Established in 1982, Au Bon Climat winery wholeheartedly focused on crafting classic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines in the Burgundian style within Santa Barbara County. This region, with its convergence of refreshing Pacific breezes, maritime-influenced soils, and valleys running east to west, proved to be an ideal locale for cultivating exceptional grapes. Hence the name ‘Au Bon Climat,’ which translates to ‘good place’ in English.
The idea to produce world-class Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs imbued with intrigue, longevity, and balance through traditional methods was conceived by Jim Clendenen in 1982, following his exploratory journeys to Burgundy. Four decades later, these wines have garnered international acclaim as top-notch offerings. While trends in California winemaking have ebbed and flowed, Au Bon Climat has steadfastly adhered to its mission of creating traditional, terroir-driven, nuanced, and iconic wines.
By blending Old World winemaking techniques with the New World setting, these wines carry a unique signature while maintaining a sense of restraint and equilibrium. Practices such as barrel fermentation, whole cluster pressing, lees aging, and extended maturation in François Frères barrels are standard at ABC. Grapes are hand-picked at a sugar level that encourages slow aging, resulting in wines that are not flashy or overly potent. Instead, they are known for their layered complexity, well-structured character, and relatively modest alcohol content.
Jim Clendenen assembled a dedicated team of winemakers who shared his vision early on, forming the tight-knit Au Bon Climat wine family. The alignment between crafting exceptional wines, fostering a fulfilling and mentorship-oriented work environment, and building a supportive, like-minded community has cultivated loyalty and a shared sense of purpose in the winemaking style that endures to this day.
Au Bon Climat wines are imported into Canada by Domaine Selections. Contact us today!