Au Bon Climat

Santa Barbara, California, USA

Au Bon Climat winery has dedicated itself entirely to the production of classic, Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. The unique combination of cool, brisk Pacific air, marine-based soils, and east-west running valleys in the region provides an ideal environment for growing exceptional grapes. The winery’s name, “Au Bon Climat,” translates to “good place” in French, perfectly encapsulating the suitability of the location.

Over the course of forty years, the wines from Au Bon Climat have earned a world-class reputation on an international scale. Jim Clendenen, “The Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat, established a clear objective from the beginning and remained true to that vision. While fads in California winemaking have come and gone, Au Bon Climat has steadfastly maintained its focus on producing traditional, site-specific, nuanced, and iconic wines.

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For Jim Clendenen, Au Bon Climat represents more than just a winery—it is a state of mind. The vision to create world-class, Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs with intrigue, longevity, and balance was born in 1982 after Clendenen’s exploratory trips to Burgundy. This vision has remained unchanged. By incorporating Old World winemaking techniques in a New World wine region, the wines possess their own unique signature while still embodying restraint and equilibrium. 

Barrel fermentation, whole cluster pressing, lees aging, and extensive time in François Frères barrels are standard practices at ABC. Grapes are hand-picked at a sugar level that encourages slow aging, resulting in layered, well-structured wines with lower alcohol content.

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From the beginning, Jim Clendenen assembled a dedicated winery team that shared and understood his manifesto. This committed crew became the Au Bon Climat wine family. The harmony between creating masterful wines, fostering a rewarding and mentoring work environment, and building a strong, like-minded community has cultivated loyalty and a shared sense of vision in the winemaking style that persists to this day.

Au Bon Climat sources its fruit from several highly regarded vineyards on the Central Coast, primarily in Santa Barbara County. These vineyards include Clendenen’s own Le Bon Climat Vineyard and estate plantings at the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard, both located in Santa Maria Valley, as well as the estate Rancho La Cuna in Santa Barbara County. 

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Other iconic vineyard locations include Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, Los Alamos Vineyard in Santa Barbara County, Rancho Sisquoc and Runway Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley, Solomon Hills Vineyards in Santa Maria Valley, and Talley Vineyard in San Luis Obispo County.

Au Bon Climat’s unwavering commitment to providing exceptional wines with a sense of place and tradition has solidified its position as a leading producer of Burgundian-style wines in Santa Barbara County. With each bottle, Au Bon Climat continues to captivate wine enthusiasts with its refined, nuanced, and age-worthy offerings, standing as a true testament to the timeless art of winemaking.

Au Bon Climat's Wines

  • Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir

  • Au Bon Climat Isabelle Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir

  • Au Bon Climat Chardonnay

    Chardonnay

  • Au Bon Climat Knox Alexander Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir

  • Au Bon Climat 'Nuits Blanches au Bouge' Chardonnay

    Chardonnay

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