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Thank you to Visit Santa Barbara for coordinating our adventures in wine tasting in Santa Barbara on the Urban Wine Trail!
Do you enjoy going wine tasting? If you’re planning a trip to Southern California, then you’ll definitely want to know about the best way to go wine tasting in Santa Barbara!
The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail card is the most affordable way to taste a wide variety of wines while walking around Santa Barbara. The card is $150. Most tasting rooms charge $15 for a tasting flight. If you were to pay to taste at 10 rooms that would add up to $150. With the Urban Wine Trail card, you get one tasting at 29 rooms, making it a great value.
While the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail card would make a great choice for a girls trip, most of the wine tasting rooms are family friendly too. On our recent trip to Santa Barbara, we got to go wine tasting at seven different tasting rooms and all of them welcomed our girls.
To be able to go wine tasting in Santa Barbara at all 29 tasting rooms on the Urban Wine Trail, you’d need to spend at least a week in town. The great thing is that your Urban Wine Trail card is good for an entire year, so you can take multiple trips into Santa Barbara over a year and taste them all.
The Urban Wine Trail was created by a group of like-minded wineries in Santa Barbara. All of the wineries are located within blocks of downtown and the beach. Many of the tasting rooms are conveniently located in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone or within walking distance.
Here are the seven tasting rooms we visited while wine tasting in Santa Barbara on the Urban Wine Trail.
Margerum Wine Company
The first tasting room we visited was Margerum Wine Company. The service was wonderful at this delightful little tasting room. Our wine hostess was amazing and well versed in all of Margerum’s wines and was an absolute pleasure to chat with.
All of their wines comes from top vineyards from the warm, eastern end of the valley in Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara to the cool vineyards of Sta. Rita Hills towards the western end of the valley.
Our favorite wine at this tasting room was the 2013 UBER Syrah. In addition to delicious wines, they also offer an herbaceous digestif that was perfect after eating pizza.
The Margerum Wine Company tasting room is open daily from noon to 6 pm with the last tasting starting at 5:30 pm. It’s located at 813 Anacapa Street and you can call them at (805) 845-8435.
Grassini Family Vineyards
The second wine tasting room we visited was in the same complex at Margerum – Grassini Family Vineyards. This boutique winery specializes in the handcrafted production of wines made exclusively from Bordeaux varietals grown on their estate vineyard in the Happy Canyon AVA of Santa Ynez.
This tasting room was a bit smaller, the service less welcoming and seating nearly non-existent, but the decor was very festive and we enjoyed the wines.
The Grassini Family Vineyards tasting room is open daily from noon to 6 pm with the last tasting starting at 5:30 pm. It’s located at 813 Anacapa Street, Suite #6 and they can be reached at (805) 897-3366.
Jamie Slone Wines
The tasting room of Jamie Slone Wines is also in the same area as Margerum and Grassini, making it very convenient to get three tastings in without a long trek. Jamie Slone’s tasting room was very welcoming with comfortable seating, which was very much welcomed. We appreciated the fact that Jamie Slone Wines is a family run business.
Jamie Slone Wines specializes in being a limited production bouquet winery (approximately 750 cases per year), premium wines from the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County. They feature Red Blends, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and more. A small production winery is considered 5,000 cases per year.
We had an amazing chat and learned a ton about Jamie Slone Wines from one of the owners who was also there. She told us about their entire process of blending the wine, beakers here, beakers there and wine everywhere. You could really feel the sense of pride they take in being a true boutique winery. Every wine we tasted here was outstanding. Jamie Slone Wines is a tasting room we’ll definitely go tasting at again.
You can visit the Jamie Slone Wines tasting room daily from noon to 6 pm at 23 E. De La Guerra St. They can be reached at (805) 560-6555.
If you want to visit the Funk Zone in Santa Barbara, there is a nice cluster of wine tasting rooms on the Urban Wine Trail. The first one we visited in the Funk Zone is Lafond Winery. Their wineries are located in the Santa Rita Hills Appellation, an area renowned for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The wine hostess was a super sweet older lady who was very knowledgeable about Lafond Winery and the entire wine industry in Santa Barbara. She told us about all of the wineries big and small and why all of Santa Barbara’s wines are unique. The reason is… you need to stop in Lafond to find out. Lafond is a sister winery to Santa Barbara Winery, which was just down the way.
Lafond Winery is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. They’re located at 111 East Yanonali Street and can be reached at (805) 845-2020.
Santa Barbara Winery
Visit Santa Barbara was kind enough to leave a bottle of Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay in our hotel room, so we wanted to make sure to get to the Santa Barbara Winery’s tasting room. Their bottle of Chardonnay was fantastic. Brian isn’t a huge fan of white wines and he even really liked the Santa Barbara Winery’s Chardonnay.
Founded in 1962, 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.
Their tasting room was large and the barrels made the environment very fitting. All of the wines were enjoyable.
While the kids were welcome here, there is a lot of merchandise on display, so I wouldn’t recommend bringing young children here that have a tendency to pick everything up – too much tempting stuff everywhere. Our girls were almost perfectly behaved 😉
By far the biggest tasting room we visited, there were many wine hosts and hostesses. Our hostess was in her early 20s and her knowledge of wines, wine making and the Santa Barbara Winery was was quite impressive. The wines were all on the side of very good.
Santa Barbara Winery is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. They’re located at 202 Anacapa Street and can be reached at (805) 963-3633.
Pali Wine Company
Across the street from Lafond and Santa Barbara wineries, you’ll find Pali Wine Co. This winery produces premium single-vineyard and AVA-specific Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from various top West Coast vineyards.
The Tower 15 brand, primarily available in their tasting rooms, showcases Rhone and Bordeaux varietals from the Central Coast region.
The service at Pali Wine Company was great and the wines were wonderful too. There were quite a few people in there tasting for a weekday, so it must be a popular spot! Our wine hostess was a super sweet girl who we had fun chatting it up with.
Pali Wine Company is open Sunday through Thursday from noon to 7 pm and Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 pm. They’re located at 116 East Yanonali Street and can be reached at (805) 560-7254.
The Valley Project
The final wine tasting room we visited in Santa Barbara is The Valley Project (just across from Pali Wine Company). This large tasting room has a very modern feel and the centerpiece is the hand-drawn chalk map of the county.
The Valley Project features small-batch wines from each of the region’s 5 AVAs.
The Valley Project was probably the funnest place we experienced. The wines were good and the service was even better. It wasn’t busy at all and our wine host was on the right side of awesome. He did a wonderful job at explaining all of the wines and had a great disposition. We left The Valley Project in great spirits. It’s definitely a spot we’d stop back in for another tasting.
The Valley Project is open daily from 11 am to 7 pm. They’re located at 116 East Yanonali Street and can be reached at (805) 453-6768.
Learn more about wine tasting in Santa Barbara on the Urban Wine Trail
You can see the rest of the wineries included on the Urban Wine Trail card here. Don’t worry – your card comes with a map so you can easily find all of the wineries.