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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Blair Fox Cellars

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

  • Huber Cellars

    The Huber Estate was established in 1986, and the first vines were planted in 1987, making it one...

  • Curtis Winery

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Andrew Murray Tous les Jours Syrah 2014


    Fruit forward and nicely balanced but a bit more briary than previous vintages. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • I really need to go to OT's non-wine related project page and post about ... off the mark, as it was from Santa Barbara County.Finally, I ordered four bottles of 2010 Le Paturnie Brunello from WTSO.  It's a sister wine to Vitanza, which has been good (and a good value for Brunello), so I pulled the trigger when it was a mere $25. It arrived ye... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Verdad Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by jillpickle

  • Ojai Stolpman Syrah 2004


    No written review

    Wine review by jillpickle

  • The Ojai Vineyard "Clos Pepe Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2006


    Very attractive ruby color that allows just a bit of light to pass through. Something of a rustic, barnyard nose. Very pleasant on the tonguesome red fruit (cherry, strawberry, plum)but not terribly up-front. A medium-bodied wine. A light touch of acid that is more discernable in the its medium-length aftertaste than in the mouth. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • v v, more Santa Barbara ideas from the current issue of Sunset.  Maybe, not "off the beaten path" but certainly good things to know about.        Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...

  • Seeing you are from Ohio here is a Syrah right in your backyard. Not sure of ... ... Big ripe dark fruit form Santa Barbara County but nice black olive notes and firm tannins on the finish. Wine should be available locally for you or email Loren (Sonkin) and ask him where you can buy it. Great guy.Aside from the Persona... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • V V, I would say that Ojai is a good (not a short) hour's drive from SB ... a road trip to the Lompoc/Santa Barbara areas. If you are not locked into the B&B in SB, the Goodland Hotel (lower right in the above scan) looks like an interesting, relatively inexpensive alternative.   Goleta is, certainly, not a "destination," but it is an easy dri... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...

  • DM, Em and NG, thanks for all the rec's!DM those spots you mentioned look fantastic however, as you mentioned they are just a bit rich for what we looking for. Since we typically spend our time out exploring, I'm leaning more toward the less expensive places to stay and spend that money on wine and activities. The Cold Spring Tavern looks really... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0

  • We like the Blue Iguana Inn in Ojai.The EMarks are on the same page with you on ... so, I think that staying in Santa Barbara would provide more option Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...

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