Here in Santa Maria Valley wine country, September is our favorite month of the year – California Wine Month! All September long, we celebrate the fruits of the labors of winemakers across the state. From harvest to bottle, California Wine Month is all about indulging in delicious wines and learning more about the winemaking process. Read on for all you need to know before you visit, and even a few ways you can celebrate from home, with a little #SantaMariaStyle flair, of course!
Familiarize yourself with Santa Maria Valley’s flagship varietals
There are three wines that reign supreme in this part of the state – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. The Santa Maria Valley AVA boasts a cool, Mediterranean climate and one of California’s longest growing seasons. Experts have called the Central Coast “the world’s most dynamic wine-growing region.” Take a deeper dive into each varietal to learn about flavor profiles, aging methods and more.
Get to know the winemakers
Santa Maria Valley is the ideal home base for any wine tasting weekend, boasting more than 30 winery tasting rooms within a 30-mile drive. Check out our winery pages to learn more about each winery’s history and the winemakers behind each delicious vintage.
Take a brief geography lesson
Santa Maria Valley’s unique geography creates microclimates that allow different types of grapes to prosper in different ways. The Santa Maria Valley winegrowing region can be roughly divided into two regions – on the Santa Maria Bench and off the bench. Grapes grown on the bench have round textures and notes of earth because of the loam and stones in the soil. Wines grown off the bench are fruitier and spicier.
Brush up on the Santa Maria Valley tasting guide
Wine tasting is done a little differently in Santa Maria Valley – there are a few ways we stray from winetasting tradition. Check out our tasting guide to find out how to sprinkle a bit of #SantaMariaStyle spice into the mix and wine taste on the seasonal Santa Maria Valley Wine Trolley, participate in a guided winery cycling tour and explore the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail.
Plan your wine tasting weekend
Celebrate California Wine Month by going all out! Immerse yourself in wine country on a Santa Maria Valley wine tasting weekend getaway. Take a three-day trip for less than $500 where you can explore the beauty of the valley and drink award-winning wines paired with authentic Santa Maria Style Barbecue. Due to social distancing guidelines and restrictions currently affecting our region’s tasting rooms, we do encourage you to contact the wineries at the top of your list and make tasting appointments before visiting.
Stock up on valley vino
If you can’t celebrate California Wine Month in Santa Maria Valley, you can still celebrate the region’s wines by ordering online from your favorite local winery. Many Santa Maria Valley wineries ship cross-country to most states. Be sure to show your favorite winery a little love by virtually picking up a bottle or two of your favorite vintages.
In Santa Maria Valley, there’s so much to do from here. Hit the road and explore it all with our 24 hiking trails, 34 tasting rooms, seven unique AVAs, 13 beaches, and a growing selection of local breweries, all within a beautiful 30-minute drive. There is no need to venture far if you are looking for sand dunes, cycling and authentic Santa Maria Style dining. You’ll find it’s the perfect home base, where you can eat, drink and do more for less.