5 of the Best Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours

by Paul Joseph  |  Published March 22, 2023

The valleys that open up onto the Pacific Ocean create a unique climate that helps make Santa Barbara a world-class wine-growing region – and one of the best ways to discover it is on a guided wine tour.

(Photo: Rooted Vine Tours)

Year-round sunshine, beautiful architecture and endless vineyards help attract huge numbers of visitors to Santa Barbara each year. Nestled in southern California between the ocean and the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, it is the ideal antidote to the big-city life of nearby Los Angeles. But it is the area’s wine scene that is perhaps its biggest draw, with a huge number of independent and boutique wineries dotted in and around the city. We’ve picked out 5 of the best Santa Barbara wine tours currently on offer.

Santa Barbara Wine Country Tour

Taste some of Santa Barbara’s finest wines in the Santa Ynez Valley on this 6-hour guided tour. Operated by renowned local company Rooted Vine Tours, you’ll make four stops for tastings at a mix of family-owned vineyards and small-production tasting rooms, before tucking into a hearty picnic lunch. Throughout the day, you’ll enjoy an intimate experience of the region as you sample the local produce and listen to your guide discuss California’s long wine-making heritage. The tour price includes door-to-door transportation from your accommodation and tastings at all four wineries. From $255 per person.

Book at Viator

All-Inclusive Wine Tasting Tour & Lunch

(Photo: Grapeline Wine Tours / Courtesy GetYourGuide)

Taste the wines of Santa Barbara Wine Country and enjoy a delicious gourmet boxed lunch on this full-day tour. Over the course of the trip, you’ll visit three working wineries surrounded by vineyards and oak-studded hills, enjoying a wine tasting at each venue before savouring a picnic lunch catered by an award-winning local restaurant. You’ll travel between wineries in style in a comfortable touring vehicle, including a hotel pick-up and drop-off at the start and end of the excursion. There’ll also be the chance to benefit from discounts on purchasing wines at the three wineries to take home with you. From $209 per person.

Book at GetYourGuide

Private Santa Barbara Wine Tour

(Photo: Next Adventure Tours & Tasting / Courtesy Viator)

Embark on an awe-inspiring journey to one of California’s most diverse wine regions. Your private Central Coast wine-tasting tour includes an immersive tour and tasting experience at three exclusive wineries, along with a gourmet picnic luncheon. Due to its proximity to the pacific ocean, these wineries produce an impressive array of varietals, and wine styles. From the diatomaceous earthy soils of Sta Rita Hills and San Luis Obispo, which help create world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, to the warmer days in Happy Canyon which produce 98+ point Cabernets, Next Adventures’ bespoke tours are sure to impress even the most discerning wine consumers. Owner’s Don + Chris ensure that your experience is curated based on your personal wine and experience preferences. From $152 per person.

Book at Viator

Private Limousine Santa Barbara Wine Tour

(Photo: Gene Chun)

For a more exclusive and intimate experience, this 6-hour limousine tour may well fi t the bill. After collection at your Santa Barbara hotel or vacation rental, you and your select group of family or friends will be transported by luxury limo or party bus to the picturesque environs of Santa Ynez Valley. After your scenic ride deep into wine country, over the course of the day you’ll visit several beautiful wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms to sample some of the local  award winning wines and learn all about the wine-making process. As they are private tours, itineraries can be customised to your precise tastes and preferences to include visits to additional vineyards and other regional stop-offs, as well as lunch if desired. From $458 per group (max 14 people). Tasting fees and lunch not included in the rate.

Book at Viator

Private Sidecar Wine Tour

(Photo: Sidecar Tours Inc. Santa Barbara / Courtesy GetYourGuide)

Immerse yourself in the rich wine history of the region with the wind in your hair on this immersive and fun-packed private sidecar tour. Available for select groups of up to 4 family members or friends, you’ll get to soak up the freedom of the backroads in a tandem sidecar motorcycle, marvelling at the beautiful scenery and stopping off for visits to three renowned local wineries where you’ll get to taste the home produce at each one. At the three venues, there’ll also be the chance to learn about the wine-making process during guided tours of the grounds. Hotel pick-up and drop-off is not included. From $199 per person.

Book at GetYourGuide