Santa Ynez Valley AVA
Santa Barbara, Central Coast
The Santa Ynez Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) located in Santa Barbara County, California covers over 76,000 acres and is part of the larger Central Coast AVA. The Santa Ynez Valley is home to the most wineries in the county and contains two smaller AVAs, Sta. Rita Hills known for quality Pinot Noirs and Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara which host some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the region. The valley formed by the Purisima Hills and San Rafael Mountain on the north and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south, offers growers a wide range of temperatures to grow many types of grapes.
In the cooler parts of the Valley, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay do very well. In the far eastern portion farthest from the influence of the Pacific Ocean fog, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon thrive. With over 100 wineries in the area, visitors can take a number of wine trails to try their favorite varietals or they can visit the tasting rooms that dot the small towns of the area such as Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. Fess Parker Winery, Fiddlestix, Dragonette Cellars, Margerum Wine Company and more thrive in the Santa Ynez Valley.
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