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...

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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...

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

  • Melville Winery

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

  • Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery

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

  • Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards

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

  • Hitching Post

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

  • Thorne Wine

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

  • Lincourt Vineyards

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

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Santa Barbara on Snooth

  • OK, let's make it interesting and either more fantastic or real, ... Cold ... Cold Spring Tavern between Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, for a late, leisurely lunch. You want some elk, but what else? And what wines?You're eating vegan in Goa, overlooking the beach. What dishes with what wines?You've come off a tough day on the slopes in Whistler... Read More

    Forum post in the topic wine and food combination by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • The Ojai Vineyard Puerta del Mar Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of light showing through the red hue in the glass. Red berry on the nosealong with some orange blossoms and clove (?). Again, red berry fruit on the tip of the tongue. A suggestion of the clove or, maybe, cinnamon pops up mid-palate. A very light-bodied red wine. The saving grace for me is the nice acid. That moves it over to the I li... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Ampelos Pinot Noir Lambda United States California Santa Barbara Sta. Rita Hills 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by MSEBAE


  • Growing up fishing from boats off the coast of Santa Barbara/Ventura/Oxnard/Port Hueneme used to catch lots of what we called red snapper, rock cod, barracuda, sharks and sometimes ling cod and sea bass. If we were going deeper, groupers and rockfish and scorpion fish. Off the pier was perch and seasonal fish like bonito and sometimes more bass.... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Lingcod and Cooking Fresh Fish by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Buttonwood Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Santa Ynez Valley 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Earthy notes of black currant and blackberry with notes of leather and toasted resin on the nose. Full and rich in the mouth, with delicate notes of ripe plum and dried fig, red licorice and creamy vanilla. The palate is warmly spiced with tingling acidity and delicate chocolate notes finishing with a touch of leather. This is a wonderfully comp... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Lafond Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills Lafond Vineyard Clone 828 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Red currant and black cherry aromas have a touch of barnyard to them which is pleasant and well integrated. Bursts with acidity on entry and showing a lot of bright red cherry and currant, lightly oaked and showing a creaminess that mellows the mid palate but is almost completely gone by the finish which is fully strident and full of tart cranbe... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Lafond Pinot Noir Sta Rita Hills Lafond Vineyard Clone 667 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Smoky and red fruited on the nose with full cherry notes that have a hint of sweetness to them but do carry a toasted and lightly burnt note. Full on the palate with creamy red raspberry preserves and black cherry with some light leathery notes and a freshness to it. Tart with cranberry notes to the finish but in a nice way. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • Uncorked the first of the Santa Barbara cache this evening - 2011 Sibylline.Fairly big ripe GSM from Carina Cellars out of Buellton, CA. I believe this is Joey Tensley's second label.  A bit on the jammy side with loads of ripe dark fruit, black cherries, slightly underipe plums that are nicely balanced with some zingy acidity. The tannins are f... Read More

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


  • Excellent VV, there's a place that doesn't get much run around here! Read More

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


  • Thank you all for the help and comments! Obviously we love taking trips that are wine-centric and it is especially rewarding when I can share our experiences with the like-minded Snooth family.Still very early in the planning stages but next up is an early summer trip to Alsace. We've already secured a VRBO in Colmar so that part is already sett... Read More

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


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