Beyond the fantastic south-facing beaches, gorgeous landscapes, Spanish Colonial architecture, and great climate, you will get to see some of the best wineries in Santa Barbara. The transverse mountain ranges have a great effect on the climate of Santa Barbara County to grow a wide variety of grapes.
There are over 200 wineries and 16000 acres of vineyards in Santa Barbara County. So when it comes to choosing which Santa Barbara wineries to visit, and where to go for wine tasting, you may get puzzled. Here we’ve put together a list of the most beautiful wineries in Santa Barbara county along with the top wine tasting rooms and excursions through the vineyards.
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#1 Melville Winery & Vineyards
This charming Santa Barbara winery is must stop place for wine lovers looking for beautifully crafted Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Their Tuscan styles wine tasting rooms are nestled on the hills of Lompoc. It is a dog-friendly winery in Santa Barbara and has accommodation options.
They also have big picnic tables perfect for families in the lush green garden to enjoy a relaxing holiday at the winery. Their warm hospitality, personal touch, dedication, and passion for wine made this winery more popular. If you are looking for a romantic getaway in California, you can definitely give it a try.
This family-owned winery serves the best-quality wines at the most affordable price. Call ahead for the 75-minute guided vineyard and winery tour on Friday and Saturday and don’t forget to buy some of your favorite wine bottles.
Tasting Room Address (Santa Barbara): 120 State Street Suite C, Santa Barbara, CA (part of the Hotel Californian property)
Tasting Room Hours (Santa Barbara): Daily 12 pm – 7 pm, Friday and Saturday 12 pm – 8 pm
#2 Pence Vineyards & Winery: Best Wineries in Santa Barbara
Located on the eastern edge of Sta. Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County, Pence is a small(220 acres) vineyard and winery that produces organically farmed Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Gamay. The cool coastal wind makes it an ideal location to grow grapes.
Blair Pence, the owner of this winery started planting the vineyard in 2004. Respected winemaker Sashi Moorman makes the wines and they reflect the traditional way of producing elegant wines.
For an amazing tasting experience, book the Private Tasting at the Doc in Pence Vineyards & Winery. The tasting(outdoor tasting also available) includes a selection of Pence’s wines, a California procured local cheese and charcuterie board. Cherish the surrounding beauty of the flora and fauna during this wine tasting.
TIP: Don’t miss some fun photo opportunities, like with the horned cow near the front entrance.
Tasting Room Address: 1909 West Highway 246, Buellton, CA
Tasting Room Hours: Private Tours and Tastings by Appointment Only. Open Daily from 11 am – 4 pm.
#3 Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards
Undoubtedly, it is one of the best Santa Barbara wineries to visit. Alma Rosa was founded by the legend Richard Sanford who brought Pinot Noir grapes to the Santa Rita Hills. This winery makes delicious varietals, but they have taken Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay to another level.
The decor and the ambiance of their wine tasting room are pretty impressive and not like a typical wine tasting room. Taste their top-notch wines in the Buellton wine tasting room. Just have a sip of their famous Pinot Noir. I’m pretty sure you’ll be blown out with the taste and flavor.
They also offer private tasting in their 628-acre Sta. Rita Hills ranch where you can get up close experience to the vines. You must book this 90 minutes guided tour if you’re looking for the best wine tours in Santa Barbara county. The tour includes seated tasting, getting knowledge about the history of their ranch, viticulture, and the winemaking process.
Alma Rosa Winery is just 4 miles away from Solvang. So, while visiting Solvang you must stop here if you’re a wine lover.
Address: 181 Industrial Way C, Buellton, CA 93427
Tasting Room Hours: Open Daily: 11:00am – 5:30pm
Winemaker: Samra Morris
Phone Number: (805) 691-9395
#4 Beckmen Vineyards and Winery
The list of the best Santa Barbara vineyards is incomplete without adding Beckmen Vineyard. Located in the Los Olivos district this family-owned vineyard and winery are committed to Biodynamic Farming. They are dedicated to organic farming where they don’t use herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, or nitrogen-based fertilizer.
Here the wine is produced almost entirely by hand using age-old techniques to keep the wine fresh and alive. You can enjoy a flight of six Rhone-style wines at one of their gazebos overlooking the pond and vineyards.
If you have a keen interest in Biodynamic Farming, join their daily 11 am estate tours that will lead you through the vines and will let you know their farming process and winemaking practices. This Santa Barbara wine excursion costs $40 that includes wine tasting also.
Address: 500 E. Montecito StreetSanta Barbara, CA 93103
Tasting Room Hours: Open Daily: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Winemaker: Steve Beckmen
Phone Number: (805) 966-9222
#5 Whitcraft Winery: Best Santa Barbara Winery
Chris and Kathleen (Barnato) Whitcraft are behind the establishment of Whitcraft Winery that started its journey in 1985. Chris began this winery as a hobby that later grew into a passion. Whitcraft Winery is located in downtown Santa Barbara.
They produce high-quality wines with handpicked grapes. Their signature varietals are handcrafted Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay. Now the second generation winemaker Drake Whitcraft is leading the winery where they produce Burgundian-style Pinot Noirs. They also offer French and Italian varietals sourced from the Central Coast area.
Tasting Room Address: 36 S. Calle Cesar Chavez, Santa Barbara
Tasting Room Hours: Friday – Monday 12 – 4 pm; available by appointment Tuesday – Thursday with 24-hour advance notice
Winemaker: Drake Whitcraft
Phone Number: (805) 730 -1680
#6 Foxen Vineyard and Winery
Foxen Winery was founded at the historic Rancho Tinaquaic on Foxen Canyon Road by Bill Wathen and Dick Dore in 1985. They have two tasting rooms. The original tasting room, also known as “The Shack”, is the main location that serves Bordeaux style red wine and Cal-Ital offerings. Just up the road, you can see the modern solar-powered winery and tasting room.
Make a prior reservation for a table overlooking Foxen Canyon. The tasting room is small and cute and the menu is superb. Don’t miss Foxen Winery when planning your next wine tasting trip in Santa Barbara. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. Only one downside, they are a little bit stingy with their pours.
Tasting Room Address: 7600 Foxen Canyon Road, Santa Maria, CA
Tasting Room Hours: Open Daily 10:30 am to 4:00 pm Winemaker: Bill Wathen & David Whitehair
Phone Number: (805) 937-4251
#7 Rusack Vineyards
If you are looking for a quaint boutique winery in Santa Barbara County, this is the right place. You can spend here a lovely day with your families or friends while picnicking or tasting some of the most delicious and affordable Santa Barbara wines.
Nestled in 48-acre Ballard Canyon, Rusack vineyards and winery has 17-acre of top quality grapes and produces some top-notch handcrafted Chardonnay and estate Syrah. The staff are very friendly and informative, and the wines are too good.
Visitors can bring their own food and enjoy the amazing views of the hills on the horizon dotted with trees. It is quite lovely and has a very chill atmosphere.
Rusack is a dog-friendly Santa Barbara vineyard with ample parking spots. Dogs must be on-leash.
Tip: Don’t forget to ask for their Reserve Syrah which contains 100% Syrah from their own vines.
Tasting Room Address: 1819 Ballard Canyon Road, Solvang, CA
Tasting Room Hours: Daily 11am-5pm
Winemaker: Steven Gerbac
Phone Number: (805) 688-1278
Reservations: Not necessary.
#8 Jaffurs Wine Cellars
Another popular Santa Barbara winery is located in the heart of Santa Barbara, just minutes from the beach. This family-owned winery is dedicated to producing world-class handcrafted wines that result in limited production of Rhône varietal wines such as Grenache, Roussanne, Viognier, and Syrah.
They don’t have any vineyards, so the premium quality grapes are sourced from the nearby Santa Ynez and Santa Maria valleys and then brought to the winery to be crushed, pressed, cellared, and bottled. If you are bored with a lot of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, try Jaffur’s Rhone varietals to give some change to your taste buds.
If you wish, you can be a member of their wine club that allows you to get great discounts, access their annual wine pick up parties in LA and member-only events.
Tasting Room Address: 819 E Montecito St Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Tasting Room Hours: Daily 11am-5pm
Winemaker: Craig Jaffurs
Phone Number: (805) 962-7003
Read Also: 8 Best Breweries in Tampa, Fl
#9 Demetria Estate Winery
This 213-acre of Mediterranean-style estate is a perfect setting in the hills above Foxen Canyon in the Santa Ynez Valley where you can see one of the best wineries near Santa Barbara. This is a place with great scenery and an amazing ambiance. To reach the tasting room, you have to go through a winding road that offers incredible natural beauty at every turn.
Demetria Estate is obsessed with Biodynamic farming where no pesticides or fertilizers are used. The atmosphere and service both are outstanding and elegant. There are plenty of open seating options available with mesmerizing views no matter where you choose.
Their Rhone varietals include Viognier, Marsanne, Picpoul Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. They also produce Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from some of the finest vineyards in Santa Barbara.
Tasting Room Address: 6701 Foxen Canyon Rd, Los Olivos, CA 93441
Winemaker: Harry Waye
Phone Number: (805) 686 -2345
Reservation: This by-appointment-only winery has the loveliest outdoor patio with expansive vineyard views.