Santa Barbara wineries are intimate spaces where you can watch the process unfold as you sip. You can sample an array of locally grown varietals and chances are good that you’ll end up meeting a winemaker or two along the way. In downtown Santa Barbara, there are bunches of wineries from which to choose. Not to mention, there’s plenty of history here, too. Founded in 1962, Santa Barbara Winery was the area’s first winery since Prohibition, and it remains a hotbed of activity today. But you’ll find plenty of others as well, from recognizable labels to passionate upstarts. Within the city, working wineries reveal that the art of making wine here is a very personal pursuit. There are plenty of limited edition releases and vintner-selected bottles that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
In the vineyards just on the other side of the mountain range, located in the famous Santa Ynez Valley, wineries takes on different forms. Some are inconspicuous — like those tucked away inside the industrial buildings of the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. Others create the quintessential wine country experience with large open spaces that house stacks of wine barrels, weaving bottling lines and views of vines that stretch as far as the eye can see. There isn’t any singular specialty here either. Whether you love whites or reds, popular varietals or obscure ones, the wineries in Santa Barbara and the surrounding region offer plenty to love. The adventure of discovery is part of the pleasure of the experience. Pick a few you’ve never tried before and see what you find. Along the way you’ll meet wine lovers, wine makers and create lasting memories of your time here. If you find lots of new wines you love, you can always ship bottles back home if there isn’t enough room in your luggage for all your new favorites!