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

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

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...

  • Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

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

  • Casa Cassara Winery & Tasting Room

    We are a small 2500 case winery specializing in handmade wines from Santa Barbara County. Our Est...

  • Thorne Wine

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

  • 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...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Lafond Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills Lafond Vineyard Clone 667 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Smoky and red fruited on the nose with full cherry notes that have a hint of sweetness to them but do carry a toasted and lightly burnt note. Full on the palate with creamy red raspberry preserves and black cherry with some light leathery notes and a freshness to it. Tart with cranberry notes to the finish but in a nice way. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Uncorked the first of the Santa Barbara cache this evening - 2011 Sibylline.Fairly big ripe GSM from Carina Cellars out of Buellton, CA. I believe this is Joey Tensley's second label.  A bit on the jammy side with loads of ripe dark fruit, black cherries, slightly underipe plums that are nicely balanced with some zingy acidity. The tannins are f... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Excellent VV, there's a place that doesn't get much run around here! Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Thank you all for the help and comments! Obviously we love taking trips that are wine-centric and it is especially rewarding when I can share our experiences with the like-minded Snooth family.Still very early in the planning stages but next up is an early summer trip to Alsace. We've already secured a VRBO in Colmar so that part is already sett... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • We tipped when the tasting room person went out of their way or did more than just pour from behind the counter. For instance, at Demetria, we had a sit down tasting on their patio and our wine guy came out and poured for us personally so it felt a bit more special and one on one, I think we gave him $5.I agree with what you did.  A tip jar at a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Happy Canyon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Tlparadise


  • Star Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Happy Canyon 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Love this wine. Read More

    Wine review by Tlparadise


  • Andrew Murray Tous les Jours Syrah 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by gntop1


  • I first noticed tip jars about three years ago in Temecula.  I think we visited three or four tating rooms that day, and every one of them had a tip jar on the conter.  On a trip to Paso Robles two years ago I noticed tip jars in a couple of the four or five tasting rooms we visited.  I do not recall seeing any at the two Edna Valley wineries th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • We tipped when the tasting room person went out of their way or did more than just pour from behind the counter. For instance, at Demetria, we had a sit down tasting on their patio and our wine guy came out and poured for us personally so it felt a bit more special and one on one, I think we gave him $5. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


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