Santa Maria Wine Tasting: 8 Best Wineries to Visit 2023

Situated in the heart of Santa Barbara County, Santa Maria is one of the most beautiful AVA’s in the United States. Its picturesque countryside, delicious wines, and mild climate make it a great place to visit all year round.

Thinking of stopping by this AVA to peruse some of the local wineries? We’ve compiled a list of the best Santa Maria wineries list to help you make the right selections so you can sit back, relax, and sip on the most exquisite wines in the area.

What Wine Is Santa Maria Known For?

Santa Maria is renowned for its premium-quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as the area’s cool, Mediterranean climate provides optimal growing conditions for the grapes of both varieties. Additionally, Syrah is widely popular in Santa Maria, offering a full-body and silky smooth finish.

Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Nebbiolo can also be commonly found in this AVA.

How Many Wineries Are In Santa Maria?

There are around 30 wineries and tasting rooms in Santa Maria, which alongside the AVA’s coastal climate and delightful scenery, make it a popular destination for wine lovers from all over the globe.

Top 8 Wineries In Santa Maria

Now that you know what type of wines to expect in this stunning AVA, here are some of the best wineries in Santa Maria that you need to check out during your travels.

Presqu’ile Winery

Presqu’ile Winery 1
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @presquilewine
Presqu’ile Winery 2
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @presquilewine
  • Address: 5391 Presquile Dr, Santa Maria, CA 93455, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 805-937-8110

Presqu’ile Winery is one of the most acclaimed wineries in Santa Maria, and it’s not difficult to see why. With their wide selection of high-quality wines, welcoming atmosphere, and spectacular scenery, you’ll be transported to wine heaven as soon as you step through their doors.

Like the majority of Santa Maria wineries, Presqu’ile Winery has expertise in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah wines, all of which taste phenomenal. They also produce Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, Nebbiolo, and Aligoté, so there are plenty of other wines to sample.

The tasting room is nestled atop a hill and features a jaw-dropping ocean, as well as picturesque scenes of the surrounding mountains and vineyards. The winery offers several tasting options via reservation, including wine and bocce, horseback tour and tasting, and wine and food tour.

The latter includes a guided walking tour through their 240-foot cave and grounds. You’ll then be treated to delicious wine and sumptuous food prepared by their estate chef.

Rancho Sisquoc Winery

Rancho Sisquoc Winery 1
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @ranchosisquoc
Rancho Sisquoc Winery 2
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @ranchosisquoc
  • Address: 6600 Foxen Canyon Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 805-934-4332

As the oldest cattle ranch winery in Santa Barbara County, Rancho Sisquoc Winery is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a tranquil, rustic setting to relax in with a glass or bottle of sublime wine. They craft an assortment of small-batch white and red wines, such as Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.

Their charming tasting room offers a friendly ambiance, making you feel right at home as soon as you walk onto the property. The spacious outdoor area is surrounded by woodland and wildlife, providing a natural and calming backdrop.

Appointments are required to visit this winery, with table reservations costing $10 per person and group bookings costing $20 per person (for groups of 7 or more). Both fees can be applied to food, wine, or merchandise purchases during your visit.

Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

Riverbench Vineyard & Winery 1
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @riverbench
Riverbench Vineyard & Winery 2
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @riverbench
  • Address: 6020 Foxen Canyon Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 805-937-8340

Well-known for their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines, Riverbench Vineyard & Winery is a top-class boutique winery situated on the bank of the Sisquoc River in Santa Maria. They were first established in the 1970s, giving them an abundance of experience in winemaking.

The winery’s historic tasting room is located in a restored 1920’s craftsman-style house. You can outside on their terrace patio, which is surrounded by hills, trees, and vineyards.

Riverbench Vineyard & Winery has a few tasting options to choose from, including outdoor wine tastings, garden experiences, picnics, and more.

Foxen Vineyard & Winery

Foxen Vineyard & Winery 1
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @foxenwines
Foxen Vineyard & Winery 2
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @foxenwines
  • Address: 7600 Foxen Canyon Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 805-937-4251

Next up is Foxen Vineyard, a solar-powered winery that has been operating since 1985. They have two establishments in Santa Maria: a charming “shack”-style wine bar and a spacious, modern tasting room. Both are well worth a visit when you’re in the area!

At the FOXEN tasting room, you can enjoy a tasting flight ($20) or a Pinot Noir specialty flight ($28). One of the winery’s helpful and knowledgeable associates will talk you through each wine and explain how it’s produced.

At the Foxen 7200 tasting room, you can choose from a tasting flight ($20) or a heritage specialty flight ($18), the latter of which includes 3 Heritage wines from the Alta block of their estate Tinaquaic Vineyard.

Costa De Oro Winery

Costa De Oro Winery 1
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @cdowinery
Costa De Oro Winery 2
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @cdowinery
  • Address: 1331 Nicholson Ave, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 805-922-1468

Featuring remarkable wines and a casual atmosphere, Costa De Oro Winery is another outstanding winery located in Santa Maria. Their tasting room boasts beautiful valley and mountain views, so you enjoy your time while gazing at the breathtaking scenery.

Costa De Oro Winery hosts exciting monthly events, wine club pick-up parties, and weekend music, the latter of which is always a hit with the locals. They offer charcuterie plates if you fancy a bite to eat, but there are also food vendors present during the weekend.

Cottonwood Canyon Winery

Cottonwood Canyon Winery 1
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @cottonwoodcanyonwinery
Cottonwood Canyon Winery 2
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @cottonwoodcanyonwinery
  • Address: 3940 Dominion Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 805-937-8463

Another top-notch winery in Santa Maria is Cottonwood Canyon Winery, specializing in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. Their gorgeous estate spans 78 acres and is filled with vineyards, trees, and rolling hills, providing a dreamy backdrop that’s perfect for wine tasting.

There are few tasting options to experience, including basic tastings, private tastings, and wine cave tours. You can enjoy a decadent picnic in the vineyard. The experience comes with plenty of wine, a charcuterie board, picnic basket, pillows, and blankets, and is ideal for a romantic retreat with a special someone or a fun day out with all the family.

Cottonwood Canyon Winery is a spectacular venue for a wedding, and the winery prides themselves on their hospitality and attention to detail. They have several wedding packages to choose from and can accommodate intimate weddings to large celebrations for up to 300 guests.

Cambria Winery

Cambria Winery
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @cambriawines
  • Address: 5475 Chardonnay Ln, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 805-938-7318

Specializing in high-quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Cambria Winery is one of the best wineries in Santa Maria, boasting excellent hospitality and scenic views. They produce a varied selection of other top-notch wines, too, including rosés and Rhônes.

Their Santa Maria tasting room is currently closed for renovation, but it will be back shortly in Spring 2022, so you can see their new and improved look very soon. For now, you can enjoy their wine at their pop-up shop near Los Olivos.

We’ll be sure to update this list once they’re back up and running properly!

Tres Hermanas Winery

Tres Hermanas Winery
Coastal Wine Trail Credit: @fxcwinetrail
  • Address: 9660 Foxen Canyon Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
  • Contact Number: +1 805-937-8451

Despite only being founded in 2001, Tres Hermanas Winery offers some of the highest quality wine in Santa Maria, making it a solid place to stop by if you’re looking for a relaxing day out filled with delicious wine.

They offer a wide range of wines, including Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and many more. The tasting room features a wood-beam ceiling and cozy interior, making for a comfortable atmosphere. They also sell an array of unique gift items so you can treat yourself or bring thoughtful souvenirs back for friends and family.

There’s a large outdoor area with scenic views of the valley, which is even better when experienced during the warmer months.

If you’re looking for a striking venue for a private event like a birthday party, corporate meeting, or wedding reception, Tres Hermanas Winery has you covered. They have a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, including a 24,00 square feet lawn, 1940s historic barn, rose gardens, and a built-in dance floor to make your special occasion as memorable as possible.

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Final Thoughts

Santa Maria’s spectacular countryside, Mediterranean climate, and acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot Noir make it a fantastic area to visit if you’re after a peaceful, relaxing vacation or day trip.

The wineries above offer excellent wine, gorgeous scenery, and a welcoming atmosphere, so why not stop by at least one of them while you’re in the area?

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