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...

  • Grenache

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

  • 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...

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...

  • Casa Cassara Winery & Tasting Room

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

  • Carr Vineyards & Winery

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

  • Drew Family Cellars

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

  • Melville Winery

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

  • Thorne Wine

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

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Santa Rita Hills on Snooth

  • 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


  • 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


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  • "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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