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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Viognier

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

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

  • Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard

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

  • Thorne Wine

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

  • Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery

    Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery at Rancho Santa Rosa is the realization of vintner Bill Foley's d...

  • Lincourt Vineyards

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

  • Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

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

  • Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards

    Visit the Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards Tasting Room, located in the charming European village of So...

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Sanguis Out of Line 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by tkl1728


  • The Bacara up along the coast towards Goleta is a different animal. New, ... ... New, ... putting on a 'Santa Barbara food and wine weekend' next month. They're riding on the Julia Childs coattails, and also pulling in that newest celeb winemaker, Kurt Russell, who claims to know pinot and is making some out of the Santa Rita Hills. As to be ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Enophiles! by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Well, RBA, at some point you should try the following places (in my order of ... of these places are oldskool Santa Barbara classics (THE classics there). Just one of scores of stories is how JFK kept Jackie up at the San Ysidro ranch on their honeymoon, while visiting Marilyn down at the Biltmore. Unfortunately they've gone through changes of... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Enophiles! by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Fruit fom Anapolis out in the True takes 2-1/2 hrs to get to Santa Rosa. Alder ... Creek, Redwood Valley and Santa Barbara. Halcon fruit is a 4hr truck ride from the winery. Adam trucks his fruit down from Oregon and up from SLH. Bedrock from Lodi to Sonoma. It happens all the time with most wineries.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pahrump Valley Winery (Nevada)


  • Just wanted to add my welcome ATF, I'm probably #9 on OT's list of 8 ... in NC) and I said that the Santa Barbara area has been on my wish list for a couple years now. Closest we got was a day trip to Los Olivos, which we enjoyed thoroughly. We like to stay in B&B's or small family type hotels, any suggestions? I've got a spreadsheet of SB win... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Enophiles! by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • OT I grew up in St. Helena and moved to Santa Rosa in 1973 where I lived until ... of Shadow Creek. I moved to Santa Barbara in 1980. Are you in Santa Rosa?&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Enophiles!


  • Brewer-Clifton is well known in Santa Barbara County and has a reputation as being one of the best houses in our area.  This Pinot Noir from the Santa Rita Hills is the first BC wine I have tried and now I'm kicking myself for not trying it sooner. At $50-$60 a bottle it's pricey but wow what a nice pinot! Strong Cherry notes now getting some gr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Which part of Santa Barbara, Al, do you live in? And which Santa Ynez wines are you enjoying most?I grew up in the Tri-Counties area, and still visit from time to time. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Enophiles! by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Yeah, I really need to stock up on that Virginia swill. Been eyeballing all the ... from somewhere else. Perhaps Santa Barbara County or San Luis Obispo County.Enjoy your wine in whatever way you choose Paul. Cool story either wa Read More

    Forum post in the topic vintage wine


  • Interesting wine rack; is that in a basement, under a chimney?  Anyway, ... ... I have tried a wine from Santa Barbara County but if you recommend a few reds I might look for them in one of our Total Wine stores out here in Virginia.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Enophiles!


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