The region, also noted for its Chardonnay wines, is gaining a reputation for Rhone varietals including Syrah and Viognier. Santa Barbara wine grapes now command among the highest prices anywhere in the state. The Southern part of the trail grows mostly Rhone style wines due to the warmer climate. In the North, the Burgundy-styled wine dominate due to the cooler maritime weather, meaning lots of great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Many of the areas planted with wine grapes are mixed in with the rolling hills, ancient oak trees, oil fields, cattle ranches, and natural areas in the central part of the county. The county now claims more than 115 wineries and 21,000 acres (85 km2) of vine, with the vast majority of the vineyards in the county's Central Coast American Viticultural Areas: Santa Maria Valley AVA, Santa Ynez Valley AVA, Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and Happy Canyon AVA each with its own distinct terroir. The county continues to split into AVAs, with Los Olivos AVA and Ballard Canyon AVA currently going through necessary procedures to become their own official AVAs.