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

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Grenache

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

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Viognier

    This special and exciting variety has taken California by storm and young plantings already demonstrate that this out...

  • Pinot Noir

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

Popular Wineries in Santa Rita Hills View all

  • Thorne Wine

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

  • Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery

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

  • Casa Cassara Winery & Tasting Room

    We are a small 2500 case winery specializing in handmade wines from Santa Barbara County. Our Est...

  • Ampelos Cellars

    Our vineyards and winery are managed in a very intensive, hands-on way, which we believe is the o...

  • Drew Family Cellars

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

  • Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards

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

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Santa Rita Hills on Snooth

  • Ken Brown Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County Santa Rita Hills 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by timad2000


  • Stephen, you should start thinking in terms of sourcing from the US directly. I ... directly. I ... Smoke 2008 Santa Rita Hills Southing Pinot Noir  |  3 in stock  |  $69.99 Sea Smoke 2009 Santa Barbara County "Ten" Pinot Noir  |  3 in stock  |  $89.99 Sea Smoke 2010 Santa Barbara County "Southing" Pinot Noir  |  1 in stock  |  $69.99 Sea Smok... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Learning more about US wine by 125836dmcker 125836 dmcker


  • Jacqueline Bahue Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A recent Naked Wines Selection and to me, a fine Pinot Noir. Pale translucent Ruby Red in the Glass. Opens with loads of fruit - ripe Cherry and Cranapple then moves off to earth, herbs, and Cherry, and then some vanilla/almond/pine/cedar and chocolate cherries. Not much of this with the exception of the almond/pine/cedar/cola continues to the... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Sanford Pinot Noir la Rinconada Vineyard 2012

    Snoothrank:

    very good balance of fruits, oak, and mild spices. comparable to 1er Cru Burgundy. Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


  • Adler Fels Pinot Noir the Eagle Rock 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Ripe cherry, crushed violets and a hint of something savory on the nose, maybe with a touch of minerality and loads of sweet berry spice. A bit restrained on the palate, dry but with full fruit notes of cherry, strawberry and cranberry, herbal licorice and well integrated tar and zesty spice on the warm finish. Pleasant and nicely balanced. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • The Ojai Vineyard Fe Ciega Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    PnPed. Almost a prune color in the glass. Very funky nose which I would presume to be Sulphur and which I would further assume would blow off if I was more patient. Very pleasant introduction of strawberry and cherry. The next thing I notice is that this wine is slightly more tart than so many others. I am very OK with that, but some may ob... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Lincourt Chardonnay Courtneys 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Since Leslie Renaud became the winemaker at Lincourt their wines have diminished in quality. I will never buy Lincourt wines until they hire a different winemaker. Read More

    Wine review by Chazz1


  • I find that typically the warmer the region the riper (and bigger/richer) the pinot. We were in Santa Barbara last December and then in Willamette Valley over the 4th and the general differences in their respective pinots are quite noticeable.  I'll 2nd the Hahn rec from RCKR. Adelaida has a Sta. Rita Hills pinot from the Doctors Vineyard and an... Read More

    Forum post in the topic New World Pinot Noir...


  • Last night we drank a Lafond Syrah SRH from (duh!) the Santa Rita HIlls.  A colleague brought it  back from Santa Barbara, where the winery has a tasting room; she does that for me whenever she's down there because she's a great colleague and knows I like the wine.  She also got two bottles of Oregon PN in appreciation. This is a seriously good ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


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

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by MSEBAE


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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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