15 Best Wine Tasting Rooms In Santa Barbara

Despite the fact Napa Valley gets most of the attention when it comes to California wine country, Santa Barbara is just as impressive and abundant. While there are several stunning vineyards and wineries to tour in Santa Ynez Valley, the city of Santa Barbara is also crawling with tasting rooms. From downtown Santa Barbara to the historic Funk Zone, one of the best things about visiting this coastal gem is being able to walk from tasting to tasting.

Whether you're looking for your new favorite Pinot Noir or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with an ocean view, there's something for every kind of vino lover. That said, whether you're flying in from another state or driving up from Los Angeles, no weekend in Santa Barbara would be complete without hitting at least a few of the amazing tasting rooms. Thankfully, we've rounded up some of the best tasting rooms in Santa Barbara that you won't want to miss!

The Society: State & Mason

Located at the Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara's vibrant Funk Zone, The Society: State & Mason has become a go-to tasting room for locals and visitors alike. Patrons are able to enjoy more than 70 different wines, all of which come from the many wineries within the Foley Family portfolio. The Society: State and Mason is open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., making it the perfect stop for a tasting before having dinner at neighboring Blackbird.

While you can certainly walk in for the $35 Taste of Wine Country and Sunshine Sipping tastings at any time, there are also some more elevated tasting options to explore. For example, the Riviera Reserve Experience must be reserved beforehand and costs $100 per person. During this exclusive tasting, guests are treated to four different reserve wines along with specially curated, chef-driven bites. The design-forward interior creates a stunning backdrop to your tasting, but you can also snag a spot on the patio for prime people-watching on the American Riviera.

Deep Sea Tasting Room

As the name suggests, Deep Sea Tasting Room allows patrons to sip their favorite wines right above the sea. The tasting room is situated on Santa Barbara's Stearns Wharf, and the ocean and mountain views are simply unparalleled. Deep Sea Tasting Room is the ideal place to post up for a crisp glass of white wine on a sunny day. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some dolphins or seals right from your outdoor table.

This sibling-owned winery uses sustainable farming techniques whenever possible and chooses to avoid heavy pesticides and fertilizer. Also, since almost half of the vineyards for this winery are dry-farmed, water waste is minimized. Expect to taste bright and balanced varietals that range from white blends to Grüner Veltliner. If reds are more your style, Deep Sea's "Devilish" red blend and pinot noir are both solid picks that are smooth and slightly fruit-forward.

Margerum Tasting Room

Another Funk Zone favorite, Margerum Tasting Room in the Hotel Californian is a bright and airy tasting room that serves plenty of great food and wine. Margerum actually offers five different tasting flights. From the pinot noir flight to the syrah flight, having a few different options allows guests to curate an experience that fits their palate best. However, if you're looking to go all out while visiting Margerum, book the private M5 blending seminar tasting. This interactive experience is both memorable and educational, and it runs for $150 per person.

If you're hungry, the private food and wine pairing showcases the beauty of enjoying specific bites with Margerum's quality wines. That said, walking in and enjoying an a la carte spread of your choice is always an option. Sip on a glass of Margerum Grenache while nibbling on a cheeseboard, pizza, or the duck and arugula salad.

Grassini Family Vineyards

The Grassini Family Vineyards tasting room in Downtown Santa Barbara is open every day from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. While Grassini Family Vineyards does offer a select number of reservations per day, it is primarily first-come first-serve. That said, you shouldn't have too much of an issue finding a spot in the cozy and classic tasting room. During their visit, guests are able to partake in the Estate Flight which costs $25. This flight includes four different wines from Grassini's estate vineyards, showcasing the best of what this award-winning winery has to offer.

However, if you'd rather just post up on one of the leather chairs by the fireplace with a glass or bottle of your choice, go for it. Visitors willing to venture into the valley can also set up an exclusive 90-minute tasting experience at the Santa Ynez Estate Vineyard where you'll get an up close and personal experience with the hand-crafted Bordeaux varietals that Grassini is best known for.

J. Wilkes' Tasting Room

Kick back and relax on one of the velvet blue chairs at J. Wilkes' Tasting Room with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand. Many of the wines produced by J. Wilkes receive at least 90-point scores, so if you consider yourself to be an amateur sommelier, you're sure to be impressed. In addition to Santa Barbara staples like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, J. Wilkes also makes more unique varietals like Viognier and Pinot Blanc.

If you want to enjoy the sea breeze while you sip, grab a bistro table on the patio and take in the views of Stearns Wharf and the bustling boardwalk. The tasting room is open seven days a week, and while reservations are not required, they are recommended. If you're looking to hop from winery to winery, its prime location at Hotel Californian allows you to hit other tasting rooms like Margerum and The Society within minutes of each other.

Jamie Slone Wines

With two outdoor patios and a charming seating area inside, Jamie Slone Wines offers the quintessential Santa Barbara wine-tasting experience. Jamie Slone Wines are hand-crafted and consistently rank 90 points or above. It is located in Downtown Santa Barbara, placing guests next to some of the city's best restaurants, bars, and boutiques. Guests are welcome to walk in at their leisure, but you can also make a reservation beforehand if you'd prefer to play it safe.

Jamie Slone Wines has one of the larger selections of varietals when compared to many of the other wineries in the area. In addition to Santa Barbara classics like pinot noir, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon, Jamie Slone Wines also produces rosé, grenache, sauvignon blanc, and more. The pourers are incredibly friendly and attentive and if you're looking to learn more about the winery or hoping to revisit a specific pour, they are more than happy to help.

Melville Winery

Looking for a more modern tasting room in Santa Barbara? Melville Winery has a sleek and tasteful interior along with picturesque outdoor seating. Whether you're winding down after a massage at Majorelle Spa or looking to enjoy a glass of wine after a day of shopping in the Funk Zone, Melville is a must-visit winery for locals and visitors alike. If you want something to nibble on while you sip, Melville has artisan cheese and charcuterie boards available for purchase.

The estate tasting costs $25 and features five different pours. The wines that Melville is best known for include the pinot noir, chardonnay, and syrah, but you can also find some sparkling wine and bubbles available for purchase. After the tasting, order a glass of your favorite wine and enjoy the laid-back vibes of this beautiful beach town. If you fall in love with one of the wines, you can buy three bottles and have your tasting fee waived.

Pali Wine Co.

If you're looking for a fun and laid-back winery to visit on the weekends, Pali Wine Co. is a great go-to. In addition to its Santa Barbara location in the Funk Zone, you can also find Pali Wine Co. in San Diego, LA, Anaheim, and Lompoc. That said, the Santa Barbara Pali Wine is one of the largest and most popular. The spacious patio is dog-friendly and it's the perfect place to enjoy some sunshine on a nice day. However, the bright and airy interior is equally as enticing. Plus, you can expect live music and a taco truck on the weekends.

In addition to the food truck that often posts up outside of Pali, you can also grab some chips, olives, and hummus at the front. There are a few different tastings to choose from. If you prefer minimal sulfites or unfiltered wines, the Natural Experience is perfect for you. You can choose between a $22 four-pour tasting or a $32 six-pour experience. However, if you end up buying two bottles of wine your four-pour tasting is free, and if you buy three bottles your six-pour tasting is free.

Valley to the Sea Winery

Located in Downtown Santa Barbara, Valley to the Sea Winery brings Santa Ynez wines to the coast. Patrons are able to try wines that come from Happy Canyon, Ballard Canyon, and the Santa Rita Hills. Glasses of wine cost around $14, but you can also embark on a tasting of six featured wines from each region for only $20.

When it comes to white wines, some must-tries from Valley to the Sea Winery include the Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer reds, the red blend has a balanced body, while the cabernet sauvignon and syrah are bold yet smooth. Valley to the Sea Winery has been a local staple since 2012, and if you decide to sign up for the wine club membership, there are plenty of perks. You can choose between three shipments of two bottles per year or three shipments of four bottles per year.

Longoria On State

As the name suggests, Longoria On State is a tasting room that sits right on Santa Barbara's most iconic street. This renowned winery has been producing artisanal wines since 1982, making it a legend among the community. In fact, the owner and founder, Rick Longoria, is considered to be a pioneer in the winemaking industry. From pinot noir to Spanish reds like tempranillo, Longoria is masterful in its practice and most of the wines are known for being smooth and easy to drink.

The Santa Barbara tasting room has a bright interior met with blue and green accents. In addition to bar seating, there are also a handful of plush chairs and couches where patrons can post up with a small group. Longoria's original tasting room is located in Lompoc in an adorable farmhouse from 1913. If you have the ability to visit both tasting rooms during your time in Santa Barbara, you'll get a true sense of what Longoria is all about.

Kunin Wines

Kunin Wines is a must-visit on Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail. Owner, Seth Kunin, first got involved in the industry in 1998 and now has a tasting room in Santa Barbara, an appointment-only winery in Goleta, and a warehouse in Santa Maria. The Kunin Tasting Room is in the culturally-rich Presidio Neighborhood and is open every day from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. When Kunin first launched, the main varietals were syrah, zinfandel, and viognier. Now, Kunin specializes in everything from Grenache to Chenin Blanc.

The tasting room is charming and cozy, and if you want to learn as much as possible about Kunin, definitely sit at one of the industrial bar stools at the bar top. Guests are also able to choose between a red, white, or mixed tasting, so if you have particularly strong preferences or only drink one or the other, you don't have to sip on anything you don't enjoy.

The Valley Project

The Valley Project has a passion for showcasing the amazing wines that are able to thrive in Santa Barbara's unique climate. Each of Santa Barbara's five AVAs show how different wines thrive in different locations within the same county, and The Valley Project has mastered the art of winemaking in each topography. The giant chalkboard offers a cool and modern background to your wine tasting, while the tall windows let in an ample amount of light and create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

The Valley Project Tasting room is open seven days a week from noon until 7:00 p.m. in the Funk Zone. If you have an interest in learning what makes wine taste so different across the same varietals, The Valley Project does a wonderful job at educating patrons as they sip on glasses of vino that come from all five of Santa Barbara County's AVAs.

Corks n' Crowns

From cupcake Sundays to decadent wine and cheese pairings, Corks n' Crowns is a locally-loved tasting room in the Funk Zone. Just a short walk from the beach, Corks n' Crowns is a great spot to stop after a long day of hitting the waves. This beloved tasting room also hosts live music from Thursday through Sunday, and the weekends have a tendency to get pretty busy. With a handful of different tasting options to choose from, every kind of wine lover can expect to find something to their liking when visiting Corks n' Crowns.

The Pinot Noir flight includes three different tasting for only $12, while the Platinum flight can be enjoyed for $15 and showcases three different varietals. Rather than offering a single label, the wines at Corks n' Crowns come from all over, and there are even international bottles to explore. If you're known for having a sweet tooth, don't miss out on Cupcake Funkday which takes place every Sunday and features a pairing of cupcakes and Champagne.

Carr Winery

Located in Downtown Santa Barbara, Carr Winery has a rustic patio that provides the perfect backdrop to a weekend wine tasting. The wine barrel-based umbrellas provide an ample amount of shade while the stone fire pit ensures that patrons stay nice and cozy no matter what time of the year you visit. The interior is even more moody and boasts a sleek wooden bar along with walls and walls of wine barrels. Reservations are recommended and there are actually four different areas that you can reserve.

For groups of four to six, the wine grotto is perfect for enjoying a transportive tasting experience. If you want a bit more privacy than what you'll find at a standard patio table, reserve the cabana-like covered patio tables. Finally, the spacious fire pit can be reserved for four to six guests. Carr Winery also hosts monthly art shows along with live music throughout the week. If you find yourself in the valley during your visit, be sure to stop by the Carr Winery tasting room in Santa Ynez.

Municipal Winemakers

Looking to kick back on a spacious patio and soak up some of the Santa Barbara sun? Muni is a casual yet fun tasting room location in the Funk Zone. The featured wines rotate regularly, and you'll definitely want to sign up for the tasting flight before settling on which glass you'll want to order. The Muni tasting costs $20 and comes with four different wines. In addition to the outdoor patio, there are also tables inside where guests can be immersed in a more industrial setting.

Since Muni doesn't take reservations, feel free to walk in at your leisure. However, if you're planning a special event or birthday with a large group of 10 or more, you can set something up ahead of time. If you're into chilled reds, this is the place for you, but there are always unique varietals to explore and taste, ensuring that even local regulars can enjoy something new during each visit.