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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Summerland Winery

    Summerland Winery is a boutique winery dedicated to the production of fine wines from the Central...

  • Carina Cellars

    In the southern hemisphere the constellation Argo Navis is separated into three star clusters: Ve...

  • Curtis Winery

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

  • Casa Cassara Winery & Tasting Room

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

  • Au Bon Climat

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

  • Timeless Palates Wine

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

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • I am a freelance writer living in Boulder CO.  Went to grad school in Santa Barbara 40 years agowhen we could get a perfectly drinkable chardonnay for around $2.I have traveled in Europe, incl. France, Italy and Spain, so I am partial to wines from those countries.Recently re-introduced to CA wines.  I like old vine zins very much.  My budget is... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Y'know, this one may be the reasons that a lot of people don't care for Central Coast Syrahs. In the initial tastes, it has a lot of "viney" flavor that is going to turn off a lot of people. Then you get a sour taste--and not the nice acid tartness that I like to get--a "this is just too old" sourness. After a few minutes (of air or me adapti... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • It's not the University of California at Santa Barbara. This is for Orange Countians, or refugees from Orange County.  However, specifically, it is best known among former and, I would imagine, current residents of the city of Santa Ana.Returning to the wine theme, and humbly standing in for GregT, about 10 years ago, Mt Palomar had an outstandi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Arizona?!


  • I bought one of the '13 Santa Barbara Mourvèdre...will just have them hold it until I get up to 3-4 bottles. The tight allocations suit me fine as long as I can get at least a bottle to try.For whites, that Idlewild sounds interesting, the whole lineup for that matter. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Tasting Dirty & Rowdy with...


  • Hardy told me today that they just had a dinner where they poured every vintage ... The nose on the Un-oopsed Santa Barbara wine was intoxicating thoug Read More

    Forum post in the topic Tasting Dirty & Rowdy with...


  • TASTING DIRTY AND ROWDY WITH HARDY WALLACE - Puchdown Cellars - Santa Rosa ... Mourvedre 'ESPECIAL' Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara CountyThis was a pop-n-pour and re-tasted at 1hr. 12.4% abv Light cranberry color. Light, tart, floral, dusty, red fruit, red raspberry, turning strawberry in the mo... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Tasting Dirty & Rowdy with...


  • Andrew Murray Syrah Santa Ynez Valley Reserve 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by sgarcia61


  • Seaglass Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Nice Read More

    Wine review by jwgwine


  • Seaglass Pinot Gris 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Nice Read More

    Wine review by jwgwine


  • If she's likening it to malolactic, once it's tamed we're talking ... publishing operation out of Santa Barbara that unfortunately bit the dust awhile back) book of interviews with the pioneers in the CA wine industry circa end-'70s. I was going to use the model in another context and talked with the publisher, the compiler/interviewer and one... Read More

    Forum post in the topic A purposely 'bretted' wine? by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


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