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Santa Ynez Wine Country

It is difficult to generalize Santa Ynez Valley wineries and the grapes they specialize in producing. While Pinot Noir and Syrah immediately come to mind, this is really only the tip of the iceberg. A number of different grapes thrive in the vineyards of Santa Ynez Wineries.

Santa Ynez Valley’s climate produces everything from graceful Riesling to robust Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The valley has a relatively narrow opening to the Pacific Ocean which shelters more inland locations. Additionally, the elevation rises significantly as one moves east, with important implications for the climate and local vineyards in Santa Ynez Wine Country.

The ancient marine terrain of Santa Ynez Valley Wine Country has played a large role in the wine region’s success. Delicate grapes mature in the cooler, western parts of the wine region and fuller bodied grape varietals thrive in the warmer, eastern hills. This contributes to the diversity seen in Santa Ynez Wineries.

Santa Ynez Valley’s wine history began in 1804, when the first vineyards were planted by the Spanish. In that year, Mission Santa Ines was founded in what was then an isolated, peripheral part of Alta California. Despite these early origins, the majority of Santa Ynez Wineries did not emerge until the 1960s. Until then, the conventional wisdom was that the climate was too cold to grow grapes for the jug wines that the market demanded at the time.

> Popular Santa Ynez Valley Wineries

Comments & Reviews

November 27, 2006 | Jessica Diamond

I love tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley. Its one of favorite regions for Pinot Noir.

December 13, 2006 | Dana-Lyne Fisher

I love tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley. I've been going there for ten years. It's always been a little piece of heaven for me. The post-"Sideways" boost helps the economy, but the weekend crowds make it tough to enjoy many wineries in one day.

December 13, 2006 | Jessica Diamond

I know how you feel, its heading in the Napa Valley "Disneyland" style atmosphere. I would much rather have intimate tasting experiences with friends.

December 22, 2006 | dave ulrich

what a terrific escape for the fall, but i can see how the summer might see the place overrun. nonetheless, it's far more enjoyable than temecula, and so close to LA. a lot of nebbiolos up there (although i much prefer cabs).

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