Wine-tasting is a big industry in Santa Barbara County, CA. We have a unique geographical landscape that creates many favorable micro-climates. This enables the region to grow many different wine grape varieties.
Here are some facts about the Santa Barbara Wine region:
There are over 275 wineries in SB County
There are 9 distinct wine trails
We grow about 70 different wine grape varieties in the area
There are 5573 acres growing Pinot Noir, 4479 growing Chardonnay, and 1207 growing Syrah grape varietals.
Wine is SB County’s #1 finished agricultural product
As a local, I love nothing more than to explore local wineries and learn about the varieties. One of my favorite wineries is Sunstone Winery in San Ynez Valley.
Sunstone Winery has much to offer. It’s about 35 minutes north of Santa Barbara, down winding, beautiful roads. An organic vineyard, they offer over 20 wines and tastings daily. Sunstone is now the oldest, continually growing organic vineyard in Santa Barbara County. They also offer specialty olive oils.
They offer reds, whites, rosé wine, sparkling wines; I especially enjoy their 2020 Grenache rosé – it’s delicious, light and gently sweet.
This winery features Provencal French courtyards with tables and tasting stations, stone barrel-aging caves, and lavender and rosemary-covered picnic grounds. Olive and California Coastal Oak trees provide shade. Many times, we have brought our own picnic lunch, or lunched at one of the gourmet food trucks on site.
Sunstone Winery is very user-friendly. The parking lot, picnic area and tasting areas are all ADA accessible. Cell phone access is spotty though, because it is in a valley, next to a mountain. Children are welcome, but must be supervised. I’ve seen kids play soccer or games while their parents taste wines. Dogs on leashes are also welcome.
Santa Barbara can get cool in the evenings or when it’s windy, so bring a light jacket or sweater. Alternately, in the summer it can be quite warm so plan accordingly.
If you wish to explore the SB County wine region, here are a few resources that might help you: