10 Best Santa Barbara Wineries & 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 on the sand. Not that it’s a bad way to spend part of your vacation.)

So assuming you’re of...  Read more »

  • 1

    Pali Wine Co.

    Pali Wine Co. is a Lompoc-based winery best known for producing Pinot Noirs that are both complex and...  Read more »

  • 2

    Alta Maria Vineyards

    Local Expert Tip: "This is a relaxed tasting room with a rustic cowboy theme, boasting comfy leather chairs and warm wood surroundings."

  • 3

    The Brander Vineyard

    Local Expert Tip: "Brander is a very beautiful vineyard - on first approach it looks like an estate you'd see tucked away in the French countryside. Its rustic courtyard, tiled floors and wide open spaces make it a great location for a wedding."

  • 4

    Carr Winery

    Local Expert Tip: "Carr hosts monthly special events featuring live music, local artists and even fashion shows. The atmosphere in their tasting room more is fun and social than subdued and serious."

  • 5

    Demetria Estate

    Local Expert Tip: "Animal and picnic friendly, this by-appointment-only winery has the loveliest outdoor patio with expansive vineyard views. Forgot to pack your snacks? Don't worry, they usually offer a limited menu of fine cheeses and charcuterie."

  • 6

    Foxen Vineyard

    Local Expert Tip: "A bit of a drive from the main part of Los Olivos, but totally worth it! The original tasting room - affectionately known as "the shack" - has a tin roof (that sounds so pretty when it rains), picnic tables and a very popular hummingbird feeder."

  • 7

    Jaffurs Wine Cellars

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

  • 8


    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."

  • 9

    Municipal Winemakers

    Local Expert Tip: "This is one of the most popular tasting rooms in town. You can taste wine, have a glass, or buy a bottle - all within sight of the ocean. Because it tends to feel like an informal party on the weekends(!), visit earlier in the week for quieter times. "

  • 10

    Rusack Vineyards

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


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