Santa Barbara’s finest region for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Rhone grapes
Santa Ynez Valley - Sta. Rita Hills
SANTA YNEZ - Santa Ynez Valley is a long, east-west corridor with very cool temperatures on the coast that become progressively warmer inland. Consequently, several varietals do well, from Pinot Noir in the west to Cabernet and Merlot in the east. Several Rhône and Italian grape varietals have also gained acclaim in this versatile Santa Barbara County AVA.
The largest concentration of Santa Barbara wineries is within the Santa Ynez Valley appellation. From one-person labors of love to multi-thousand case operations, each has a dedication to producing wine that truly reflects the high quality and broad diversity of local grapes.
SANTA RITA HILLS - Santa Rita Hills is actually within the Santa Ynez Valley appellation, although its unique soils and climate distinguish the grapes grown there from the ones in the warmer vineyards to the east. A typical day in Santa Rita Hills starts with marine layer clouds and fog, which burn off by mid-morning; there is then two or three hours of calm sunshine until the on-shore winds pick up, cooling things down again. This maritime influence, combined with the sedimentary soils with patches of limestone is the perfect place to grow the appellation’s hallmark Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The region continues to innovate with progressive farming techniques, supplying fruit used to produce highly stylized and structured wines. The Santa Rita Hills appellation includes about 1700 planted acres within a 10 square mile area and it is located between the towns of Buellton and Lompoc, California.