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

    This special and exciting variety has taken California by storm and young plantings already demonstrate that this out...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Pinot Noir

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

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

  • Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery

    Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner/chef Frank Ostini and...

  • Drew Family Cellars

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

  • Babcock Vineyards

    With new vineyards currently being planted, a new barrel aging facility, and a renowned winemaker...

  • Hitching Post

    The Buellton Hitching Post was established in 1986, but our roots started at the Casmalia Hitchin...

  • 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

  • Love the sweet cherry wine flavours of this grape - especially in ... comes ... comes from Ojai not far from Santa Barbara; beautiful country and very nice, elegant wines - if you can get them and are selective.  I'm pretty sure you are selective, being perhaps lucky enough to live in the Bear Flag Republic itsel Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's your Choice of Wine...


  • Longoria Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by dpr


  • Longoria Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    A touch of toast and tar on the nose in front of red fruit notes of cranberry and red currant, dried herb and black pepper. Warm, silky palate on entry develops some edges in the mouth with earthy tar notes coming through alongside fresh red currant fruit. This is nicely balanced with medium tannins grabbing the mid palate before a creamy earthy... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • The Ojai Vineyard John Sebastiano Vineyard Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Something of a fruity nose. On the tongue, a bright hit of blackberry. Some stone fruitblack plum, Much more fruity than savory in contrast to other syrahs. Nice acid tartness. Im a bit surprised at the noticeable tannin. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rancho Ventavo Cellars Cabernet Franc 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by ApelsecS


  • The Ojai Vineyard Santa Barbara County Syrah White Hawk Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very nice wine. Tart cherry introduction. Quite lean, Not particularly full-bodied. Some stoniness. Easy to enjoy. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Do like that area, Mark. My extended family almost built some houses right on ... hustling up from Ventura or Santa Barbara to the Bay Area. I despise the monotony of I-5, so usually went that wa Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately? by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • The Ojai Vineyard Puerta del Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    So much light is coming through the glass on this oneits almost closer to a rose than a red. A bit of a funky nose that blows off fairly quickly. Light red fruit on entrystrawberry, plum, raspberry. Amazingly sharp tartness. Some bitterness or minerality way in the back palate. An enjoyable, if not epic, wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Taz Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Fiddlestix 2007

    Snoothrank:

    MI piace un pò di meno Read More

    Wine review by cane


  • The Ojai Vineyard White Hawk Vineyard Sangiovese 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Pretty ruby color in the glass. Kind of a barnyard nose. Seriously tart red cherry on the tip of the tongue. This wine is not unlike a Chianti. Surprise! Inoffensive, but, sadly, also not revelatory. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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