Santa Rita Hills Wine

The Sta. Rita Hills AVA is located within Santa Barbara County in California’s Central Coast region. East-west valleys funnel air from the Pacific Ocean that cools hot sunshine in the vineyards and lengthens the growing season, producing grapes with balanced acidity and alcohol levels. 

Wine-making came to the region in the mid 1800s, but like most of California, was hushed due to Phylloxera, the Prohibition and Great Depression. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 80s that it came into its own again, with vineyards such as Babcock, Clos Pepe and Sanford leading the effort to give Santa Rita Hills AVA status in 2001. In 2006, Chilean Wine Company Viña Santa Rita won the battle to abbreviate the region’s name for labeling to Sta. Rita Hills to avoid confusion. 
 
The cool-climate region is best known for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. ~Amanda Schuster
 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Popular wines made in Santa Rita Hills under $20

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Varietals Produced in Santa Rita Hills 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...

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Grenache

    You’re a member of the ‘Rhône Ranger’ band. Your groupies think you’re ‘hot’, even when you're boozy and "strung out"...

Popular Wineries in Santa Rita Hills View all

  • Huber Cellars

    The Huber Estate was established in 1986, and the first vines were planted in 1987, making it one...

  • Clos Pepe Estate

    Pinot Noir specialists, we make under 1000 cases of pinot and chardonnay from this vineyard--a...

  • Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Thorne Wine

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

  • Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

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

  • Carr Vineyards & Winery

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

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Santa Rita Hills on Snooth

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

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by MSEBAE


  • 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


  • Had a great first full day here in south central California. Started off with a ... from different vineyards in Santa Rita Hills) were noticeably better with deeper flavors, more layers and longer finishes.  The highlight of this visit were the two syrahs. The first syrah was a 2012 made from grapes from the Zotovich Vineyard. This was a big, b... Read More

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


  • Samsara Syrah Verna Santa Barbara 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Deep and bold with great character. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity


  • Lompoc Wine Company Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Berry notes, smooth finish and great balance. Read More

    Wine review by BeautifulCalamity


  • Liquid Farm Chardonnay White Hill 2014

    Snoothrank:

    2014 vintage. Excellent Sta. Rita Hills chardonnay from Liquid Farm! There's some really nice creamy lemon pith on the nose. On the tongue is more creamy lemon, a bit of ripe white peach, a hint of clove, medium acidity and a medium long finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • If able to go higher in budget, Zuf's recommendation of some good Burgundy ... a couple of points for the Santa Rita Hills Arcadian.I'm guessing she wants to try a little more to find a true replacement. But before too long fall-back replacements may need to be considered, as we all seem to agree. It's the effort, after all, that is likely to ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Looking to Redeem Myself by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Sea Smoke in the coastal Santa Rita Hills area of Santa Barbara County offers a commanding view of Sanford’s pioneering efforts on the south side of the valley. Read More

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


  • The Ojai Vineyard "Clos Pepe Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Very attractive ruby color that allows just a bit of light to pass through. Something of a rustic, barnyard nose. Very pleasant on the tonguesome red fruit (cherry, strawberry, plum)but not terribly up-front. A medium-bodied wine. A light touch of acid that is more discernable in the its medium-length aftertaste than in the mouth. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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    Page modification by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce


  • "We are glad you had the chance to taste Dornfelder from Huber. This is one of the best Dornfelders we had outside of Germany. Of course Traudl's and Norm's warm hospitality made the tasting extra special. We also purchased the Dornfelder Jelly and served with baked Brie. Judit & Corina "

    Comment by 153209WineDineTV 153209 WineDineTV


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