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

  • Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Casa Cassara Winery & Tasting Room

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

  • Jaffurs Wine Cellars

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

  • Presidio Winery

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

  • Thorne Wine

    The Thorne family planted their first 26 acres of grapes in the year 2000. At that time, there al...

  • Carina Cellars

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

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • I guess that since you are the originator of this thread, you get to make up ... ... wine were sourced from Santa Barbara County.  Paso Robles is located in San Luis Obispo Count Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Nyx Santa Barbara County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Another Tasting Room quarterly selection. Very similar to the Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Very dark opaque purple plum in the glass. Opens with Fig and Red Plum; a bit of Vanilla and Black Tea; then Red Cherry, Tobacco and Smoke.These carry over to the palate with a bit of a kick in the mouth with medium Tannins and Acidity. Ope... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room quarterly selection. Pale translucent ruby red in the glass. Opens with nearly ripe Strawberry and Cherry; then Red Plum and Fig; then Baking Spices and Slate. Most of these carry over to the palate with more minerality, leather, and herbs as it opens more. Medium mouth feel, with a medium finish. A bit of alcohol, but smooths out... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Belle Glos Meiomi Chardonnay 2013

    Snoothrank:

    One of the best California's Pinot Noir's. Made by Joseph Wagner a Napa legend. This wine is smooth, velvety and full of fruit. Only a hint of spice. Just how I like it. Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105


  • OK, let's make it interesting and either more fantastic or real, ... Cold ... Cold Spring Tavern between Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, for a late, leisurely lunch. You want some elk, but what else? And what wines?You're eating vegan in Goa, overlooking the beach. What dishes with what wines?You've come off a tough day on the slopes in Whistler... Read More

    Forum post in the topic wine and food combination by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • The Ojai Vineyard Puerta del Mar Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of light showing through the red hue in the glass. Red berry on the nosealong with some orange blossoms and clove (?). Again, red berry fruit on the tip of the tongue. A suggestion of the clove or, maybe, cinnamon pops up mid-palate. A very light-bodied red wine. The saving grace for me is the nice acid. That moves it over to the I li... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Ampelos Pinot Noir Lambda United States California Santa Barbara Sta. Rita Hills 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by MSEBAE


  • Growing up fishing from boats off the coast of Santa Barbara/Ventura/Oxnard/Port Hueneme used to catch lots of what we called red snapper, rock cod, barracuda, sharks and sometimes ling cod and sea bass. If we were going deeper, groupers and rockfish and scorpion fish. Off the pier was perch and seasonal fish like bonito and sometimes more bass.... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Lingcod and Cooking Fresh Fish by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Buttonwood Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Santa Ynez Valley 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Earthy notes of black currant and blackberry with notes of leather and toasted resin on the nose. Full and rich in the mouth, with delicate notes of ripe plum and dried fig, red licorice and creamy vanilla. The palate is warmly spiced with tingling acidity and delicate chocolate notes finishing with a touch of leather. This is a wonderfully comp... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Lafond Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills Lafond Vineyard Clone 828 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Red currant and black cherry aromas have a touch of barnyard to them which is pleasant and well integrated. Bursts with acidity on entry and showing a lot of bright red cherry and currant, lightly oaked and showing a creaminess that mellows the mid palate but is almost completely gone by the finish which is fully strident and full of tart cranbe... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


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