Photo Credit: Grassini Family Vineyards
Santa Barbara County is a premier California wine destination, which makes it extra appealing for couples in search of idyllic wedding locations for their big day. With 200+ wineries spread out among the region’s towns and countryside, there are many winery and vineyard wedding venues to choose from. Rustic barns, sleek modern tasting rooms, and postcard-perfect estates are just a few of the wine country venue options. We even have an eclectic mix of contemporary and Spanish-style urban wine tasting rooms on the downtown Urban Wine Trail that can easily set the stage for small weddings and pre-wedding festivities like rehearsal dinners.
Many wedding parties opt to book hotel blocks in Santa Barbara proper and host their weddings at vineyard properties in the countryside. Of course, one of the perks of hosting your wedding at a winery is access to the premium wines made right on site. Group transportation providers can help make the short journey over the hill an experience in its own right—and ensure your guests celebrate responsibly.
Use the following guide to help get you started on your hunt for the best winery and vineyard venues to say “I do” on The American Riviera®.
VINEYARD WEDDING VENUES
Santa Barbara County’s wine country oozes romance. The rolling hillsides are dotted with regal oaks and vineyards. Bucolic horse farms and cattle ranches surround small, charming towns including Ballard, Solvang, Los Olivos, and Santa Ynez. The latter is home to the most booked and acclaimed wedding venue in the Santa Ynez Valley, Sunstone Winery, which feels straight out of Provence with its olive orchards, courtyards, and sandstone caves. Just down the road on 100 acres, Gainey Vineyard offers a historic barn, magical oak groves, and barrel rooms.
Nestled in Happy Canyon, Grassini Family Vineyards has become a deservedly sought-after event venue. Their stunning estate winery location (not generally open to the public) features a particularly photogenic pond, barn, and 35 acres of planted vineyards. Nearby, the expansive Happy Canyon Vineyard on Piocho Ranch is home to several vineyards and two polo fields, and they welcome private event requests.
In Los Olivos, The Brander Vineyard is the oldest family-owned vineyard in the valley; they can accommodate up to 100 guests for weddings and rehearsal dinners in their courtyard or on the terrace. Established in 1973, Zaca Mesa Winery has some of the deepest roots in Santa Barbara County Wine Country. The winery offers newly renovated indoor spaces in addition to the lovely al fresco settings of the vineyards and under the grand oak. Firestone Vineyard also features a range of indoor and outdoor settings depending on your party size, preference, and season. And they have a professional events team on staff to help you create the perfect day.
The sweeping hilltop views from Presqu’ile Winery in the Santa Maria Valley will take your breath away. The winery is well-suited to elegant events, between the terraces of their modern tasting room, amphitheater, and private dining room. Located in Lompoc’s revered Sta. Rita Hills appellation, Sanford sits on hallowed pinot noir growing ground and offers several event options for weddings of all sizes.
Wedding Venues on the Urban Wine Trail
The Urban Wine Trail in downtown Santa Barbara abounds with unique wedding venue locations, be it for a small ceremony, rehearsal dinner, reception—or all of the above. The airy Margerum Wine Company tasting room in Hotel Californian offers wedding venue space for up to 50 people, with a patio and mezzanine for pre- and post-ceremony sips. For something edgy and playful, Carr Winery’s Santa Barbara tasting room is set in a 1940s Quonset hut with high arched ceilings that accommodate towering racks of barrels. You can have a ceremony or rehearsal dinner in the barrel room and then spill out onto the outdoor patio for a nightcap.
Santa Barbara’s first commercial winery post-prohibition, Santa Barbara Winery is located in the Funk Zone and can accommodate up to 80 people for indoor events; conveniently, their sister company, Montecito Wine Bistro, supports all catering needs. Just across the street, Santa Barbara Wine Collective is a cooperative tasting room with a contemporary, industrial vibe. They can accommodate up to 75 guests for seated functions and catering is provided by Acme Hospitality—the team behind some of the city’s best restaurants.
Set in historic El Paseo near the heart of downtown State Street, Jamie Slone Wines offers after-hours rentals of their Mission Revival style tasting room for parties up to 50—a great option for a rehearsal dinner or small reception. For wine on the water, look no further than Deep Sea Conway Family Wines on Stearns Wharf. The Harbor View room accommodates up to 35 guests while the Coastal View Room—boasting 360-degree views from the city to the sea—can fit parties up to 65.
For an even broader list of local wineries open to events, please visit the Santa Barbara Vintners.