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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Blair Fox Cellars

    Blair Fox Cellars is a small 500 case ultra-premium boutique label which specializes in hand-craf...

  • Presidio Winery

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

  • Carina Cellars

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

  • Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

    Pioneer winegrowers in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA since 1970, Thekla and Richard Sanford have left t...

  • Alchemy Wine Productions

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

  • Jaffurs Wine Cellars

    Jaffurs Wine Cellars is dedicated to producing great Rhone varietal wines with a new-world indepe...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Yeah but the problem with dessert wine is that to be good it should also have ... ... check.Core winery in Santa Barbara did a late harvest Grenache a few years ago. It was also a little fizzy and I wanted to try it but never have. So maybe people are thinking along the lines you ar Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

  • Samsara Syrah Verna Santa Barbara 2012


    Deep and bold with great character. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity

  • Lompoc Wine Company Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2012


    Berry notes, smooth finish and great balance. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity

  • Meiomi Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank: Read More

    Wine review by alm mtw

  • Thanks for the mention Outthere! Greatly appreciated.Grenache in the US is ... ... ... into cooler area.In the Santa Barbara County area, for instance, there are wonderful Grenaches coming out of the Los Alamos area with vineyards such as Watch Hill and Thompson, out of the Ballard Canyon area (Larner, Stolpman, Tierra Alta among others), and... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

  • Don't kill too much time on the Santa Barbara wineries down around the pier. Just enjoy the beach and the town's ambience and drink at meals or picnics (like under that very impressive fig tree). Do you enjoy music and bars and sea food, etc.? Wanna see where JFK kept Marilyn while with Jackie on their honeymoon? Or lifestyles a lot more recent?... Read More

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

  • OK, this is a topic that hasn't come up recently but has many times in the ... ... shopping in the Ventura/Santa Barbara counties area and ran across a higher-end house with the approach taken in the photos. Those racks are not in a cellar, but on the main living floor. Notice the placement of certain appliances and fixtures that emanate LOTS... Read More

    Forum post in the topic How not to store wine by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker

  • DM, I'm glad you asked, here's what I have so far:Staying in Santa Ynez Sat-W, probably going to miss the Farmer's Market, which is a shame since both the CFO and I really enjoy them.On Sunday we'll be stomping around the Lompoc wine ghetto. Planning to taste at Palmina, Samsara Wines, Arcadian Winery and Bratcher Winery and Piedrasassi Wine & B... Read More

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

  • Vino, any update on your visit plans?While in Santa Barbara proper, you should also visit the Tuesday night Farmer's Market on State St., and maybe picnic down under the Moreton Bay fig tree, as well...   Read More

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

  • And northern California secessionists have repeatedly wanted to have Santa Barbara included in their bailiwick when SoCal is jettisoned. California does have its share of characters with opinions.Toscana is usually considered part of 'Central' Italy, as is Rome. Culturally and historically it's easier to add it to northern Italy if you split the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Help with selecting a nice... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker

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