Attention wine aficionados who are thinking of moving: the Santa Ynez Valley is home to some of California’s most sought-after wines. Our county’s unique location and climate make it the perfect place to grow grapes that produce some of most spectacular wines. If that wasn’t enough, in 2004 the Academy Award-winning film Sideways was released. Shot on location in the Santa Ynez Valley, the film caused the region and its wine to skyrocket to fame. In fact, the entire tourist trade has mushroomed from a cottage industry into a full-fledged affair, now boasting the full complement of lodging, dining, recreating and wine touring amenities in our amazing Santa Barbara County.
It all started back in 1782 when Father Junipero Serra brought grapevine cuttings from Mexico and planted them near Sycamore Creek. Then in 1804, the largest mission vineyard, 25 acres, was established just north of Santa Barbara, adjacent to San Jose Creek on land that is now part of the town of Goleta. An adobe winery was built as well, and it still stands as Goleta’s oldest landmark.
The Santa Barbara Wine Country grew in 1884 when grape slips from France were planted on a 150-acre vineyard on Santa Cruz Island. These prize-winning wines were shipped to San Francisco for bottling.
Santa Barbara Winery, founded in 1962, became the first of the modern-day wineries in the area. The country’s first commercial wine grape vineyard was planted two years later, however, by UC Davis viticulture graduates.
Because the Santa Ynez Valley is blessed with a cornucopia of microclimates, winemakers are able to produce a wide variety of wines to please virtually any palate. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) and Viognier are standouts among white wines, while Pinot Noir and Syrah shine in the red wine category.
The most comprehensive information about Santa Barbara’s wine country, wines, wineries and wine events can be found at the website of the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association. Meantime, my comprehensive website will help you get started on the thrilling journey to purchase or sell in Santa Barbara. Call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I look forward to helping you relocate in this beautiful part of the world!