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

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…


Riverbench Santa Barbara Tasting Room

Certified-sustainable boutique winery dedicated to Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling wines from a single vineyard on the bank of the ancient Sisquoc River, known as the Santa Maria Bench. Visit our Santa Barbara tasting…


Sanford Winery & Tasting Room

Take a step back in time and experience the place where the Sta. Rita Hills growing region was born. Nestled among the vines, Sanford Winery offers a selection of elevated tasting experiences of wines sourced from our historic estate. Experience an…


Totally Cali Tours of Santa Barbara

Totally Cali Tours delivers an authentic and in-depth Santa Barbara experience! Choose from History, Wine & Beer Tasting or Cultural tours of downtown Santa Barbara as well as our prestigious Wine Country. We also specialize…


Carr Winery

Carr Vineyards & Winery is a small, handcrafted winery producing 4500 cases in downtown Santa Barbara. Owner and winemaker Ryan Carr established the winery in 1999. All of the wines made by Carr are sourced from Santa…


Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours Inc.

For over 20 years, Stagecoach Co. Wine Tours has offered fun and exciting wine tasting tours in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. We are leaders in our industry and passionate about what we do. We create…


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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