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

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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...

  • Viognier

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

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

  • Mandolina

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

  • 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...

  • Glunz Family Winery & Cellars

    At Meridian Vineyards, we were guided by our founding winemaker, Chuck Ortman, whose vision was t...

  • Lincourt Vineyards

    There’s an atmosphere of casual grace at Lincourt that invites you to kick back and relax. But...

  • J. Wilkes Wines

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

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Nice update OT, looks like a lot of fun wines.Mike sold me on the Weitz when I ... some bottle age on it and Santa Barbara is a good pasture for Chard, so it wasn't a total loss, as one of my guests absolutely loved it.The Escarpment was too young, so what I had was on day 2 and couldn't seem to get it in the right zone out of the fridge. 2nd ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • A bunch of drinks poured for ourselves and another couple last Friday...Trying ... ... Vogelzang product out of Santa Barbara, and as I've respected their land and farming through the Liquid Farm project, so I thought I'd take a chance on this, especially at the low retail price of $9.99. It was an even effort, pleasant, but not exciting, and ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • Vino P - if you can hook me up with someone on the inside I would love to visit Sea Smoke. As it stands right now, they don't have a tasting room and they don't appear to take visitors.Zuf - my thoughts are to keep things of the same subject together. I've posted some things in the past (here and on a couple other boards) where the first thing I... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0

  • DM, I agree.  I have actually never searched the database and found old subjects (or as Greg calls it "dumpster diving" :)  )The forum is only as relevant as what's happening within several days and who's keeping the ball rolling.If we have twenty threads about any given subject, who cares?  I get Zuf's point and I think it's his business and na... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...

  • Sea Smoke in the coastal Santa Rita Hills area of Santa Barbara County offers a commanding view of Sanford’s pioneering efforts on the south side of the valley. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...

  • Now if we could only revisit the Wine Wiki idea!  Mark seemed to like the idea before he got saddled with non-SW administrative responsibilities...  ;-) Read More

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

  • Totally disagree with you, Zuf, New threads on the same subject are usually 'better' about 10% of the time. Old ones that develop legs do so for a reason. New ones on new subjects are a different matter. New ones on the same subject also discourage me from replying. Gets old relaying the same essential info over and over.Oh, and what does 'credi... Read More

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

  • I declare this the "Favourite Jello Recipes" thread henceforth. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...

  • Well, I thought I was pretty clear that I don't care that much about the re-treading of tangentially related topics. My point was, let's encourage people to start new threads and discussions that may just lead in different directions (or not).Your thread was perfectly fine... for 2010.;-)M. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...

  • Nothing wrong with resurrecting this old thread - with a distracting reference ... ... good, though, and the Santa Barbara area is a beautiful place with great food, great views and great wine.  I am especially fond of Solvang - an identification due, , at least in part to my Scandinavian heritage. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...

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