Santa Barbara wine country, hugging the Pacific coast north of Los Angeles, boasts unusual geographic features that have helped savvy winemakers turn the area into one of California’s most talked-about wine regions. The Santa Barbara wine tastings featured in the film “Sideways” helped introduce the region to millions of fans.
The hills of Santa Barbara County run – perpendicular to the norm – west to east. So fog and wind from the Pacific Ocean seeps inland through the valleys, tempering the Southern California heat and helping to provide a long and moderate growing season. The cool, frequently cloudy conditions have proven favorable for producing delicious Burgundy-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines, among others.
Santa Barbara County includes five American Viticultural Areas, including Ballard Canyon, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita Hills and Santa Ynez Valley.