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Santa Barbara Winery

DAY TRIP

The Santa Barbara Winery was established in 1962, making it the oldest winery in the county, since the majority of wineries were closed during Prohibition.

March 20, 2008

The Santa Barbara Winery was established in 1962, making it the oldest winery in the county, since the majority of wineries were closed during Prohibition. It was the first in the county to open after the ban was lifted. The winery harvests its grapes in the Santa Rita Hills of the Santa Ynez Valley, as well as neighboring vineyards.

Santa Barbara has a long history of producing wine before California became a state, with missions and Spanish rancheros planting grapes and producing wine. By the end of the 19th century, about 45 vineyards had sprouted in the county.

Now the county features 20,000 acres of grapes that go toward making wine in more than 100 wineries.

GETTING THERE

Take I-405 north for more than 50 miles. Exit onto CA-101 north toward Ventura and continue for more than 70 miles. Take the Garden Street/Laguna Street exit. When the street comes to a fork, take a left, following the signs to Garden Street-Downtown. Take a left at Garden Street, then a right at East Yanonali Street. Turn right at Anacapa Street.

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HOURS

The winery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

COST

Tasting fee is $5 per person, but visitors get to keep their glass. Bottles run from $14 to $45, with a $6.50 shipping rate. Large bottles can range from $50 to $200 — the $200 bottle is a 5-liter, 2003 Syrah. The winery also sells three-bottle samplers that can save customers $6.50. Mixers range from $38.50 to $64.50 for three bottles (one of each wine) and from $77 to $129 for six bottles (two of each wine). Wine can also be purchased and shipped in wooden boxes for an additional fee.

WINES

The Santa Barbara Winery’s current releases include both white and red wines, but tend to lean toward the reds. The new whites include two Sauvignon Blancs, two Chardonnays, and a Riesling.

They also offer 12 reds, three of which are Syrahs; two Pinot Noirs, and others, including a 2004 Joughin Vineyard Lagrein for $30 and a 2004 Stolpman Vineyard Nebbiolo, also for $30.

VINTNER’S ASSOCIATION

The Santa Barbara County Vintner’s Association works with and keeps tabs on all the wineries in the county.

The organization’s website, www.sbcountywines.com, can give wine enthusiasts or those looking to become enthusiasts the inside scoop on wineries, weather, new wines, events and maps.

One of the most interesting features is the site’s touring maps that allow a person to plan a route to various wineries in the county, or one can use specially designed tasting routes the website provides for different sections of the county.

The website lists all the wineries in the county, with a brief description and options, while also providing links to websites when available.

The Vintners Association can be reached at (805) 688-0881 or information@sbcountywines.com.

— Daniel Tedford


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