Monday, January 16, 2012

Exploring Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail

While the allure of Santa Barbara County Wine Country brings in thousands of visitors annually to the famous towns and appellations of this iconic wine destination, people are quickly discovering the fifteen wineries that line the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail from the scenic coastline to Downtown's Historic Arts District.

Located 90 miles north of Los Angeles, Downtown Santa Barbara is easily becoming a premier wine destination for novice and experienced wine drinkers looking for quality and award winning wines from Santa Barbara County.  The Urban Wine Trail's convenient location allows wine tasters to park their cars and walk to many of the tasting rooms that line Anacapa Street just a block or two from Cabrillo Boulevard and Stearns Wharf.

The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail also features one of the most acclaimed Rhône varietal wine producers in California - Jaffurs Wine Cellars.  Jaffurs sources Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne from renowned Santa Barbara County vineyards such as Bien Nacido, Thompson, Ampelos and Verna's.  The winemaking team of Craig Jaffurs, Dave Yates and Matt Brady produce stunning wines that represent the finest qualities of Rhône varietals and the terroir of each vineyard.

If you want to stick to the itinerary and enjoy as many tasting rooms as possible, grab a sandwich to go from Panino in Montecito (1014 Coast Village Road, 805-565-0137) or Downtown Santa Barbara (834 Santa Barbara Street, 805-963-3700).  After a day of tasting, there are plenty of fine dining options throughout town with exemplary wine lists.  Likewise, Santa Barbara has a hotel for every budget and accommodation.


Au Bon Climat, 813 Anacapa St., (805) 966-9463. Open daily 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Carr Vineyards & Winery, 414 N. Salsipuedes St., (805) 965-7985. Open daily 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. & Thursday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Cottonwood Canyon, 224 Anacapa St., Suite 1A, (805) 963-1221. Open Fall/Winter: Thursday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. & Spring/Summer: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Conway Family Wines, 217 Stearns Wharf, (805) 618-1185. Open daily 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Jaffurs Wine Cellars, 819 E. Montecito St., (805) 962-7003. Open Friday-Monday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Kalyra Winery, 212 State St., (805) 965-8606. Open daily 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Kunin Wines, 28 Anacapa St., (805) 963-9633. Open daily 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Margerum Wine Company, 813 Anacapa St., (805) 966-9463. Open daily 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Municipal Winemakers, 22 Anacapa St., (805) 931-6864. Open daily 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (till 11:00 p.m., Thursday-Saturday)

Oreana Winery, 205 Anacapa St., (805) 962-5857. Open Monday-Thursday 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Friday-Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sanguis, 8 Ashley Ave., (805) 845-0920. Open by appointment only

Santa Barbara Winery, 202 Anacapa St., (805) 963-3633. Open daily 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Silver Wines, 724 Reddick St., (805) 963-3052. Open by appointment only

Summerland Winery, 2330 Lillie Ave., (805) 565-9463. Open daily 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Whitcraft Winery, 36 A South Calle Cesar Chavez, (805) 730-1680. Open Friday-Monday 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Santa Barbara Wine Tours said...

Nice article. One thing I'd mention though is that there are both wineries and tasting rooms on the Urban Wine Trail. As far as I know, there are only 5 actual wineries within the Santa Barbara city limits: Carr, Jaffurs, Oreana, Santa Barbara Winery and Whitcraft. The other places are tasting rooms that don't have winemaking facilities on the premises.

That's not to say that the places lacking the presence of winemaking equipment don't serve good wine of course. Au Bon Climat, for example, is one of the most acclaimed wineries in Santa Barbara County--but they unfortunately don't have a tasting room at their winery in the Santa Maria Valley, so the Santa Barbara tasting room was warming welcomed when it opened last spring.

tercero wines said...

Great write up and overview of a fun-to-visit area. And it's a great way to start or end a trip up into the Santa Ynez Valley (-:

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Brady said...

I've always been so impressed with the wine culture in Santa Barbara. I was raised in Northern California so I am totally used to the allure that wine has on a town and tourism, so forth. Santa Barbara has something different, there is a lot more to do than just drink wine, it's just an added bonus to all the other things you can do in the town! My perfect day is going wine tasting then hitting the beach for a picnic and enjoying the scenery. Cottonwood Canyon is really good and so is Santa Barbara Winery which is one of the oldest wineries in town! Can't really beat that kind of advertising. There are a few on this list I have never been to, I'll have to check them out the next time I am in town which is hopefully during Fiestas! We're staying at the Sandman Inn ( So inexpensive and close to several of these wineries, making my life so much easier!

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