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

  • Hitching Post

    The Buellton Hitching Post was established in 1986, but our roots started at the Casmalia Hitchin...

  • Drew Family Cellars

    Jason Drew began his winemaking odyssey in 1980, when he helped plant his uncle’s vineyard in the...

  • Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery

    Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post wines are made by Buellton Hitching Post owner/chef Frank Ostini and...

  • Jaffurs Wine Cellars

    Jaffurs Wine Cellars is dedicated to producing great Rhone varietal wines with a new-world indepe...

  • Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Blackjack Ranch Winery

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

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • Yes, but part of the enjoyment of a wine country trip is reporting back to your friends back at home, I know the dichotomy all too well, a balancing act for sure. Thanks V.V. so far so good it seems. Read More

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


  • v v, you're on vacation.  Posting exhaustive reports like this is work.  We really appreciate it--I am lusting, now for that Samsar/Zotovich Syrah.  So, thank you, but, please spend more time enjoying.I just figured it out. You're trying to match RBA's real-time reports from his river cruise. Read More

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


  • I've started a separate thread for my trip report here. Read More

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


  • I'll put a link in the other Santa Barbara thread to this one. Read More

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


  • Had a great first full day here in south central California. Started off with a ... The other syrah was a 2014 Santa Barbara County blend of two vineyard sites. Again, this was also a fairly big red just slightly more refined (toned down) than the Zotovich but equally well made. I had to have a bottle of that Zotovich, it's going in the way bac... Read More

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


  • Any interest in putting exec summaries of trips here, especially including TN-ish summaries on wineries and wines encountered?I'm totally different in my thinking from Zuf, and always like it when it's easy to find a centralized resource on a particular topic... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in... by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Have a great trip VV!Looking forward to hearing about your travels... Read More

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


  • DM, thanks for all the info! Unfortunately it looks like the farmer's ... ... ... out tomorrow. Landing in Santa Barbara @ 4pm and driving to Santa Ynez, staying there for the 1st part of the week. After that we'll be staying in SB proper Wed - Sat.I'll try to post a few notes daily or just do a big report at the end of the journe Read More

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


  • Yeah but the problem with dessert wine is that to be good it should also have ... ... check.Core winery in Santa Barbara did a late harvest Grenache a few years ago. It was also a little fizzy and I wanted to try it but never have. So maybe people are thinking along the lines you ar Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...


  • Samsara Syrah Verna Santa Barbara 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Deep and bold with great character. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity


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