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

    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...

  • 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...

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

  • Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

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

  • Glunz Family Winery & Cellars

    At Meridian Vineyards, we were guided by our founding winemaker, Chuck Ortman, whose vision was t...

  • Carina Cellars

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

  • Consilience

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

  • Melville Winery

    Welcome to Melville Vineyards and Winery! Come by our tasting room and sample our current Estate ...

  • 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

  • Well, Duncan, Southwestern Florida and SoCal are quite a bit different from ... Caribbean, and the other (Santa Barbara) is in the center of what's called 'The American Riviera', which can also help explain why there's so much wine grown there. But then I don't know a single person who likes English weather in the late autumn and winter. Seem ... Read More

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


  • Larry, OT, when I laid out our plans Tuesday was either going to be Los Olivos or Foxen Canyon. We visited Los Olivos a few years back so opted to explore some new ground. It does appear that there have been quite a few new places open up so we'll definitely head back next time we're in the 'hood. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Yeah vinOvinO, I'm surprised Tercero wasn't on your list. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Excellent reporting, v v.  Thanks for taking us along. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • All sounds awesome. Next time, if you have the time, stop by my tercero wines tasting room in Los Olivos - I'll be more than happy to host you - and perhaps even have some homemade bread on hand to enjoy with the wines :-)Cheers! Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Thanks Larry, I've seen you on Berserkers (where I lurk more than I post), ... as we're on our way to Santa Barbara for the rest of the week. Speaking of Foxen Canyon trail, what a beautiful drive! I enjoy finding wine made from unusual or rare grapes and a while ago found a bottle of Cabernet Pfeffer by Kenneth Volk so Volk was our first stop... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Funny, when I mentioned that about Chardonnay above, I was thinking about my experiences with Liquid Farm, mainly the 2010 and 2011 vintages. Good to hear the 14's are rocking. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Thanks all for the concern but we are fully enjoying everything so far. I'm writing up these notes after tasting hours and before or after dinner so no problem missing out on any fun. Day two was as good as day one or even better. Another great breakfast to lay in a good base, then a walk around town (didn't take very long) and then off to our f... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara... by 357808vin0vin0 357808 vin0vin0


  • Quite a bit better for Chardonnay than Pinot from my experience, though I have ... enjoying at least a couple Santa Barbara area Pinot' Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Seems like you're liking the syrahs and Italian varieties better than the Burgundian. Not surprising, since I've never thought the region had the right weather for PN or even chard.Report as you can, since we're all enjoying your sharing, but forgetaboutit if it's getting in the way of enjoyment on the ground in the here and now. You can always ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


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