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

  • 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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • 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

  • Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

    When Fess Parker was cast in the roll of Davy Crockett in the mid-1950’s, it caused an interna...

  • Jaffurs Wine Cellars

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

  • Carr Vineyards & Winery

    Established in 1999, Carr Vineyards & Winery specializes in ultra-premium, limited production ...

  • Barnwood Vineyards

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

  • Melville Winery

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

  • Au Bon Climat

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

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Tenshen Tensley 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Fantastic wine and very different varietal combination. Spice and white Pepper mingled with dark black berry fruit. This is a real treat and very different. A great inspired Rhone wine! Cheers! Read More

    Wine review by Stallion


  • Rusack Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Barbara 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Gift from friends Read More

    Wine review by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce


  • Al, Von's is a brand of Safeway.  Safeway was merged into ... does ... does not carry Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Chardonnay.  I guess I'll have to check Alberson's and Haggen's to see if I owe you.And to let you know where I sit on the car thrift/status thing, I drive a Honda Civic and Peggy drives an Infiniti QX50.  I really like both... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Quite pale yellow color. Very light on the nosesome fruit flavors of melon, peach. On the tongue a the fruitiness of a tart peach jumps out. Perhaps some earthiness. Very light touch on the oakno buttery vanilla in this one--makes me wonder if it even was oaked. Very light in body. That and refreshing tartness makes this one a very good sum... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Liquid Farm Rose Mourvedre Happy Canyon Vogelzang Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Really nice, refreshing rose from Liquid Farm. This has a light salmon color and subtle red cherry nose. There's more cherry, green melon, strawberry and a touch of lime on the tongue. Lively acidity and a medium long finish make this an extremely enjoyable summertime libation. Read More

    Wine review by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • 10 Span Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce


  • Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Nice crisp taste with a smooth finish. Citrus and honey... Read More

    Wine review by jdavis3379


  • Zaca Mesa Black Bear Block Syrah 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jrobinson411


  • Varner Chardonnay El Camino Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Nice chardonnay with a smooth palate Read More

    Wine review by runningbear


  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Special Bottling John Sebastiano Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Quite dark purple. Noticeable vininess in the nose. Under the palate, I get a hit of that vininess along with a light hit of red fruitcherry, plumbut neither are overwhelming. Towards mid- to back palate Im getting a kind of light herbalnessmint(?). Good acid makes this a sturdy wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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