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

  • Presidio Winery

    Presidio Vineyard & Winery was founded in 1991 from winemaker Douglas Braun’s concept of bringing...

  • Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Carina Cellars

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

  • Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery

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

  • Carr Vineyards & Winery

    Established in 1999, Carr Vineyards & Winery specializes in ultra-premium, limited production ...

  • 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

  • Qupe has always impressed me with their reasonable pricing.  Lately I've just found the wines a little lackluster.  Maybe I've just gotten spoiled by those Sonoma Syrahs that OT (mostly) turns us onto.  Still, they never make bad wine. I bought some Tensley a couple years ago from WineAccess after all the RP hype.  It was a huge disappointment--... Read More

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


  • Sitting at the kitchen table after a long day of travel and sorting through my ... my ... was our last day in Santa Barbara so after covering a large part of city we decided to head out to Los Olivos. We've been here before back in 2013 but there are quite a few new tasting rooms to go along with the two dozen or so that have been here a whil... Read More

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


  • VV, if you liked the Kenneth Volk Malvasia, K&L has it on sale. Clendenen makes a Nebbiolo--he has a tiny patch up on a hill separate from his other vines.  It's actually pretty good, and occasionally can be found at K&L and a few other places.  I matched it against an Aldo Conterno basic Barolo a while ago, and it was pretty hard to tell which ... Read More

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


  • Wednesday was a travel and cleansing day. We decided to take our time going ... ... going from Santa Ynez to Santa Barbara so after dropping off a case of wine at the Wine Country Shippers we hopped on over to Highway 1. What a beautiful stretch of land! We made a number of scenic overlook stops, took in a few of the State beaches and just enj... Read More

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


  • 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


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