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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Viognier

    This special and exciting variety has taken California by storm and young plantings already demonstrate that this out...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

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

  • Carr Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Blackjack Ranch Winery

    Blackjack Ranch is the product of 30 years of imagination and preparation. At the age of 14, I be...

  • Lincourt Vineyards

    There’s an atmosphere of casual grace at Lincourt that invites you to kick back and relax. But...

  • Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

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

  • Blair Fox Cellars

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

  • Babcock Vineyards

    With new vineyards currently being planted, a new barrel aging facility, and a renowned winemaker...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • So where was the Faiveley stored the last 10 years for its label to get like ... where Napa and Sonoma and Santa Barbara, etc. will be in 900 years?Hard for me to look at most anything without trying to understand its background and how it got to be the way it is.... &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Burgundy, Barolo Dinner at... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Jaffurs Syrah Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by boglebogle


  • Jaffurs Syrah Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by boglebogle


  • Tenshen Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A killer 1st vintage showing that the winemakers know what they are doing. Given the grapes involved this should sit nicely for another 18 months. Exhibits red fruits (plum) and dark cherry, wood and earth and spice. There is a light chocolate thats rides with the tannins and is balanced by the acidity. Great wine - drink or hold and decant ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Tenshen Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by boglebogle


  • Tenshen Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by boglebogle


  • Though I've mentioned Jonata on and off several times this decade, ... ... check in near the top of the Santa Barbara hierarchy. Hat’s off to winemaker Matt Dees and the rest of the team.” --- The Wine Advocate Winemaker Matt Dees just crushes it, year after year. Insanely concentrated, deeply and tightly wound reds that percolate your brain. ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately? by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Emark, that looks like the same bottle we brought back from our December trip to Santa Barbara. We were very impressed with the whole Jaffurs lineup and the folks in the winery were really nice, like they really enjoyed what they were doing. Our syrah is still sitting on its side waiting for the right moment.I just checked and our local TW does ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight? by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Jaffurs Syrah Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Noticeable yeast odor on opening the bottle. In the glass, it is not noticeablemore of tart red fruit. Yes, red plum and a suggestion of cherry on the tip of the tongue. Initial impression is sweet. As the wine passes back I get more of the acid tartness that I like. Some sort of a smoky thing on the rear palate. A tingling on the tongue t... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Growing up in Ventura/Carpinteria/Santa Barbara never had AC, but that was a few years ago. Ojai definitely yes. The Sespe, even Santa Paula no AC, but Cuyama and Maricopa and Shafter absolutely, though I'm old enough to remember when people were installing their very first units in those areas.Hot days in Vancouver WA we just went water skiing ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight? by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


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