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

    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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Babcock Vineyards

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

  • Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

    Pioneer winegrowers in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA since 1970, Thekla and Richard Sanford have left t...

  • Bedford Thompson Winery & Vineyard

    Stephan Bedford was born in the wrong century. His reverence for the past and an appreciation for...

  • Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

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

  • Consilience

    Our goal at Consilience is simply to make the most expressive & reliably high quality wines possi...

  • 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

  • Andrew Murray Esperance Curtis Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    My last vintage was the 2010 and I liked it very much, this - better. I like fuller bodied wines and this fit the bill nicely. Plenty of blueberry, violets, pepper on the nose, leading to notes of vanilla, earth and spice on the palate. Medium chewy tannins and balanced acidity give nice lingering aftertaste. Well done - drink now - Paul 89 ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • The Ojai Vineyard John Sebastiano Vineyard Grenache 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very pretty plum color. Perfumey noseviolets, geraniums. A fairly light-bodied red wine. Sweetish berry hit on entrystrawberry. Mitigating earthiness and acid mid-palate. The acid makes this a very refreshing wine. While it is enjoyable to drink, the lack of complexity prevents me from suggesting that others seek it out. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Kendall-Jackson Syrah Santa Barbara County Highland Estates Alisos Hills 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by martins2002


  • Melville Syrah Estate Verna's Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    More purple than red color. Something of a musty, fungal nose. On the tongue this wine seems viscous. Red berry fruit and blueberryOK, not red--on entry. It is close to being annoyingly sweet, but, somehow, it backs away. Earthy mid-palate. Another pretty-easy-to-drink-but-not-terribly-sophisticated wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Los Alisos Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2007

    Snoothrank:

    After forgetting about my second bottle of this one, had it with lunch yesterday afternoon. Terrific Chardonnay, though a bit heavy-handed with the Oak. Rich and Buttery, though with a surprisingly thin mouthfeel. Caramel, Toffee, dried Fruit - with a long finish of Vanilla, Oak, Caramel, and bite of Spice. Balanced Acidity. Overall - lovely. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Qupe Marsanne 2008

    Snoothrank:

    This is just an excellent bottle of Santa Ynez Marsanne/Roussanne from Qupe. The nose is very distinctive, floral and reminiscent of freshly peeled clementine. For an '08 white, this is still very much alive and vibrant. Layers of orange zest, orange marmalade, apricot, ripe peach and a touch of salinity mix with medium plus acidity. Read More

    Wine review by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Carr Vineyards & Winery Sangiovese 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Bright and savory sangio from Carr Vineyards out of Santa Ynez. Ripe black cherry on the nose. Fresh ripe blackberry, black cherry and a touch of leather in the mouth. The tannins are still young a bit tight and grippy but not off putting. This has medium acidity and a medium long finish. Read More

    Wine review by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • I guess that since you are the originator of this thread, you get to make up ... ... wine were sourced from Santa Barbara County.  Paso Robles is located in San Luis Obispo Count Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Nyx Santa Barbara County 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Another Tasting Room quarterly selection. Very similar to the Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Very dark opaque purple plum in the glass. Opens with Fig and Red Plum; a bit of Vanilla and Black Tea; then Red Cherry, Tobacco and Smoke.These carry over to the palate with a bit of a kick in the mouth with medium Tannins and Acidity. Ope... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Thornhill Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room quarterly selection. Pale translucent ruby red in the glass. Opens with nearly ripe Strawberry and Cherry; then Red Plum and Fig; then Baking Spices and Slate. Most of these carry over to the palate with more minerality, leather, and herbs as it opens more. Medium mouth feel, with a medium finish. A bit of alcohol, but smooths out... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


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