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spacer.gif^ Livermore, CA | Paso Robles, CA | San Luis Obispo, CA | Santa Barbara, CA | OREGON       >> Tasting Dispatches
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(Quality & Experience)
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In Santa Barbara County, the east-west orientation of the coastal mountains forms valleys opening directly to the Pacific Ocean. This unique topography allows the flow of fog and ocean breezes to shape distinct microclimates, perfect for the cultivation of classic grape varietals and world class wines.

sb_pic.jpgThe 50 miles from Point Conception to Rincon constitute the longest east-west traverse of shoreline from Alaska to Cape Horn. Here, the Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains form a unique coastal range – the inland flow of fog and ocean breezes make the region one of the coolest viticultural areas in California.

Within Santa Barbara County there are three distinct appellations: Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Rita Hills. In addition, the Los Alamos region, between the Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley appellations, remains a strong and successful grape growing region. Slightly less than half of the grapes grown in Santa Barbara County are used by local vintners, the balance are exported to wineries outside the area.

There are now almost 100 wineries in Santa Barbara County, located primarily in the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley appellations. Most of the wineries are small businesses, run by individuals or families. The wine industry in Santa Barbara County grew from virtually nothing in 1970 to a $360 million business 32 years later. More than a million cases of wine are produced annually. Today there are over 21,000 acres of vineyards in Santa Barbara County. At more than $118 million, wine grapes are the most valuable crop in the county.

>> CLICK HERE for a list of winery ratings and recommendations.

For More Information Visit the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association.


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