was the Portugese offering. One last takeaway, othe... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Masters of Wine - Syrah Panel...


  • Purchased a nice wild caught Alaskan salmon filet today and threw it on the ... is Pinot so we opened this Santa Barbara beauty first.  Full of ripe red and black cherry, a hint of tar, a decent bite of acidity and a touch of menthol on the back end.Since it is Friday (this is a special day for some of us EM), and we drained that SB pinot fair... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight? by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Standing Sun Wild Mouse Rhone Blend Santa Barbara County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Stubs66


  • Ok, I'm sitting in on the VT.  No $100 Santa Barbara County Syrah for me. No arty label.No autographs.And no personalized delivery by the owner.This is the third of these that I have opened, and it keeps getting better.  Some flowers on the nose—orange blossom.  That’s a first for this wine.  Gentle hit of red fruit on introduction—hints of red ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • You will never see me certify a wine that costs $100 unless it is Monprivato.  Not from Santa Barbara at all, ever.  My max there is like $30 or something.I'm thinking this is not going to be one I make it to.  I think I will be reading DNA reports or painting baseboards or, well, anything.  (Or rewatching game 5 of the NBA Championships, unless... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Art Music Virtual Tasting


  • I was pleased to see the e-mail in my in-box, this morning, announcig a Wine ... ... spendy to me for "Santa Barbara County" wine.  Unless, of course, we are talking about "OT Certified" or "Richard Foxall Certified" wines.  It that is the case, I may have to rethink my priorities.I noticed that the "QTY" boxes on the order forms for each of ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine Art Music Virtual Tasting


  • Last night we drank a Lafond Syrah SRH from (duh!) the Santa Rita HIlls.  ... brought it  back from Santa Barbara, where the winery has a tasting room; she does that for me whenever she's down there because she's a great colleague and knows I like the wine.  She also got two bottles of Oregon PN in appreciation. This is a seriously good wine, ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


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