Jake Cain is an entrepreneur and writer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He spends his free time driving around the country in his late 90’s conversion van, affectionately known as the “Monster Van” with his wife and 3 boys.
Santa Barbara, California is a popular travel destination known for its gorgeous beaches, stunning mountain views, and world-renowned wine country.
With over 200 wineries in the region, Santa Barbara has become a top destination for wine enthusiasts from around the world. The area’s unique climate and geography make it a prime location for growing a variety of grapes, resulting in some of the best wines in the country!
Visitors to Santa Barbara’s wineries can enjoy a wide range of experiences, from intimate tastings with knowledgeable staff to tours of the vineyards and production facilities. Many wineries also offer food pairings, live music, and other events throughout the year.
So, whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or simply looking to enjoy a relaxing day in the beautiful California countryside, Santa Barbara’s wineries offer something for everyone.
Au Bon Climat
Au Bon Climat is a Santa Barbara winery that produces award-winning wines. The winery’s founder, Jim Clendenen, is largely responsible for putting Santa Barbara County wines on the map, making it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.
Note: The Clendenen Family Vineyards and Au Bon Climat wineries are both located in the same facility.
One of the reasons visitors may want to visit Au Bon Climat is to experience the unique flavors of their wines. The winery’s use of cool-climate grapes and French oak barrels creates a balanced wine that is enjoyable and can age long into the future.
Visitors to Au Bon Climat can enjoy wine tastings at the winery’s tasting room, which is open seven days a week. The tasting room is located at 813 Anacapa St, 5B, Santa Barbara and can be reserved in advance.
The winery also offers a wine club for those who are interested in receiving regular shipments of their wines.
Brewer-Clifton is a Santa Barbara winery founded in 1996 by Greg Brewer, who had a vision of producing world-class wines from California’s Sta. Rita Hills appellation.
Brewer-Clifton is known for its refined Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, all raised in neutral barrels with whole cluster fermentation.
The Pinot Noirs encompass the true essence of Sta. Rita Hills vineyards in Santa Barbara County. The winery strives to remove the winemaker’s signature, allowing the voice of the vineyard to be the overriding expression.
Brewer-Clifton’s Chardonnays are neutral, precise, and deliberate. Greg characterizes wines from this region as deconstructed margaritas, showing vibrant notes of lemon, lime, and salt.
The winery’s tasting room is located in Lompoc, California, and is open by appointment only. Taste a selection of Brewer-Clifton wines while taking in the beautiful views of the Santa Ynez Valley. Interestingly, the winery’s tasting room is also home to a rotating art gallery, showcasing local artists’ work.
Jaffurs Wine Cellars
Jaffurs Wine Cellars is a family-owned boutique winery located in downtown Santa Barbara. This winery has been producing award-winning wines since 1994.
The winery was founded in 1994 by Craig Jaffurs and his wife, Lee, with the goal of producing small-lot, handcrafted wines that showcase the unique terroir of Santa Barbara County.
Jaffurs Wine Cellars is known for its Rhône-style wines, particularly its Syrah. The winery sources its grapes from some of the most prestigious vineyards in Santa Barbara County, including Thompson Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyard, and Stolpman Vineyard.
Visitors can taste a range of Jaffurs’ wines in the tasting room, these include Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne, and Viognier. The winery also offers guided tours of its production facilities and vineyards.
Notably, Jaffurs Wine Cellars has received numerous accolades for its wines, including high ratings from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.
Qupe Wine Cellars
Qupe Wine Cellars is located in Los Olivos and produces handcrafted Rhône and Chardonnay wines from both Central Coast vineyards as well as vineyards near San Luis Obispo.
The winery shares its facility with Au Bon Climat, and the founder of Qupe Wine Cellars, Bob Lindquist, is involved with his wife’s winery, Verdad.
Qupe Wine Cellars is known for its sustainable and organic farming practices, which result in high-quality, characterful, and balanced wines. Visitors can taste a range of Rhône-style wines from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria, the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard in the Edna Valley, and the Ibarra-Young Vineyard in Los Olivos.
In addition to its excellent wines, visitors to Qupe Wine Cellars can enjoy the beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley, with its rolling hills and vineyards.
Rusack Vineyards is a boutique winery located in Ballard Canyon of Santa Ynez Valley.
The winery is dedicated to growing top-quality grapes and producing outstanding handcrafted wines. The Rusacks’ commitment to quality is reflected in everything they do from the vineyard to the bottle.
Visitors will be treated to a setting as unique as the wines! The tasting room features an inviting redwood deck constructed around four beautiful ancient oaks. Inside, a custom-made tasting bar awaits, its Arts & Crafts style complemented with pottery of that age.
The winery offers a variety of tasting experiences, including a Classic Tasting, a Vineyard Tasting, and a Library Tasting. All visits will be by appointment only, and reservations will be for a 90-minute time period. Cheese and charcuterie plates are available with 48-hour notice.
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Spring Mountain Vineyard is one of the most well-known wineries in Santa Barbara and visitors will have the chance to taste some of the best wines in the entire region.
Spring Mountain Vineyard is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Syrah wines. The winery uses sustainable farming practices to produce high-quality grapes that are used to make their award-winning wines.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the vineyard to learn about the history of the property and the winemaking process. The tour includes a visit to the vineyards, a stop at the fermentation room, and a tasting of some of the winery’s most popular wines.
The winery also has a tasting room where visitors can sample different wines and purchase bottles to take home. The tasting room is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm and reservations are recommended.
Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard is located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, in the Foxen Canyon area of Santa Ynez Valley.
The winery was founded in 1989 by Fess Parker, who was best known for his roles in the television series “Davy Crockett” and “Daniel Boone.” Today, the winery is owned and operated by his family.
Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard is known for its estate-grown wines, particularly its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The winery’s estate vineyards are located in the Santa Rita Hills AVA and the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, two of the most prestigious wine-growing regions in California.
The winery’s tasting room is housed in a rustic, wood-beamed building that overlooks the vineyards and surrounding hills. The winery also offers guided tours of its estate vineyards and production facilities.
In addition to its focus on producing high-quality wines, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard is committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The winery has implemented several eco-friendly practices, such as water conservation, soil management, and natural pest control.
Brander Vineyard is a family-owned winery located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California. The winery was founded in 1975 by Fred Brander, who was inspired by the wines of the Bordeaux region of France.
Brander Vineyard is known for its Bordeaux-style wines, particularly its Sauvignon Blanc. The winery sources its grapes from its own estate vineyards, which are located in the warmer eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley.
The tasting room at Brander Vineyard is located in a charming adobe building that overlooks the vineyards. Visitors can taste a range of Brander’s wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. The winery also offers guided tours of its estate vineyards and production facilities.
Brander Vineyard has received numerous accolades for its wines, including high ratings from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.
Deep Sea Tasting Room
The Deep Sea Tasting Room is a beachfront tasting room located on Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara. The tasting room is part of Conway Family Wines, which is a family-owned and operated winery based in Santa Barbara County.
The Deep Sea Tasting Room is known for its range of wines sourced from vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County, including the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Sta. Rita Hills AVAs.
Visitors can taste a range of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and other Rhône-style varietals. A selection of artisanal cheeses and other snacks are also offered.
One of the unique features of the Deep Sea Tasting Room is its location on Stearns Wharf, which offers stunning views of the Santa Barbara coastline and the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can relax on the outdoor patio while enjoying a glass of wine and taking in the views.
Carr Vineyards & Winery
Carr Vineyards & Winery is one of downtown Santa Barbara’s boutique wineries. It was founded in 1999 by Ryan Carr, who is also the winemaker.
Carr Vineyards & Winery is known for its small-lot, handcrafted wines sourced from vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County.
The winery specializes in Rhône-style wines, particularly Syrah and Grenache, as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The grapes are sustainably farmed, and the wines are made using traditional winemaking techniques.
The tasting room at Carr Vineyards & Winery is located in a historic building in downtown Santa Barbara. Visitors can taste a range of Carr’s wines, including Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.
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