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

  • 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

    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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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...

  • Barnwood Vineyards

    Laetitia Vineyard & Winery has a prestigious heritage, rich in French tradition that is still evi...

  • Jaffurs Wine Cellars

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

  • Drew Family Cellars

    Jason Drew began his winemaking odyssey in 1980, when he helped plant his uncle’s vineyard in the...

  • Blackjack Ranch Winery

    Blackjack Ranch is the product of 30 years of imagination and preparation. At the age of 14, I be...

  • Melville Winery

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

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • I know the SEA GLASS Wines (Santa Barbara County).....good value indeed!Thanks for posting, RCKR 1951! Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Syrah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mmelko


  • Jacqueline Bahue Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Naked Wines Selection and to me, a fine Pinot Noir. Pale translucent Ruby Red in the Glass. Opens with loads of fruit - ripe Cherry and Cranapple then moves off to earth, herbs, and Cherry, and then some vanilla/almond/pine/cedar and chocolate cherries. Not much of this with the exception of the almond/pine/cedar/cola continues to the... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • OK, so we're doing our normal seafood Friday thing, grilled a couple of ... this bottle of Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara pinot to go with.  Fairly nice but nothing special.  Kind of one dimensional with mainly red cherry and a decent bite of acid. Not sure if this hasn't been hit with a bit of TCA as there's a very slight bit of that cardboard a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight? by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Haven't hit all the single vineyards in quite awhile but their broader bottlings (e.g. Santa Barbara County) have been insipid and disjointed and lacking any depth or balance for awhile now--to where I have stopped buying them. They were interesting back in the '90s. My (relatively, since stopped acquiring as mentioned) recent experiences have m... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight? by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • First protest ever--wow! Even better on you. Though you had a much better diet ... burned down in Isla Vista (Santa Barbara) amongst general mayhem by untrained, out-of-control sheriffs including the shooting death of a student, just before Kent State.What was the mood of the crowd? No newsclips for me to view over here...  ; Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • The CFO is out of town so I had to do something with my time, what better way ... ... Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County2014 Douloufakis Liatiko Dafnes2013 Feudi del Pisciotto Frappato Carolina Marengo2008 I Pentri Kerres Beneventano IGT2014 Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana IGT2012 Quinta dos Roques Encruzado2013 End of the Vine Pinot Noi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately? by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Sanford Pinot Noir la Rinconada Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    very good balance of fruits, oak, and mild spices. comparable to 1er Cru Burgundy. Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • This is my 16 best of 2016:Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage, 2002 (Rhone, ... Croatia)Jonata, Fenix, 2007 (Santa Barbara, California USA)Brewer-Clifton, Acin, 2013 (Santa Barbara, California USA)Chateau Camou, El Gran Vino Tinto, 1997 (Baja, Mexico)Okro’s Wine, Rkatsiteli, 2010 (Kakheti, Georgia)Lagvinari, Goruli Mtsvane, 2015 (Kartli, Geor... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's Your 2016 Wine of the...


  • The Ojai Vineyard Fe Ciega Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    PnPed. Almost a prune color in the glass. Very funky nose which I would presume to be Sulphur and which I would further assume would blow off if I was more patient. Very pleasant introduction of strawberry and cherry. The next thing I notice is that this wine is slightly more tart than so many others. I am very OK with that, but some may ob... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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