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...

  • 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...

  • Syrah

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

  • Chardonnay

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

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

  • Consilience

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

  • J. Wilkes Wines

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

  • Presidio Winery

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

  • Summerland Winery

    Summerland Winery is a boutique winery dedicated to the production of fine wines from the Central...

  • Bedford Thompson Winery & Vineyard

    Stephan Bedford was born in the wrong century. His reverence for the past and an appreciation for...

  • Lincourt Vineyards

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

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Growing up doing a bit of surfcasting, pier and offshore fishing in LA, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (out to even around the Channel Islands), and even a couple times down off San Diego (though more down the length of Baja), then traveling the world and fishing in other places, I never had the impression that SoCal oceans were as rich as o... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Tasting with GregT: Vega,... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Belle Glos Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Clark & Telephone Vineyard 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gman30341


  • Tantara Syrah Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by XZYMURGIST


  • Yes, most of the Central Coast (from Santa Barbara to Monterey) has long been a bastion of "Slow Growth" and "No Growth."  Now, I know that their motives are mostly self-serving.  However, the older I get, the more I'm coming around to the opinion that there are nobler motives that also support that philosophy.Mark, agreed for the most part.  I ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • Liquid Farm White Hill Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Fantastic CA chard! Opened this after receiving our allotment and was duly impressed. The nose was crisp and clean with notes of lemon. The palate was equally nice with lemon pith, a creamy lemon mouth feel, crisp acidity and a hint of salinity/minerality. Hard to believe this is a Central Coast white, it comes across more like a cool climate... Read More

    Wine review by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • There are too many people.  Feel free to insert a "colorful ... to ... ... to the northern edge of Santa Barbara and the only time you escape urban development is Camp Pendleton between Oceanside and San Clemente and a few miles between Ventura and RIncon where there really is not much room between the mountans and the ocean to build anything... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • Sea Smoke "10" Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2007

    Snoothrank:

    nice 1 Read More

    Wine review by testscreen


  • Sea Smoke "10" Pinot Noir Pinot Noir 2007

    Snoothrank:

    good Read More

    Wine review by testscreen


  • NG, was hoping to see you (and Fox) here in this discussion! Coastal ... ... ... issues in Montecito and Santa Barbara as a whole are at a completely different level than up towards Big Sur where pop pressure is less and water availability generally greater. Plus 'water meter' is merely a symbolic name masking other intents in traditional San... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • My wife selected a Toretti's Pinot Noir "Inocencio" 2009 Santa Barbara County. Notes of vanilla, cocoa and earthiness, slight mineral flavor. It is delicious. Can't wait to try the ribs and smoked yams!  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


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