Alisos Canyon

Official AVA of Santa Barbara County

7. Alisos Canyon


Written by Petitioner, Wes Hagen:


  • The Alisos Canyon AVA exhibits a unique viticultural influence of the San Antonio Creek Valley which runs directly from the mouth of Alisos and Comasa Canyons to the Pacific Ocean 20 miles to the west.  The ingress of cooling marine winds and fog along the San Antonio Creek Valley helps define the climate of Alisos Canyon AVA.  (Winkler Climate Zone 2)


  • Soils are based on weathered sandstone and shale, the Paso Robles and Sisquoc formations with a rare limestone streak along the corridor of the AVA.


  • Soil Geek Sidebar:  High calcium content from ‘siliceous shale pebbles’, ‘marly limestone’ that will have the impact of grape-skin thickening: increasing extraction, color and tannins in red varietal winegrapes.  The ‘clayey matrix’ provides higher cation exchange capacity (CEC) as positively charged clay soil particles are necessary for the uptake of macro and micronutrients by vines.


  • What should you try first? Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Cabernet Franc are the standouts.


Conclusion:  This is a nascent and narrowly-focused Rhone-focused wine region ready for exploration, only two hours north of Los Angeles and 45 minutes from downtown Santa Barbara.


Read all about our new AVA!


Alisos Canyon Wine Appellation Approved

Santa Barbara Independent

by Matt Kettman


Drumroll, Please: Introducing Alisos Canyon, Santa Barbara County’s Seventh AVA

The SOMM Journal

by Wes Hagen


‘A New Niche to Taste and Explore’: Alisos Canyon is America’s Newest Appellation

Wine Enthusiast

by Matt Kettmann


Santa Barbara County Gains a New AVA

The Drinks Business

by Phoebe French