10 Best Santa Barbara Wineries and Tasting Rooms

Geneva Ives

By , Local Expert, Santa Barbara
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There are two big reasons that people travel to Santa Barbara.

1. College: Santa Barbara is home to a dozen or so colleges and universities within its glorious borders, contributing to a nonstop influx of very smart people.

2. Wine: Santa Barbara County boasts more than 100 area wineries, contributing to a nonstop influx of very smart people with excellent taste.

(OK, we’ll admit it, there’s probably a third big reason: the beach. But if you’re reading this, we’re betting your idea of traveling involves a little more than sunbathing. Not that it’s a bad way to spend part of your vacation.)

So assuming you’re of legal...  Read more »

  • 1

    Foxen Vineyard

    A bit of a drive, but completely worth it for both flavor and scenery. This winery has two tasting rooms, each with different offerings.

    Local Expert Tip: "If you're interested in joining the Foxen wine club, get on the waiting list asap."

     
  • 2

    Alta Maria Vineyards

    This is a relaxed tasting room with great wine and a rustic cowboy theme, boasting comfy leather chairs and warm wood surroundings.

    Local Expert Tip: "Do not miss this opportunity to taste the wines from the Autonom label that they also pour here."

     
  • 3

    Kaena Wine Co

    Fan of Grenache? Kaena has some of the very best in town (there's even a Grenache Rose).

    Local Expert Tip: "This Hawaiian-inspired tasting room runs on 'island time' so they might open a little early and close a little late... or vice versa!"

     
  • 4

    Whitcraft Winery

    Visit Whitcraft to try classic California varietals as nature intended. Grapes are hand picked and bottles...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Join the wine club to receive invitations to exclusive pick up parties and sample older vintages."

     
  • 5

    Jaffurs Wine Cellars

    Jaffurs produces one of the tastiest Viogniers in the land, year after year. It's light and refreshing, never cloyingly sweet.

    Local Expert Tip: "If all that wine is making you feel a little fuzzy, pop around the corner for fresh, handmade tacos on Milpas Street."

     
  • 6

    Demetria Estate

    Animal and picnic friendly, this by-appointment-only winery has the loveliest outdoor patio with expansive vineyard views. The wine is good, too!

    Local Expert Tip: "Forgot to pack your snacks? Don't worry, they offer a simple menu of fine cheeses and charcuterie."

     
  • 7

    Municipal Winemakers

    One of the most popular tasting rooms. You can taste wine, have a glass or buy a bottle - blocks away from the ocean.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the Fizz, their sparkling red wine, if you can... they're usually sold out! "

     
  • 8

    Rusack Vineyards

    For the picture-perfect scenery alone, Rusack is worth the trip. Couple that with fantastic wine from their...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Gift with purchase: your tasting fee includes an elegant crystal logo wine glass. Bring the whole family, and start a collection."

     
  • 9

    Longoria

    Longoria has an assortment of delicious red wine blends. They also offer ports and dessert wines.

    Local Expert Tip: "On fine-weather days (and there are so many of them in Los Olivos), you can take your wine out to enjoy in their very peaceful garden."

     
  • 10

    Pali Wine Co.

    Pali is a fun place in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone to enjoy a wine tasting or purchase wine by the glass.

    Local Expert Tip: "Check out the calendar on their website to discover special events and secret sales."

     

 

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