Santa Barbara County
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Viticulture in Santa Barbara County is traceable to missionary plantings in the Milpas Valley late in the 18th century. Since commercial viticulture rebounded in the 1960s, Santa Barbara County has been on the fast track to viticultural stardom. Its grapes now command among the highest prices anywhere in the state. Famous for ripe yet elegant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the County is also gaining a reputation for Rhone varietals including Syrah and Viognier. Located on California’s South Central Coast, Santa Barbara County is an oasis of rolling hills, ancient oak trees and cattle ranches. The County now claims more than 60 wineries and 21,000 acres of vine, with the vast majority of the vineyards in the County’s three AVAs: Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez and Santa Rita Hills, each with its own distinct terroir. Santa Barbara’s fame hasn’t come without hurdles, as environmental issues and the social impact of big business are major issues for a region striving to maintain its identity.

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Besides legendary Zinfandel, Amador County has taken to Rhone, Italian and Iberian variety wines with laudable results. Now the Amador 4 Fires brings the foods of those regions to an open flame to explore a total experience  [>] continue

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Syrah | Shiraz: During the Roman occupation of Gaul you rose to fame as a captive vine turned gladiator. Your legend  [>] continue


Dennis Schaefer
is the Regional Correspondent for Santa Barbara County.


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Pacific Ridge Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir This delicate fruit was approached with the idea of using more than one method to achieve greater structure and sophistication.
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