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Hotel Santa Barbara

Downtown hotel on State Street in Santa Barbara near beaches & walking distance to Stearns Wharf, shopping, restaurants and night life.
people drinking Santa Barbara Wine
15 Apr

The Santa Barbara Wine Experience – From Home

The Santa Barbara wine experience is world renowned. Thanks to our unique transverse valley (East to West), perfect climate for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, beautiful terrain, and  a little help from movies like Sideways, it has quickly become a top destination for wine enthusiasts from across the globe.

While travel takes a pause and most wine is being delivered to our homes right now, we thought we would also deliver the Santa Barbara wine experience directly to you with our recommendations.  We hope you enjoy this taste of Santa Barbara wines you can enjoy from home, plus a few fun facts about our wine country.

About Santa Barbara Wine Country

rolling hills of a Santa Barbara wine vineyard

Santa Barbara wine country is sandwiched between two mountain ranges with elevations ranging from 200 to 3,400 feet. The combination of this long stretch of transverse mountains, mixed with the offshore fog and breezes from the Pacific Ocean, creates a perfect environment to grow grapes. Because of this unique environment, grapes get an unusually long “hang time” on the vine which allows the fruit to fully develop the taste characteristics famous in our region.

Santa Barbara County has six federally sanctioned wine growing areas called American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) thanks to the diverse micro-climates in the region. The six AVAs include Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon.

While the Santa Barbara climate allows  a very diverse range of grape varietals to grow here, the most common are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. Other common varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Viognier.

In addition to many vineyards and wineries in the Valley (as locals call it), visitors can also find a plethora of wine tasting rooms in Downtown Santa Barbara, including the Presidio and Funk Zone neighborhoods. Known as the Urban Wine Trail, this is a great way to experience Santa Barbara wine tasting close to Hotel Santa Barbara.

Recommended Santa Barbara Wines for Spring

We reached out to some of our favorite local winemakers and asked them to give us their recommended Santa Barbara wines to enjoy this spring. The following wineries are all offering amazing deals on wine with convenient curbside pickup or discounted shipping. Some wineries are even offering live virtual wine tastings so you can experience Santa Barbara wines with the actual winemakers for a truly once-in-a-lifetime wine tasting session. Now is the time to experience Santa Barbara wine tasting no matter where you are!

Grassini Family Vineyards

bottle of Grassini Family Vineyard's sauvignon blanc laying on a picnic table with fruit and flowers

2018 Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc

Grown at their Estate Vineyard in the Happy Canyon AVA in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Tasting notes:

The Happy Canyon AVA is the warmest micro-climate in the Santa Ynez Valley. Dense early morning fog lifts to long afternoons full of sunshine. The Grassini 2018 Sauvignon Blanc exemplifies the varietal characteristics that are typical of both the warm and cool climates to which these grapes are exposed.

This Sauvignon Blanc opens with pronounced bright notes of white flower, lemon curd, and mango on the nose, as well as an underlying hint of fresh wet grass. It has a lovely bright acidity with notes of elderflower, apricot and white grapefruit on the palate. The finish is long and lingers after each sip, a reflection of the brief bit of oak fermentation.

Price: $28/bottle

Where to get it:

Grassini Family Vineyards’ downtown Santa Barbara tasting room is open daily from 12-3 pm for curbside pick-up. They are currently offering complimentary local delivery for orders of 4+ bottles. $5.00 shipping on orders of any size ($1.00 for Wine Club members). To purchase, call the tasting room at (805) 897-3366 or visit the website.


Jamie Slone Wines

bottle and glass of santa barbara white wine

2017 Albariño

Grapes are grown on Martian Ranch in Los Alamos Valley.

Tasting notes:

Mineral driven, fresh and aromatic, this wine exudes aromas of green apple and lime blossom. Nice acidity marries well with the plush, almost savory lusciousness of the wine.

Price: $28/bottle

Where to get it:

Call their downtown Santa Barbara tasting room at (805) 560-6555 for 20% off all wines. They are currently offering free local delivery with the purchase of 3 or more bottles. You can also order online with free shipping on 6 bottles or more, plus volume discounts of 10% off 3-11 bottles, or 15% off a case.


Margerum Wine Company

bottle of Margerum wine on hexagon-shaped marble table surrounded by 5 filled wine glasses

2017 M5 Red

Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Counoise grapes.

Tasting notes:

A solid core of dark red fruit and spicy fruit surrounded by youthful tannins. The overlying presence of Grenache flavors initially impact the palate, followed by a finish complete with hints of jam, cocoa and dark berry contributions of Syrah and earthy Mourvèdre. The color is opaque with dense crimson and ruby red hues. And aromas of red fruits, dried cranberries and jammy youthful fruits come immediately to the fore, with perfumed Grenache and rose petal floral aromas

Price: $29/bottle

Where to get it:

Margerum wines can be purchased online at margerumwines.com. Currently they are offering bundles of 3 bottles at a discounted rate plus discounted shipping.

They are also offering a discount on their highly convenient canned wine. $10/can when you purchase 24 cans (retail for $12.50/can). Order 6-11 cans for $10 shipping or 12-24 cans and shipping is included. Plus free local delivery on 12 bottles or more.

You can also visit the Margerum tasting room in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone daily from 12-4 pm for wine purchases and pickups (in store or curbside).



up close shot of a man pouring Barden Wines' pinot noir into a women's glass

2016 Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir grapes from Santa Rita Hills.

Tasting notes:

A flavor of earthiness with faint florals: roses, violet and Bing cherries. The color is a darker red hue with hints of jam and garnet and aromas of complex fruit, meat, mushrooms and burnt blueberry pie edges, all complemented with subtle wood aromatics of vanilla and toast.

Price: $68/bottle

Where to get it:

Barden wines can be purchased online at bardenwines.com. Currently they are offering bundles of 3 bottles at a discounted rate plus discounted shipping.

While their tasting room is currently closed, you can pick up Barden wines at their sister winery Margerum daily from 12-4 pm. You can order online and choose the “pick up at Margerum” option. Customers can also call ahead at (805) 845-8777 for curbside pick-up.


Sanford Winery

two glasses of red wine from Sanford Winery set on a red and white checkered tablecloth next to a cheeseboard

2016 Gravity Flow Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir from Sanford & Benedict and La Rinconada Vineyards in Santa Rita Hills.

Tasting notes:

This is the fourth vintage of the Sanford “Gravity Flow” Pinot Noir, named in honor of their precious water source, natural springs, which flow via gravity from high on the hill southeast down to the winery. Gravity is also employed to gently move wine using elevator tanks.

A total of 11 individual barrels were selected from six of their favorite Pinot Noir blocks in the Sanford estate vineyards with some of the rockiest soils on the property. This combination gives great complexity and intensity with impeccable balance.

Lavender, sandalwood and earthy raspberry greet the nose, and the mouth-filling palate has juicy wild berries with supple tannins and refreshing acidity, which carries to the lengthy clean finish.

Price: $52/bottle

Where to get it:

Bottles can be ordered online at sanfordwinery.com or email hope@sanfordwinery.com for curbside pickup or complimentary home delivery on 3+ bottles.

Sanford Winery is also hosting Facebook Live sessions with their winemakers:

4/16:  Brut Cuvee w/ Laura Roach live from our SB tasting room

4/30:  A focus on world-class Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

5/14:  A focus on La Rinconada Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

5/28:  May Wine club wine tasting


Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

bottle of Riverbench Winery's Brut Rose on counter next to a glass of rose

2017 Brut Rosé

100% pinot noir from their Riverbench vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley.

Tasting notes:

Riverbench winemakers consider their Brut Rosé therapy in a bottle for its calming pink color. Lightly perfumed with aromas of orange blossom and a hint of rosewater, this blush pink wine boasts noticeably fine bubbles. In the mouth, flavors of meringue, marzipan and raspberries are made all the more intriguing by a soft sensuality. A few glasses might leave a little pink in your cheeks.

Price: $48/bottle

Where to get it:

Bottles can be ordered at riverbench.com for either shipping or pickup. Pickups are from 11 am – 4 pm at either their Santa Maria Foxen Canyon location or at their Santa Barbara Funk Zone tasting room, arranged in advance. They are offering a $12 flat rate shipping on case orders.


Au Bon Climat

bottle of wine from AuBon Climate with vineyard in background

2016 Pinot Noir La Bauge Au-dessus

Pinot Noir grapes from the Santa Maria Valley.

Tasting notes:

The 2016 “La Bauge” is a classic Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir. It is a wine of great aromatics and character showing cherry/cranberry fruit, rose petal, earth and spice. The key word is balance. A balance of oak and fruit, a balance of tannin and acid, and a balance of elegance and intensity. This delicious Pinot Noir does not compete with food but maximizes the dining experience by complimenting whatever it is paired with.

Price: $35/bottle

Where to get it:

Au Bon Climat is offering curbside pick-up daily from 12-2 pm, complimentary hand delivery on 6+ bottles from Goleta to Carpinteria and penny shipping on 6+ bottles anywhere in California. To order please call (805) 963-7999 or email Nicole@aubonclimat.com. They are currently offering 15% off on a case of the 2016 Bauge if you mention this blog post.


Happy Canyon

bottle of Happy Canyon Vineyard's 2019 piocho sauvignon blanc

2019 Sauvignon Blanc

85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Semillion organic and estate grown by the Barrack Family on their 80-acre Piocho Ranch in Santa Ynez.

Tasting notes:

Aromas of white peach, plantain, tangerine, honeydew melon, and a touch of apple blossom. The wine is bright with a luxurious and harmonious persistence. The ripe rich Semillon complements the tight structure of Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate, the wine portrays the minerality of soil with hints of slate alongside tangy orange peel, lemon zest, key lime, and yellow apple. The finish is crisp, elegant, and fresh. Notes of exotic white flowers linger in the empty glass. Pairs well with grilled white fish, shellfish, roasted herbed chicken, and goat cheese.

Price: $29/bottle

Where to get it:

Happy Canyon Vineyard’s tasting room located in the Collection of El Paseo is open Friday through Tuesday from 12pm – 6pm. Enjoy bottles to go, club pick-ups, membership sign-ups, and pick up at-the-door or curbside.To order email allison@happycanyon.com or call (805) 232-3549.


Andrew Murray Vineyards

bottle of Andrew Murray Vineyards' Esperance Rose surrounded by fruit, flowers, and rocks

2019 Espérance Rosé

The 100% Cinsault grapes for this wine are sourced from a small 2-acre block on the Andrew Murray Estate Vineyard, Curtis. The vineyard site is a total of 100 acres, with 90 planted to vines. Andrew Murray Vineyards farms sustainably and grows everything from Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet Franc.

Tasting notes:

This rosé is made from 100% Cinsault grapes – a grape that can be found in Rhône blends as well as Provençal-style rosés. The grapes are gently pressed and allow for 1 hour of skin contact, which brings out the soft hue of pink in the final wine. The wine is then fermented and aged in stainless steel for 5 months before bottling. Notes of honeydew melon, wet stone, watermelon rind, and white florals.

Price: $22/bottle

Where to get it:

Andrew Murray Vineyards is currently offering free shipping on purchases of 3 bottles or more. This is applicable to anywhere in the U.S. Also, for locals, wines are available for contactless pick up at the winery, Monday-Friday 11 am-3 pm. Please call ahead at (805) 686-9604 or email info@andrewmurrayvineyards.com.


Municipal Winemakers

bottle of white wine from Municipal Winemakers on a wooden table outside with an orange tree in the background

2019 You Got This Bright White

Riesling from one of a handful of vineyards that are still planted with Riesling in Santa Barbara County. 2019 marks Muni Wine’s 10th year of working with the fruit out there.

Tasting notes:

It is crispy and dry with aromas of cut lime, wet quartz crystals, fresh green apple and a touch of salty brine. The zesty flavors of lime, orchard fruit, white flowers and chalky minerality make it super refreshing.

Price: $28/bottle

Where to get it:

Muni Wine is offering free local delivery between Carpinteria & Goleta and free shipping on all web orders.


Potek Winery

3 bottles of Potek Winery Wine sitting on a wooden table outside with a clay fireplace in the background

2017 Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir

This Pinot Noir is from the Sanford and Benedict vineyards in Santa Rita Hills.

Tasting notes:

Our 2017 Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict is energetic, lean and expressively aromatic. It captures the essence of S&B. Mid-weight and nicely perfumed, the 2017 S&B is a pretty wine to drink now and over the next few years.

Price: $66/bottle

Where to get it:

Potek is offering free local delivery between Carpinteria & Goleta and free shipping on all web orders. Wine club discounts are available.


Casa Dumetz

bottle of Casa Dumetz wine sitting on wooden counter in tasting room with bottles of wine on a shelf in the background

2018 The Feminist Party GSM

A luscious red wine blend showcasing premiere Santa Barbara County vineyards from all of our distinct growing regions. 50% Grenache from Spear, Portico, Kimsey and Larner vineyards, 15% Syrah from Tierra Alta vineyard, 30% Mourvèdre from Curtis and Martian Ranch, plus a secret weapon of 5% Graciano from Two Wolves.

Tasting notes:

A reflection of how everything is better when we all work together. The singular Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre blend (with a magical whisper of Graciano) reflects the complementary nature of these varietals and the collaborative spirit we can achieve.

Price: $36/bottle

Where to get it:

Casa Dumetz is offering a 20% discount and free shipping during this time.


Santa Barbara wine country is a unique wine region thanks to our special landscape and the amazing independent winemakers who are producing world renowned wines here. Although travel plans may be different right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the full Santa Barbara wine experience from home. Order some delicious Santa Barbara county wines, tune into a virtual wine class and enjoy the taste of Santa Barbara from anywhere.

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