Santa Barbara Funk Zone’s Best Kept Secret: The Valley Project


There is a widespread stigma around wine tasting: it’s too classy, it’s too expensive, you must be a wine connoisseur…well I am here to inform you-you are wrong!

Red Blend

After extensive research aka hopping around the funk zone wine tasting at all the hot spots I am happy to report the stigma can now officially be terminated. Almost every tasting room in the funk zone is only $12, yes that is right people you heard it hear first, ONLY $12! You can select from 5 to 6 different wines, red and white, to taste and you will not be dissapointed. Every winery I went to was unique from the taste of the wine to the interior of the room but nothing compared to the best hidden gem in Santa Barbara, The Valley Project.

The Valley Project is a tasting room located in a tucked away corner on East Yanonali Street. Owners, Seth and Magan Kunin believe that Santa Barbara is one of the best places on Earth to grow and make wine. They say that The Valley Project is their love letter to Santa Barbara’s wine country.

Chalkboard Map of Santa Barbara Region

When you walk into The Valley Project your eyes are automatically drawn to the chalk drawing map of Santa Barbara County which points out all of the different places where they are growing grapes. Scanning the room your eyes get drawn to the jarred soil displayed next to different wine bottles.They have taken soil from the direct site where the grapes are sourced. When you walk into The Valley Project, not only are you getting an exceptional tasting by the awesome employees: Andrew and Anna but you are getting a completely different wine tasting experience.

Wine paired with soil where each bottle comes from

When you come to The Valley Project to wine taste, their goal is to show you how unique Santa Barbara is geographically and its potential as a wine region. There are so many unique fine micro climates, niche soil profiles and countless obscure mountain ranges that are drastically different from each other even though they are only 5-10 miles apart. American Viticultural Areas is a strong part of The Valley Project. AVA is becoming a huge source for not only consumers but for wine makers. Knowing what geographic region certain wines are best to grow due to the climate, soil, and location is the soul purpose of wine making.

“You’ve probably had a Pinot Noir that you didn’t like and now you are completely turned off to Pinot Noir. 100% of the time its because the wine maker didn’t pay attention to the AVA. We are just taking one grape from one spot and making wine from it, we are making wine that is true to the soil and true to the vineyard.”


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AVA Guide

The Valley Project wants to stimulate all of your senses when you experience wine tasting with them. Appreciating the color, the smell, the soil where the grapes grew and understanding where the wine is coming from is so much more then just a tasting you are getting cultivated.

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Geographic Location’s


All of the different types of soils used

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About Author


Sammi Beach

Sammi has moved all over the mid-west due to the exciting career her dad holds as a college basketball coach. Finally ending the every two-year move plan landing her in Clovis California. Deciding where to attend college wasn’t hard; she knew residing in Santa Barbara would be the best decision she has ever made and she was right. Sammi attended SBCC for three years and graduated with an associate’s degree in Communications, she then transferred over to Antioch University to further her education through the BA program majoring in communication.

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