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 Santa Ynez Valley, made famous for its amazing wine, consists of a triangle spanning from east to west in the hills just above Santa Barbara. Buellton, 40 miles North anchors one end, while Los Olivos and Santa Ynez made the points of a triangle. Ballard is located in the very heart of the Santa Ynez in Santa Barbara County. In the early days, the one room schoolhouse was the only public building in the valley, it was often used for church services, weddings, funerals and the meeting place of the Good Templar Lodge and the Farmer's Alliance. The School now enjoys its spot as one of the top performing schools in the state!