Au Bon Climat

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Santa Barbara County, California, USA Jim Clendenen graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with High Honors in Pre-Law in 1976. He discovered the world of wine suring his junior year abroad in 1974, while turning 21 in France.. After graduation, a one month stay in both Burgundy and Champagne convinced him to attempt a career in wine rather than continue on to law school. Beginning with the 1978 harvest, Jim Clendenen was assistant winemaker at Zaca Mesa Winery for three vintages. In 1981 his vision broadened with three harvests in one year as Jim worked crush and directed the harvest at wineries in Australia and France. In 1982, Jim decided, along with now ex-partner Adam Tolmach, to start his own winery in leased quarters. Au Bon Climat (which means "a well exposed vineyard") has grown over its history to over 30,000 cases through careful re-investment from its own production. The winery has cultivated an international reputation for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Jim Clendenen, the “Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat, is recognized worldwide for his classically-styled, Burgundian- focused wines and he is also highly regarded for his work with Italian varietals, such as Nebbiolo and Tocai Friulano. Jim started Clendenen Family Vineyards in 2000 from tiny amounts of special qual-ity grapes harvested in home-farmed vineyards. Those grapes are then vinified in a highly personal, very traditional and patient fashion. The resulting wines are unique in California, and are very distinctive and desirable in an international context.

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