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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • Au Bon Climat

    Founded in 1982, Au Bon Climat (which means "a well-exposed vineyard") produces internationall...

  • Presidio Winery

    Presidio Vineyard & Winery was founded in 1991 from winemaker Douglas Braun’s concept of bringing...

  • Melville Winery

    Welcome to Melville Vineyards and Winery! Come by our tasting room and sample our current Estate ...

  • Alchemy Wine Productions

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

  • Huber Cellars

    The Huber Estate was established in 1986, and the first vines were planted in 1987, making it one...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Melville Estate Verna's Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Rich and filling with blueberry, meaty tones, pepper, sage and medium tannins and bright acidity leads to medium length finish. Well melded now this is readt to drink. 92 points - drink now - Paul Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Medium light in body. Subtle fruit on the nose with sour cherries on the palate and noticeable greenish tannins on the finish. Guessing there was some stem inclusion. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Stephen, you might try to get ahold of some of the Jonata wines from Santa Barbara. They are more than merely interesting, and a lot cheaper than Screaming Eagle.Looks like Kroenke chose an interesting Burgundy property for purchase. Don't think we'll be seeing its bottles' prices lowering in future, nor will GregT be likely purchasing them by t... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Gallo buys Stagecoach by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • The Eagle Screams into Burgundy Screaming Eagle Owner Buys Majority Stake ... in both Screaming Eagle and Santa Barbara winery Jonata in 2009.)&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Gallo buys Stagecoach


  • Oh, just remembered some of the class Chardonnay in CA. Definitely ... Cruz, ... Cruz, Napa, SonomaHowever Santa Barbara in the South does very well with Chardonnay. Most of my experience is with Liquid Farm, but I hear Brewer-Clifton (from Charline) is doing great things, which is backed up by critical acclai Read More

    Forum post in the topic Learning more about US wine


  • Stephen, you should start thinking in terms of sourcing from the US directly. I ... directly. I ... Smoke 2008 Santa Barbara County "Ten" Pinot Noir  |  2 in stock  |  $99.99 Sea Smoke 2008 Santa Rita Hills Southing Pinot Noir  |  3 in stock  |  $69.99 Sea Smoke 2009 Santa Barbara County "Ten" Pinot Noir  |  3 in stock  |  $89.99 Sea Smoke 201... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Learning more about US wine by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • The Ojai Vineyard Solomon Hills Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Attractive garnet color in the glass. Light flowery nose. Very subtle entry. Tangy red plum flavor along with violets. Fairly light-bodied. Very enjoyable wine. Nice acid tartness makes this easy to enjoy with or without accompaniment. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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


  •   AU BON CLIMAT La Bauge Au-dessus Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara 2009 and 2010Are these worth picking up at around USD 40-50 per bottle  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Need Help


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