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10 Apr 2023 | Jessica Martinez


Santa Barbara County

I still find this area to be one of the most slept on wine regions in California. Producing world class wines that can compete with those of Napa and with the annual production of 9.5 million gallons they are 2nd in production in California. They might not be flooded with Cabernet Sauvignon but they have so many other amazing varieties they produce. They produce gorgeous Pinot Noirs, big and brooding Syrah, tropical and elegant Sauvignon Blanc, even god dam Gamay (that is a wine joke very specific to this region and if you get it you are my people), there are far more varieties planted in the vast area that is Santa Barbara County. The different microclimates and terroir of each of the AVA’s located in Santa Barbara make it one of my favorite places to visit and taste from. A short drive from the earthy yet vivacious wines of Foxen Canyon, drop down to Los Olivos where you can sip on a costal influenced Chardonnay and lots of tropical Sauvignon Blanc and a few special spicy Grenache sprinkled about. Overall just a few hours from us here in Los Angeles you have a beautiful diverse area for wine. One weekend trip and you can really taste the valley, or you can just come to my tasting this Friday Night and experience a few of the riches this wonderful wine region has to offer.

Lompoc, Sta. Rita Hills AVA stretches east to Buellton, producing some of Santa Barbara County’s most prized Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Aromas of black cherry, dried rose petal, violet, and lavender. The round, generous palate offers ripe fruit notes of Bing cherry and balanced umami flavors of savory black tea, mushroom, and dusty minerality,Anna’s leaves a lasting impression


Ballard Canyon AVA lies just beyond the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and borders the newest of these areas, the Los Olivos District AVA.

The debuted vintage of Great Places by Ruben Solorzano. This wine is smooth and giving upon release and it will expand for even heightening pleasure with age.

Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA is on the eastern border of these AVAs, which range in grape-growing climate from cooler to slightly warmer as you travel west to east.

This young vine blend is mostly made up of Cabernet which gives the wine notes of spice, cassis, violets and bay leaf. The Cabernet Franc brings a delicate soft character. The blend is finished with Petit Verdot which gives the wine tension and density 


Santa Barbara County wine country also has hidden-gem agricultural pockets such as the Los Alamos Valley vineyards, the Old West-meets-modern-foodie town of Los Alamos. Alisos Canyon AVA

From one of my most admired plantings in Santa Barbara County, five rows in this historic site. Planted to Alban clone, own-rooted, on a south facing hillside of flint and sand. TASTING NOTES: lilac, dried rose and bay rum.

Santa Maria Bench, which rises inland from the Santa Maria Valley AVA.

Lumen 2019 Pinot Noir, Julia's Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley $46.99

Fruit-forward and vibrant on the nose with fresh pomegranate, sage and rose petal, followed by flavors of strawberry, cranberry and sandalwood on the palate – all wrapped in a silky tannin structure.  Long, vibrant finish with lingering fruit and minerality, accented by cardamom and white pepper. Well-matched with any wild game, salmon or bird dish, with power enough to cut through any hot curry or Szechuan fare


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