Santa Maria Valley

Explore the Caves at Cottonwood Canyon Winery

Cottonwood Canyon

Located on the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard and Winery is a beautiful sight to visit and wine taste some of Santa Barbara’s best wines. Nestled inside a 78-acre canyon filled with cottonwood trees, Cottonwood Canyon is a peaceful place to sit and enjoy a glass a wine, while looking out across this gorgeous property and the valley beyond. From several different vantage points around the property,  you can see the spectacular San Rafael Mountains, while you feel the breeze of the Pacific Ocean.

Cottonwood wine tastingSignature Wines, Relaxation and Views 

Cottonwood Canyon produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah, which are all long-lived and can age gracefully for years. We experienced the Cottonwood Canyon Cave Tour and wine tasting. Samantha, the taproom manager, served us seven different wines during our wine tasting, including one straight from the barrel. Each wine varied in year it was produced, dating all the way back to 2005. 

 
My favorite wine that they served during the tour, was the 2010 Michelle’s Hillside Signature Pinot Noir. This wine was sweet, earthy and paired well with the Brie cheese we enjoyed with it. We were also served a 2012 Estate Chardonnay and 2013 Reserved Chardonnay, which, oddly enough, paired well with pickled asparagus they served. The 2008 Dessert Syrah was served with a decadent chocolate truffle, making it a double delight.

Experience On-Site Cave Tours.

If the wine is not enough to amaze, then their wine caves are sure to peak your interests. Cottonwood Canyon is the first winery in Santa Barbara County to build its own wine cave.  The wine cave is located about 100 steps below, and built beneath the Cottonwood Canyon wine tasting showroom. This is  where all of the distribution takes place.   We were greeted with the sight of six acres of Sharon’s Canyon Pinot Noir. 

 As soon as we entered the cave, we passed through two huge, ornate, wooden doors. Walking into the caves felt as if we were about to climb aboard the Pirates of Caribbean ride at Disneyland. The cave was lined with lights and had a massive chandelier lighting our way. At the end of the cave, a large wooden table held the barrel that we tasted from. Visiting  wine caves and having the opportunity to do a barrel tasting is so much fun and a unique experience.  Did you know that in addition to taking home fantastic wines, you can take home beautiful wine barrels? 

 It is quite interesting to enter a subterranean cave and experience the sights and musty smells, while learning about how wine is made, stored and how the aging process is determined.  It’s easy to see why specialty dinners and tours are so popular. There is nothing like this.
music at cottonwood

Enjoy Live Music and Events

Samantha, the tasting room manager was knowledgeable and friendly.  She did a great job educating us about the wine varietals offered and the incredible property. Sam also told us about the events that Cottonwood has throughout the year. Five hundred people is the maximum limit for this events venue. You simply must come out for one of the summer concerts in the vineyard.  Cottonwood Canyon winery is a great place to visit at any time of the year.  If you haven’t experienced a wine cave, it’s time you do.  You will love it!
 
Visit Cottonwood Canyon Winery from Thursday through Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday), at 3940 Dominion Road, in Santa Maria. Wine tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.

Leave a Comment