4. Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
Located in the far eastern edge of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara has one of the most sweeping entrances in the region. A drive down Armor Ranch Road drops you into this gorgeous valley with incredible views of San Rafael Mountains just northwest of Lake Cachuma. Elevations range from 500 feet to over 3,400, with a north-south orientation.
Its inland position means a significantly warmer climate that ensures complete maturation for later ripening varieties. The rolling terrain, high slopes and varied soils of this region are best suited for growing Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc, creating rich, concentrated wines. Syrah and other Rhône varieties also flourish here. Head to this Happy for the vistas but call ahead for access to these exclusive vineyards.