Santa Barbara County 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 oldest 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 Read more »

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Popular wines made in Santa Barbara County under $20

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Varietals Produced in Santa Barbara County View all

  • Viognier

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

  • 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...

  • Syrah

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

Subregions of Santa Barbara County

  • Santa Maria Valley

    The Santa Maria Valley AVA is located in the north of Santa Barbara County in California’s Cent...

  • Santa Ynez Valley

    The Santa Ynez Valley AVA is a large subregion of Santa Barbara County within California’s Cent...

Popular Wineries in Santa Barbara County View all

  • JCR Vineyard

    Planted in the spring of 2008 with dormant vines, the five acres of pinot noir and half acre of...

  • Palmina Wines

    Palmina is more than a winery and enoteca. It is a philosophy and it is a passion. It is a str...

  • Alexander and Wayne

    Alexander and Wayne is the continuation of one of the oldest wineries in Santa Barbara County, or...

  • Kaena

    Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii I grew up under the loving care of my “Tutu” Lucille Hollinge...

  • Sunstone Vineyards & Winery

    When Fred and Linda Rice and their three children moved in 1989 from Santa Barbara to a peaceful ...

  • Harrison Clarke Winery

    The great Syrah areas are still being discovered, the future for great Syrah is in the Santa Ynez...

People getting updates on Santa Barbara County Wines

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Santa Barbara County on Snooth

  • The Ojai Vineyard Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very easy wine to enjoy. Light hit of blackberry and black plum on the tip of the tongue. As the wine passes back I get some salinitity and earthiness. Very sedate tannins and acids. Not terribly full-bodied, but this wine will not be out of place with a beef entree that was not heavily sauced. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Ojai Vineyard Fe Ciega Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Translucent garnet color. Translucence correctly forecasts a relatively light-bodied red wine. Tart red cherry on the tip of the tongue, Some mineral hints farther back. I want to rave about this wine, but there is nothing that jumps out at me. It's just a pleasant, easy-to-drink, uncomplicated wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Ojai Vineyard Sans Soufre a Joute 2017

    Snoothrank:

    50/50 Grenache/Syrah blend. No added sulfies. Quite dark plum color in the glass. A surprising almost smoky nose. I anticipated lots of fruit on the tongue, and, sure enough--blackberry and stone fruit A bit of spritz around the edges of the tongue--probably acid. Medium bodied and refreshing--probably justifies another shout ou to the ac... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Ojai Vineyard John Sebastiano Vineyard Syrah Grenache 2016

    Snoothrank:

    An easy wine to enjoy. Stone fruit on entry, although I can also make a case for a suggestion of blueberry. Pleasant, and not over the top, acid. Fairly sedate tannin. Just a nice early drinker that will pair with lighter casual meals. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • The Ojai Vineyard Puerta del Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Quite light-bodied. Red fruit on the tip of the tongue. It could use more acid. An interesting "spritziness" farther back. A good wine, but not, particularly, compelling. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Longoria Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by dpr


  • Longoria Tempranillo Santa Ynez Valley 2015

    Snoothrank:

    A touch of toast and tar on the nose in front of red fruit notes of cranberry and red currant, dried herb and black pepper. Warm, silky palate on entry develops some edges in the mouth with earthy tar notes coming through alongside fresh red currant fruit. This is nicely balanced with medium tannins grabbing the mid palate before a creamy earthy... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • The Ojai Vineyard John Sebastiano Vineyard Syrah 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Something of a fruity nose. On the tongue, a bright hit of blackberry. Some stone fruitblack plum, Much more fruity than savory in contrast to other syrahs. Nice acid tartness. Im a bit surprised at the noticeable tannin. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rancho Ventavo Cellars Cabernet Franc 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by ApelsecS


  • The Ojai Vineyard Puerta del Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

    Snoothrank:

    So much light is coming through the glass on this oneits almost closer to a rose than a red. A bit of a funky nose that blows off fairly quickly. Light red fruit on entrystrawberry, plum, raspberry. Amazingly sharp tartness. Some bitterness or minerality way in the back palate. An enjoyable, if not epic, wine. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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