Sta. Rita Hills AVA
Santa Barbara County, Central Coast
The Sta. Rita Hills AVA encompasses an area with over 30,000 acres yet has less than 2,000 acres dedicated to vineyards. This AVA is located within the larger Santa Ynez Valley AVA between the small towns of Lompoc and Buellton. The region was dubbed as an AVA in 2001 but received its official name as “Sta. Rita Hills” in 2006 after a long legal negotiation with a Chilean vintner in the area. Since his winery was named “Vina Santa Rita” he was apprehensive about how the appellation name would impact his brand, however, in the end they all settled on the abbreviated written name “Sta. Rita Hills AVA”. Although people still say the name as “Santa”.
Being roughly 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean, this region benefits from the cool breezes and warm afternoons - giving the grapes sufficient time to develop and produce intense, flavorful grapes. The soil here is full of minerals, marine sand, and limestone which also contributes to the beautiful terroir-driven wines. Sta. Rita Hills is best known for their production of high-end Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays which is a huge feat given most of the vineyards were planted within the last 20 years! A few other popular grape varietals grown in this region include Viognier, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc.
On you next visit to the area make sure to schedule some time for wine tasting along the Sta. Rita Hills Wine Trail! A majority of the wineries on the route have been featured in our monthly Wine Clubs including Alma Rosa, Babcock, Dierberg, Lafond, and Mosby Wineries. Enjoy!
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