This winery specializes in estate grown, limited production Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and sparkling wine. The picturesque wine caves are the first of their kind in Santa Barbara County, and are often used as a venue for concerts, dinners, and special events.
Recognized for its lush, tropical Chardonnay, velvety Pinot Noir and rich, spicy Syrah, this winery boasts 100% estate wines. Cambria is family-owned, and its wines are sustainably-farmed, fully revealing the essence of the Santa Maria Bench.
This winery showcases the picturesque 1875 San Ramon Chapel and barn, set on land once called “Sisquoc” or “gathering place” by the Chumash tribe. It is a historical landmark which still holds Sunday mass.
The 1860s-era “Shack” (also called “foxen 7200”) was once the blacksmith shop for the historic Rancho Tinaquaic, and is a perfect backdrop for sampling Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. There are two tasting rooms that honor both the old and new with their charming rustic aesthetic. The winery is solar-powered, and was founded by Bill Wathen and Dick Doré (also known as the “Foxen Boys”).
Newer Wineries and Tasting Rooms
William James Cellars
Relax, unwind, and pair wines with Girl Scout cookies or salsa in the Orcutt neighborhood of Santa Maria. Owner-winemaker Robin Bogue named the establishment after her father, a longtime vineyard irrigation consultant. Bogue has added more than a dozen varietals to her winemaking portfolio, experimenting with stainless steel, oak and neutral oak, as well as with blends—ultimately producing approximately 1,500 cases annually.
This state-of-the-art facility boasts modern architecture and expansive views. The 200-acre property includes 73 acres of certified sustainably farmed vineyards. Envelope your senses in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah. To complement estate production, the winery partners with top produce growers in the valley to source additional outstanding fruit.
Launched by local winemaking veteran Clarissa Nagy, this boutique tasting room is located in Orcutt. The winery produces approximately 500 cases of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Blanc, and Viognier. Clarissa also maintains her position as winemaker for Riverbench Winery, also in Santa Maria.
Riverbench sold its fine Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit for decades to renowned wineries throughout the Santa Barbara County until 2004 when it began producing its own wines in limited quantities. Many of these are available through the winery’s tasting rooms in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.
Owner and winemaker Gary Burk is a second-generation winegrower whose father, Ron Burk, co-founded Gold Coast Farms in the Santa Maria Valley. The winery’s tasting room opened in 2006 at the location of the original Gold Coast Farms strawberry stand near Highway 101 in Santa Maria, specializing in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and other varietals that excel in the area.
“Newbies” Mike and Janis Schmidt brought the brand from their friend, Peter Brucher, in 2009. The Brucher label specializes in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Port, while the Bear Wine label (named after UC Berkeley’s mascot Oski the Bear) specializes in Syrah, Grenache, and Riesling.
This culinary star is nestled along Santa Maria Valley’s historic Old Orcutt district. Chef Nicolette Oliphant is passionate about gathering ingredients from fresh and local sources (such as the weekly Los Olivos Farmers Market and Deydey’s beef in Lompoc) in addition to great wines.
Lucia’s Wine Company
Enjoy an exceptional variety of Central Coast wines, a friendly staff, and brick-oven pizza in Old Orcutt. Lucia’s takes pride in a laid-back, intimate atmosphere. The tasting room, located at 126 East Clark Avenue, is also known as a hub for live music and spirited jam sessions from beloved local musicians and artists.
Located in Old Town Orcutt, the Old Town market features a world-class wine department chock-full of hundreds of varietal selections from more than 70 local wineries, including hard-to-find boutique wines. The shop also hosts weekly wine and food tastings and pairings, and is frequented for its onsite Santa Maria-style barbecue sandwiches and other tasty menu items.
A Little Bit Farther, But Worth the Trip
You won’t want to miss this tasting bar in the historic 1880 Union Hotel, an original Wells Fargo stagecoach located in the hamlet of Los Alamos, about 15 minutes south of Santa Maria. This distinctive spot exclusively features three labels: GoGi wines, produced by actor Kurt Russell; the Hudson-Bellamy label produced by actress Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy of the band, Muse; and Ampelos Cellars owned by Peter and Rebecca Work.
Casa Dumetz Wines
Owned by actor, writer, and director, Emilio Estevez and his fiancée-winemaker, Sonja Magdevski, this tasting room is located in Los Alamos. It’s not unusual for visitors to have their glasses filled by Sonja. These elegant, small batch, balanced wines are sourced from the Santa Ynez Valley, most of which are Rhone varietals such as Grenache, Syrah, Viognier, and Roussanne.
Martian Ranch & Vineyard
This estate winery in Los Alamos features a range of Santa Barbara County varietals. According to proprietor Nan Helgeland, Martian is the blend of her sons’ names, Martin and Ian, and, apparently, the Martian seen occasionally on the premises is as much a mystery to her as anyone else.
Lucas & Lewellen
This family-owned operation focuses on its three estate vineyards grown in Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos Valley, and the Santa Maria Valley. The winery’s tasting room is in the heart of Solvang and features more than 20 wine varietals.