Santa Barbara Wine

Santa Barbara Wine Country

Santa Barbara wine country offers the wine-curious traveler an authentic experience all its own.

Diversity is what defines the authentic vibe of the Santa Barbara wine experience. Amidst a buzzing downtown scene, the urban wine trail is electric, with dozens of tasting rooms and working wineries peppering the city. In the Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys, an easy 45-minute drive over the hill, though, reveals rolling vineyards as far as the eye can see, and a quintessential wine country experience is marked by world-class wine, cuisine, and hospitality. Book a wine tour and leave the driving and planning logistics to local experts. 

However, much of the magic that makes Santa Barbara a world-class winemaking region is Mother Nature’s handiwork. The Santa Ynez Mountains that anchor this area, and the fertile valleys that they create, represent the only traverse along the entire Pacific Coast — from Alaska all the way down to Chile — that runs east-west. The weather conditions that this creates, driven by a steady influence of ocean air and marked by distinct weather swings from morning until night, translate into prime grape-growing conditions. The 30-mile drive from the western stretches of Lompoc to the eastern pockets of Los Olivos paints the picture: the air temperature will often climb one degree for every mile you travel.

These very special weather conditions, combined with an unbeatable variety of soils, have defined Santa Barbara wine country in exciting ways. For one, diversity is the calling card here. Unlike other regions that are known for the handful of grapes they grow well, all varieties thrive in Santa Barbara County: Burgundian grapes like pinot noir and chardonnay in the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley; Rhone grapes like syrah and grenache in Ballard Canyon; and Bordeaux heavyweights like cabernet sauvignon and merlot in Happy Canyon. Toss in projects that feature Italian and Spanish varieties, late harvest wines and a surging focus on bubbly, and the options are limitless.

Thirsty yet?

Wine in Santa Barbara


Recommended

Santa Barbara Wine Collective

The Santa Barbara Wine Collective is a group of like-minded producers focusing on the unique terroir of Santa Barbara County. We feature local premium wines from well known producers Babcock, Ca' Del Grevino, Fess Parker, Notary Public and The…


Recommended

Zaca Mesa Winery

Established in 1973, Zaca Mesa is a family-owned and operated winery with a long-standing history in Santa Barbara County. As the first vineyard to plant Syrah in the area in 1978, Zaca Mesa has since helped pioneer the Santa Barbara…


Recommended

Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours

Let us take care of all the details while you enjoy the heart of Santa Ynez wine country, home to some of the best California vintners. All of our tours are a great opportunity to sample and learn about the region’s wines. Wine Country…


Margerum Wine Company and Barden Wines

Located near Santa Barbara’s waterfront at the Hotel Californian, Margerum Wine Company offers tastings or wines by the glass in our expansive tasting room or on the heated patio. And at the gateway to the Sta. Rita Hills, our…


World of Pinot Noir

Discover a wine lover’s paradise at the World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) in Santa Barbara. This can’t-miss annual event brings pinot noir producers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and wine enthusiasts together from around the globe for a weekend…


California Wine Festival

Don’t miss the 20th Annual California Wine Festival (CWF), in beautiful Santa Barbara, one of the largest outdoor wine festivals in the state! This beautiful city is the original home of the CWF, a spectacular gathering of wine, food, music…



Additional Experiences


Unique Ways to Wine
Elevate your sniff, swirl and sip experience to a new standard of memorable, with these anything-but-ordinary ways to wine when you’re on The American Riviera®.
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20+ Outdoor Wine Tasting Experiences
Sip premium wines safely in the fresh, open-air at these Santa Barbara wineries offering newly enhanced tasting experiences.
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