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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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...

  • Viognier

    History of the grape: Viognier is thought to be an indigenous grape of Croatia that was brought to the Rhone in Franc...

  • 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...

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

  • Timeless Palates Wine

    Founded in 2005, La Fenêtre is my expression of classic style and technique in winemaking with ne...

  • J. Wilkes Wines

    The roots of our new beginning actually took hold in 1984. I had just accepted a position with Bi...

  • Drew Family Cellars

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

  • Meridian Vineyards

    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...

  • Blair Fox Cellars

    Blair Fox Cellars is a small 500 case ultra-premium boutique label which specializes in hand-craf...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Foxen Cabernet Franc Santa Maria Valley Tinaquaic 2005

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by thefallsman


  • bru729 - CT is where the guy who pretty much created the market for Spanish ... taking place right now in Santa Barbara and you can meet lots of those experts. Some of them even have policies about where companies can send samples of wine to obtain their important opinions.But if you're talking about a business, it's more than waking up one da... Read More

    Forum post in the topic importing Spanish Wine


  • Snoother 15196584. Thanks for the updated info. Seems that you're based in ... that fog down in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Not so sure the Central Valley is the influence there it is further north. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hail in Barolo by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • It's getting quite warm here in SoCal Much fruitier--not sweet--than ... used in this wine are all in Santa Barbara County, but they have "California" on the label.I was at Costco, today, and, so, we're having Salmon tonight.  They had Copper River Sockeye for $9.99 a pound and King for $10.99.  To me, the King looked better.  So, that's what ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Sta. Rita Hills Ten 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Beginning to show age in 2014. Tobacco, leather, musty raisins on nose and palate. Needed about thirty minutes to fully open. Deep cherry austerity. A regal wine, for certain. Read More

    Wine review by cma238


  • Qupe Marsanne Santa Yenz Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1


  • SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: our origins and future in a single glance I am going to ... not rely on the vineyards of Santa Barbara and north whose excellence is already well established. The south is full of amazing vineyards and I knew nothing about them. The two most important stories that I need to tell you are about a young winemaker in San Diego... Read More

    Forum post in the topic LA wines, SD vines, London... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • After Willamette, on your way down the coast, you should take it very slow and ... of the trip is Big Sur and Santa Barbara and Malibu, which in my parallel are the other wine regions I mentioned.  ; Read More

    Forum post in the topic Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Zaca Mesa Winery Syrah 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Somewhat murky prune color. On the palate, an immediate hit of ripe stone fruitsplum, peach. Sprightly sensation on the tonguelike an astringency or effervescence. Also, a tartness that seems to hit the front of the tongue. Normally, I seem to get that at the back. Some minerally sensations at the back of the palate. A very lengthy, cherr... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Aridus Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Hands down, my favorite Chardonnay! Rich, complex buttery flavor with unapologetic French oak and vanilla! Read More

    Wine review by ariduswineco


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