|Santa Ynez Valley|
|Location||California, United States|
|Population centers||Solvang, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Buellton, Ballard|
|Rivers||Santa Ynez River|
The Santa Ynez Valley is located in Santa Barbara County, California, between the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south and the San Rafael Mountains to the north. The Santa Ynez River flows through the valley from east to west. The Santa Ynez Valley is separated from the Los Alamos Valley, to the northwest, by the Purisima Hills, and from the Santa Maria Valley by the Solomon Hills.The Santa Rita Hills separate the Santa Ynez Valley from the Santa Rita and Lompoc Valleys to the west.
The valley has a population of about 20,000 residents living in the communities of Solvang, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, Buellton, and Ballard.
The 2004 film Sideways was set (and shot on location) in the Santa Ynez Valley. Since then, visits from tourists looking to recreate the experiences of the fictional characters Miles and Jack, have become common. Fans of the movie can often be seen making a pilgrimage from the Buellton Days Inn to the Hitching Post restaurant. Other movies that have been filmed in the Santa Ynez Valley include indie film "Flying Lessons" featuring Michael O’Neill, Maggie Grace, and Hal Holbrook, “Michael Jackson: The Untold Story of Neverland", “Uncorked” /Hallmark/Larry Levinson; “Bad Girls”; “It’s Complicated”/Universal; Nitro Circus/MTV; “Inside Luxury Travel”; “The Othersiders”/Red Varden Studios;“More to Love”; “Back in Wedding Shape”; “You’re Hired”; “Kathy Griffin Season 2”; and “Somewhere” Movie locations
An estate in the Valley, five miles from the town of Los Olivos, California, was one of the filming locations for a 1983 video of the song "Say Say Say", featuring Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney. At the time, it was called Sycamore Valley Ranch. According to La Toya Jackson, Michael expressed interest in someday buying the property. In 1988, he would do so, renaming it Neverland Ranch.The singer sold the property prior to his death and in 2017, the estate, again Sycamore Valley Ranch (5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos), was for sale at an asking price of $67 million.
The Santa Ynez Valley is part of Santa Barbara County's Third Supervisorial District,whose voters are registered 39% Democratic and 31% Republican; however, registered voters within the Valley's two incorporated cities, Buellton and Solvang, are approximately 31% Democratic and 45% Republican, reflecting the greater Valley's more conservative political constituency. The Valley, geographically located at the center of Santa Barbara County and partially surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest, is sometimes regarded as more politically aligned with northern Santa Barbara County and would have been included in the proposed Mission County under "Measure H," rejected by 81% of County voters in the June 6, 2006 Direct Primary election. Numerous smart growth-type coalitions have formed such as the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance, Preservation of Los Olivos (POLO), Preservation of Santa Ynez (POSY), WeWatch, and the Santa Ynez Valley Concerned Citizens. These groups' stated mission is the preservation of the Santa Ynez Valley.
The economy of the Santa Ynez Valley is driven by agriculture (particularly viticulture), the equine industry, and tourism.
The wine industry is a major part of the Santa Ynez Valley's economy. The Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association lists over 70 wineries and tasting rooms on their website. Besides grapes, the valley also has numerous apple farms, many of them with roadside apple stands or "pick your own" programs. It is the location of the Santa Ynez Valley American Viticultural Area.
Horses are seen throughout the valley and a historic Western atmosphere is kept alive. Notable ranches include Monty Roberts' Flag Is Up Farms, River Edge Farm (thoroughbreds), and the nationally known Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center. This valley is noted for having over 52 different breeds of horses, plus 28 veterinarians.
Tourists often visit the valley for its attractions including numerous art galleries, wine tasting rooms, and antique stores as well as resorts such as the Alisal Guest Ranch, Lake Cachuma, PCPA's Theatrefest, and the Chumash Casino. Because of good weather year round, many participate in outdoor activities such as hiking in the nearby Los Padres National Forest or bicycling throughout the valley.
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Notable present or past residents include
Santa Barbara County, California, officially the County of Santa Barbara, is located in Southern California. As of the 2020 census, the population was 448,229. The county seat is Santa Barbara, and the largest city is Santa Maria.
Buellton is a small city in Santa Barbara County, California, United States. It is located in the Santa Ynez Valley. The population was 4,828 at the 2010 census.
Lompoc is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. Located on the Central Coast, Lompoc had a population of 44,444 in the 2020 census.
Los Alamos is a census-designated place (CDP) in Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Although located in the Los Alamos Valley, the town of Los Alamos is usually considered to be a part of the Santa Ynez Valley community. Los Alamos is also connected to other cities Vandenberg AFB, Lompoc, Buellton, Solvang, and other Santa Barbara County cities. It is 140 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 281 miles (452 km) south of San Francisco. The population was 1,890 at the 2010 census, up from 1,372 at the 2000 census.
Santa Maria is a city near the Central Coast of California in northern Santa Barbara County. It is approximately 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Santa Barbara and 150 miles (240 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Its population was 109,707 at the 2020 census, making it the most populous city in the county and the Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA Metro Area. The city is notable for its wine industry and Santa Maria-style barbecue.
Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California. It is located in the Santa Ynez Valley. The population was 6,126 at the 2020 census, up from 5,245 at the 2010 census. Solvang was founded in 1911 and incorporated as a city on May 1, 1985. Solvang is often dubbed "The Danish Capital of America".
The Central Coast is an area of California, roughly spanning the coastal region between Point Mugu and Monterey Bay. It lies northwest of Los Angeles County and south of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and includes the rugged, undeveloped stretch of coastline known as Big Sur. From south to north, there are six counties that make up the Central Coast: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz.
Sycamore Valley Ranch, formerly Neverland Ranch or Neverland, is a developed property in Santa Barbara County, California, located at 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, Los Olivos, California, on the edge of Los Padres National Forest. It was the home and private amusement park of American entertainer Michael Jackson from 1988 until 2005.
Area codes 805 and 820 are California telephone area codes; 805 was originally split from area code 213 in 1957. They include most or all of the California counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, plus the southernmost portions of Monterey County.
Los Olivos is an unincorporated community in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Tourism is popular in this rural area which is an agricultural region with an emphasis on wine grapes. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Los Olivos as a census-designated place (CDP). The population was 1,132 at the 2010 census. The ZIP Code is 93441, and the community is within the area code 805.
The Santa Ynez River is one of the largest rivers on the Central Coast of California. It is 92 miles (148 km) long, flowing from east to west through the Santa Ynez Valley, reaching the Pacific Ocean at Surf, near Vandenberg Space Force Base and the city of Lompoc.
The Gaviota Tunnel is a tunnel on U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1 completed in 1953 in the center of Gaviota State Park, 33 miles (53 km) northwest of Santa Barbara, California on the Gaviota Coast. It is 420 feet (130 m) long and 17.5 feet (5.3 m) tall. Only the northbound lanes of US 101 pass through it, as the southbound lanes descend from Gaviota Pass through a narrow canyon to the west of the tunnel. Because it is the only major route between the Santa Barbara County South Coast and the Santa Ynez Valley, bicycles are allowed through it. There is a rest area for both southbound and northbound lanes on the southern end of the tunnel, the southernmost one along U.S. Route 101.
State Route 246 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that runs from Lompoc east to Solvang and Santa Ynez, cutting through the Santa Ynez Valley and the Santa Barbara Wine Country. Its western terminus is along Ocean Avenue at the western city limits of Lompoc, and its eastern terminus is at State Route 154 in Santa Ynez.
San Marcos Pass is a mountain pass in the Santa Ynez Mountains in southern California.
The Sta. Rita Hills AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Santa Barbara County, California. From its creation in 2001 through 2006, the wine appellation was officially named Santa Rita Hills AVA. The formal name change was the result of a protest by and subsequent negotiations with Vina Santa Rita, a very large Chilean wine producer that was concerned about the AVA name diluting its international brand value. The name change took effect on January 5, 2006, with a yearlong period for producers in the AVA to change their wine labels.
The Santa Ynez Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Santa Barbara County, California and was established on May 16, 1983 by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). It is part of the larger Central Coast AVA, and contains the greatest concentration of wineries in Santa Barbara County. The valley is formed by the Purisima Hills and San Rafael Mountains to the north and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south creating a long, east-west corridor with very cool temperatures on the coast that become progressively warmer inland. The Santa Ynez River flows east to west on the valley floor toward the Pacific Ocean. As of 2021, the Santa Ynez Valley contains four other established viticultural areas: Sta. Rita Hills on its western boundary; Ballard Canyon and Los Olivos District occupying the center region; and Happy Canyon on the eastern border. Chardonnay is the most planted grape variety in the cooler, western portion of the valley while Rhône varieties thrive in the eastern locales.
Rancho San Carlos de Jonata was a 26,634-acre (107.78 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Santa Barbara County, California given in 1845 by Governor Pío Pico to Joaquín Carrillo and Jose Maria Covarrubias. The grant was west of Mission Santa Inés in the Santa Ynez Valley, and extended north from the Santa Ynez River along Zaca Creek. The grant encompasses present-day Solvang and Buellton.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office (SBSO) provides law enforcement for the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County, California, as well as several cities within the county. The cities that the Sheriff's Office provides police services for include Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta and Solvang. In total the 640 full-time employees of the Sheriff's Office are responsible for 2,745 square miles (7,110 km2) of the county.
Los Olivos District AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Santa Barbara County, California established on January 20, 2016, by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). It straddles the Santa Ynez Valley, formed by the Santa Ynez River, between the Purisima Hills above Solvang. The area encompasses the townships of Los Olivos, Ballard, Santa Ynez and Solvang. State Route 154, known locally as the San Marcos Pass Road or Chumash Highway, bisects the region accessing many of the wineries and vineyards as it traverses toward its destination in Santa Barbara.
Ballard Canyon AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Santa Barbara County, California and established on October 2, 2013 by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The 7,800 acres (12 sq mi) designated area lies west of Ballard and Solvang townships while in the center of the Santa Ynez Valley viticultural area, which in turn, is within the perimeter of the larger multi-county Central Coast viticultural area. As of 2021, the Santa Ynez Valley AVA contains three other established viticultural areas: Santa Rita Hills, which lies to the west; Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara to the east of the Ballard Canyon. Los Olivos District borders Ballard Canyon's eastern perimeter while Santa Rita Hills and the Happy Canyon areas do not share boundaries nor overlap Ballard Canyon. The USDA plant hardiness zone for the AVA is 9b.