In this episode of Discovering Wine Country, we take you to the California Coast and Santa Barbara. While the beach and the city are beautiful, we will take you beyond to the wine county that sits a little further inland.
There are so many rabbit holes here, like the geography of the region, the 7 different AVA’s, and all the places to taste wine and eat!
We will also dive into Chardonnay. You might be surprised to find that this is not the love-it or hate-it grape that you thought it was!
So, put on your shades; it’s time to visit Santa Barbara.
Exploring Santa Barbara County
The Santa Barbara wine region sits in LA’s backyard. Less than 2 hours north of LA, this region is diverse in its wines. Much of this has to do with Geography.
Twenty million years ago, this land was under the ocean. The tectonic plates moved and the mountains were shoved up out of the ocean in a North-South direction causing the Mountain ranges we are familiar with in California.
Over the next 12 million years, the mountains in the Santa Barbara area broke away from the plate and began their gradual clockwise turn bringing the mountain ranges here to an East-West orientation. They are continuing their move today.
This east-west orientation of valleys allows the marine influence to flow into the region. The temperature from the west near the coast to the east inland in Happy Canyon increases by 1 degree per mile. As a result, many varieties grow here, over 70, according to the Santa Barbara Vintners Association.