A weekend at one of these Santa Maria wineries is undoubtedly one of my favorite ways to spend a few days. There’s something about the atmosphere of a vineyard, combined with the artistry of winemaking that gets me all giddy inside—or maybe it’s just the wine.
Either way, invite me on a wine-tasting tour and I’m all yours.
Santa Maria has some fantastic wineries to choose from, making it tough to decide where to go. In order to help you out, I’ve put together a list of my favorite Santa Maria wineries to visit.
Santa Maria is located in the heart of California’s Central Coast wine country. The climate is ideal for growing grapes, and many wineries have taken advantage of this to create amazing wines.
In this beautiful Santa Maria Valley wine climate, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while other grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Syrah, and Viognier are also produced at a high level.
Visiting these wineries is a beautiful experience for your taste buds as well as your eyes as they’re all located in beautiful, scenic places. From small family-run wineries to larger operations, each one offers something unique.
With this in mind, let’s jump into the best Santa Maria wineries to visit.
The 6 Best Santa Maria Wineries
Starting off extremely strong with Presqu’ile Winery. This family-run winery has been an integral part of the Santa Maria wine scene for decades and it isn’t hard to see why.
The grapes at Presqu’ile are grown in such a way that each one develops its own unique flavor profile, leading to some truly remarkable wines. In particular, the Chardonnay is a standout and their Pinot Noir has been winning awards for years.
Situated atop a hill, the tasting room offers panoramic views of both the sea and the majestic mountainscape that embraces nearby vineyards.
Without a doubt, your breath will be taken away by this awe-inspiring sight!
Experience the ultimate tasting adventure here by reserving one of their packages, from wine and bocce to a horseback tour and tasting or even a delicious wine and food tour.
Location: 5391 Presquile Dr, Santa Maria
If you’re looking for a more casual experience, then Rancho Sisquoc Winery is the place to go. With its rustic atmosphere and unique tasting room, it’s easy to see why so many visitors come here to enjoy a glass of wine and some great company.
It’s the oldest cattle ranch winery in Santa Barbara county and produces some amazing wines from the grapes they grow on their estate.
Devoted to excellence, they specialize in crafting a selection of limited-edition white and red wines, including Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.
I especially loved talking with one of the winemakers here and learning about the special techniques they use to produce such great wines.
Location: 6600 Foxen Canyon Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
78 acres of vineyards make up the stunning Cottonwood Canyon Winery, located in the heart of Santa Maria. Here, you’ll find a friendly and knowledgeable staff who are more than happy to tell you about their many wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
The estate produces award-winning wines and brings in visitors from all over to enjoy its tasting room. It’s undoubtedly one of the best wineries in Santa Maria.
The views here are especially breathtaking, and you won’t want to miss out on seeing them for yourself.
Overall, my absolute favorite thing at Cottonwood was their incredible picnic package!
We were provided with all of the necessary supplies to make this experience an unforgettable one: from copious amounts of wine and charcuterie boards—YUM—to pillows, blankets, and even a picnic basket!
We treated ourselves to a beautiful day out in nature and to some amazing wines.
Location: 3940 Dominion Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454, United States
A must! Riverbench is seriously good! Their Chardonnay is among the best in the Santa Maria Valley, and their Pinot Noir is also something to write home about.
As a top-rated winery and vineyard in Santa Maria, Riverbench Vineyard needs to be at the very top of your list.
Overall, I found this to be the perfect spot to sip some vino. Riverbench is located on the southeastern edge of the Santa Maria Valley and features a 1920s craftsman-style tasting house on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail with a horseshoe pit, garden, and bocce ball court.
There’s fun for all out here!
With a stunning expanse of 107 acres devoted to Pinot Noir and 77 acres dedicated to Chardonnay grapes, Riverbench Vineyards is the ideal destination for those seeking an unforgettable experience.
And for my sparkling girlies, their sparkling varieties deserve a special mention too—they be bubblin’!
Riverbench wines are priced higher than others, but their exceptional taste and aged flavor make this cost well worth it IMO.
Location: 6020 Foxen Canyon Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454
California tends to be pricey, but with weather and scenery like this, it’s no wonder.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some options for my budget-conscious pals out there.
Overall, Costa de Oro Winery is an ideal spot for those looking to stay on a budget in Santa Maria. Located near the Santa Maria River, this winery offers visitors a gorgeous backdrop and some of the tastiest wines.
One of the reasons Costa de Oro Winery is so loved is it specializes in crafting wines with the perfect balance of Old-World winemaking techniques and New-World grape cultivation. Their signature wines include Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs which are truly extraordinary.
And all across the California wine trail, this place has certainly earned the reputation of having “the most unique tasting rooms on the Central Coast”. It’s certainly a favorite among tourists and locals alike.
Without a doubt, Costa de Oro Winery’s Wine Down events on Friday nights was one of my favorite things I did on this trip. They offer live music, delicious Wine, and a $12 food platter.
During the seasonal months, their patio hosts a farmers’ market featuring Gold Coast strawberries that are UH-maze-ING! From wine to fruits and food, everything offered at Costa is irresistible.
Address: 1331 Nicholson Ave, Santa Maria, CA 93454
Anyone can make a winery look aesthetically pleasing, but do they have the “oomph” of an authentic vineyard?
Foxen Canyon Wine is all about the wine and the setup makes sure the wine is the star.
The value here is undeniably hard to beat. Foxen offers a wide variety of award-winning wines, from their famous Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays to rosés, sauvignon blanc, and sparkling wines.
I loved how down-to-earth this vineyard was with its shack-style tasting bar. As you can imagine, it’s not the biggest place, so I highly recommend booking a reservation to guarantee a tasting.
After their $12 flight, grab a glass of your favorite and sip it at one of the rustic wooden picnic tables spread around the property. Overall, this is a great place to just relax and leave all of the tannin talk at the door.
Location: 7600 Foxen Canyon Road, Santa Maria, CA 93454
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Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.