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...

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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

  • Ampelos Cellars

    Our vineyards and winery are managed in a very intensive, hands-on way, which we believe is the o...

  • Alchemy Wine Productions

    Alchemy Wine Productions combines the forces  of Nic & Gracey Donahue, two free-spirited indivi...

  • Presidio Winery

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

  • Babcock Vineyards

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

  • Thorne Wine

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

  • Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

    Pioneer winegrowers in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA since 1970, Thekla and Richard Sanford have left t...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Ken Brown Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Vin Gris 2005

    Snoothrank:

    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 -...


  • From Wolff Vineyards during last week's 3-hour visit to Edna ... from ... from various vineyards in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.  A medium-bodied easy-to-drink wine.  Cherry, dried fruit flavors. Very little tannin.  Fairly tart.  I don't know if it's in spite of or because of the different array of component grapes, but this is... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • 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


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