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Santa Rita Hills: California’s ‘coolest’ wines plus the 10 to try

In the Santa Rita Hills cool temperatures are only one of many contributing factors to the region's wines. Soils, the coastal wind and slope aspect are also crucial elements. These conditions combine to deliver wines of clarity and complexity with rich flavours balanced by vibrancy and lift.

The Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County is a special place for growing wine. The landscape is evocative of England’s Yorkshire Dales and South Africa‘s wild Capelands. This area is the westernmost sub-zone of the Santa Ynez Valley.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 10 wines from the Santa Rita Hills


Altogether, this American Viticultural Area (AVA) spans 12,431ha and is home to nearly 60 vineyards. Pinot Noir is the region‘s top variety, with more than 1,241ha planted, followed by 200ha of Chardonnay.

Cool beginnings


Santa Rita Hills: 10 wines to try

Wines are listed white then red in score order


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