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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards

    Visit the Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Tasting Room, located in the charming European village of So...

  • Jaffurs Wine Cellars

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

  • Curtis Winery

    Why Rhônes? Because they are an alternative to the beaten path. Because they are delicious as wel...

  • Glunz Family Winery & Cellars

    At Meridian Vineyards, we were guided by our founding winemaker, Chuck Ortman, whose vision was t...

  • Au Bon Climat

    Founded in 1982, Au Bon Climat (which means "a well-exposed vineyard") produces internationall...

  • 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

  • If you want wine, then Santa Barbara wins out, hands down. If you want romantic retreats, go for Post Ranch or Ventana in Big Sur no. 1, San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara also tied for first, El Encanto in Santa Barbara and a number of Carmel places tied for 3rd, and anywhere in Monterey 5th. Santa Cruz...meh. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker

  • The oil spill is, I'm guessing, about 20 miles north of downtown Santa Barbara and about 20-25 miles south and west of what most people refer to as Santa Barbara wine country--Lompoc/Santa Ynez.  There are some tasting rooms in the city of Santa Barbara, and, in fact most of them are within walking distance of each other.  I would guess that the... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • It's a bit of a schlep from Carmel/Monterey up to Ridge and Mt. Eden. ... ... are not at the same level.Santa Barbara area is generally friendlier. And Ojai is an option, Mark is playing it down a bit. Lots of famous people from all sorts of walks of life have chosen to live in that valley. Advantage to staying in Santa Barbara itself is the a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker

  • JD, late to the game but congrats on the anniversary! Have yet to sample ... ... maybe heading to Monterey or Santa Barbara for the celebration but haven't made a final decision yet, any suggestions will be warmly welcomed.RBA, as you might have suspected, the French Roederer owns the Mendocino Roederer. We visited the CA branch and were very ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0

  • V V - Are you by chance getting any of their Pinot Noir?  I would stay away from Santa Barbara due to that oil leak.  Monterey should be nice, especially on the coast.  I wonder if Clint Eastwood still lives up there... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • The oil will be almost completely gone by then. Some nice places for ... are better down in Santa Barbara.  ;-) Now that's an old photo! Tip of the flatrim to him still, though. At an advanced age he's still cranking out very good movies--two decades after most directors have shot their wad and are no longer even thinking of looking for projects.. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker

  • Ken Brown Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Vin Gris 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by EatMei

  • Mark, very nice write up!We are always looking for wine related places to ... ... to check out Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara as wel Read More

    Forum post in the topic A 3-Hour Edna Valley Tour by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0

  • I'm finally getting around to this.  Last week we spent a few days in ... 8% PV sourced from various Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.  KInd of an interesting minty hint, but with the red fruit very similar to the blend that I'd tried at Talley.  I liked it, again, for a fun daily drinker. 2012 Syrah--Quite a bit of fruit (cherry) on... Read More

    Forum post in the topic A 3-Hour Edna Valley Tour

  • As always, you guys are awesome - thank you!!I will *not* be driving, so I will ... ... a report (I owe one for Santa Barbara, I know... and I have notes!).&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Going to Napa and Sonoma -...

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