In Santa Barbara, winemaking has been a part of the story for more than 230 years, dating back to Father Junipero Serra and his need for communion wine. Founded in 1962 by Pierre Lafond, the Santa Barbara Winery is the oldest winery in the county and has influenced the development of the Santa Ynez Valley as a world–class growing region. There are currently five federally-sanctioned American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within Santa Barbara County: Ballard Canyon, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Ynez Valley, and they are now seen among the top producers in the world.
Santa Barbara Winery’s grapes comes from the owners, Pierre Lafond’s Vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills and from neighbouring vineyards. The winery produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah varieties that have excelled in the micro climate of the western end of the valley which is strongly influenced by the cool breezes from the Pacific, the foggy mornings and the warm days. One of these, Pinot Noir, a cool climate variety, was the principal beneficiary of the movie Sideways (2004), a movie that put Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara on the map. SBW produce many other varieties and besides the award winning Pinot Noir, their trademark Chardonnay is considered by many people to be Santa Barbara’s best.
Santa Barbara Winery was awarded by New York International Wine Competition: ‘Central Coast Winery of the year 2015’ and ‘Chardonnay Central Coast Producer of the Year 2015’.
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