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Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County


The Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA is a 23,941 acre land that was planted between 1996 and 2001. It wasn’t until 2009 that the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara was designated an official AVA by the trade and tax bureau. Even with almost 24,000 acres, Happy Canyon is still considered the smallest AVA is Santa Barbara County.

The hillside vineyards, ample sunshine, and grasslands scattered with oak trees, makes Happy Canyon a scenic and promising viticultural area. The AVAs mountain range shields the vineyards from powerful oceanic influences, all while trapping in the daytime heat from the Santa Ynez Valley. Early morning and late afternoon breezes, as well as the rich foggy marine layers that move across the canyon, produce high temperatures in the daytime and low temperatures at night.

The warm micro-climate of the Happy Canyon makes it a perfect home for Bordeaux and Rhône varietals that thrive in this region. Happy Canyon wines consist of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah as some of the most popular varietals.

When it comes to the geology of Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA, it is important to consider the flavors that can be gained from the substances in the soil and terroir. The soil of the Happy Canyon is a mix of fertile workable soil, and clay-like soil, which is scattered with cobbles. As a whole the soil is high in mineral levels and low in nutrients, which results in very low grape yields and small vines, producing concentrated flavors and excellent terroir expression.

Wine producers in the county seek out Happy Canyon grapes for their extraordinary quality and decadent flavors. Uniquely, in this region fruit sugar develops subsequent to flavor, which creates complexity and depth in the Happy Canyon wine.

The Happy Canyon AVA houses six main vineyards and one winery, which are: Crown Point Vineyards, Dierberg Vineyard, Grassini Family Vineyards, Grimm’s Bluff, Happy Canyon Vineyard, Jack McGinley and Vogelzang Vineyard.

We are so thrilled to feature a number of carefully selected wines from the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara in our wine of the month club. Join today to taste the delicious wines from this region. Cheers!



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Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara Wineries