Au Bon Climat

Founded in 1982, Au Bon Climat (which means "a well-exposed vineyard") produces internationally-recognized Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc wine from grapes grown in California's Santa Barbara County. The Au Bon Climat winery is located on the world-famous Bien Nacido Vineyard, and is owned by winemaker Jim Clendenen. Au Bon Climat was listed on Robert Parker's Best Wineries of the World in both 1989 and 1990, while Jim Clendenen has been named Winemaker of the Year in 1992 by the Los Angeles Times, and Winemaker of the Year in 2001 by Food and Wine Magazine. The winery is not open to the public for either tours or tastings. Members of our wine club and mailing list are invited to our Spring and Fall Open Houses.

– Description from Mimi Kim

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Varietals Produced by Au Bon Climat View all

  • Pinot Blanc

    History of the grape: Pinot Blanc was first grown in Burgundy and Champagne, France, and can be traced by some source...

  • Barbera

    History of the grape: Barbera is a native to the Piedmont, where it has been growing for centuries, and is now the fo...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Nebbiolo

    History of the grape: Two schools of thought exist as to the origins of Nebbiolo (which means “little fog” either for...

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Au Bon Climat on Snooth

  • 'Burgundian' is perhaps best used, IMHO, to describe a philosophical ... ... in sustainable practice. Au Bon Climat, a pinot of lesser pedigree than that era's Chalone, even used some mondeuse for blending at one point. Overall California needs syrah additions even less than current Burgundians do, what with use of Color Pro and Color X and ot... Read More

    Forum post in the topic One Day in Europe for Wine...


  • I'll be in Germany next week, and once I arrive I plan to drag my jet-lagged self to Alsace, France to tour a few wineries there (a couple hours from Frankfurt). BUT- I'm not really into white wines as much as reds, though I don't mind Gewurtzraminer and Dry Riesling.But I am thinking of taking a day off toward the end of the week. I can get pre... Read More

    Forum post in the topic One Day in Europe for Wine...


  • Thanks for all the detailed reportage, Vino. Frankly, no surprise here, ... to ... ... to hear you liked the Au Bon Climat pinot. Haven't personally had a good one in a long time, at least a decade. However, few of their offerings make it over here, plus there's always the potential for travel damage. They were a label I liked in the '90s bec... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Everyone, hope you got something out of all this. We definitely had a great ... ... here. Best Pinot - Au Bon Climat, 2012 Isabelle  Best Syrah/GSM - Melville 2012 Syrah, High Density  Best Bordeaux varietals - Happy Canyon Vineyard, 2011 Piocho Reserve  Nicest tasting room - Alma Rosa, once we found it on Santa Rosa Rd, next to Industrial Ea... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Wednesday was a travel and cleansing day. We decided to take our time going ... ... to find our way to the Au Bon Climat tasting room. I've always enjoyed Jim Clendenen's pinots but didn't realize he made a ton of other wines under the Clendenen Family label. Guess these don't get much distribution outside of CA. Thursday was our walk Santa B... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • Had a great first full day here in south central California. Started off with a very good breakfast at the ForFriends B&B in Santa Ynez. Too early for any of the tasting rooms to be open so we headed down to Jalama beach for some salt air and scenery. Beautiful beach with some interesting campsites and about a half dozen surfers enjoying some mo... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara...


  • DM, I'm glad you asked, here's what I have so far:Staying in Santa Ynez ... ... of tasting rooms near Au Bon Climat. We have dinner reservations at Bouchon on Thursday. I'd love to hear everyone's opinions on this rather ambitious plan, plus any other rec' Read More

    Forum post in the topic Best wineries and wines in...


  • Au Bon Climat, most any bottling I've had in recent years, is way overrated. It had a place in Santa Barbara winemaking history, but now almost always hits me as flat, far-too-monochromatic with no integrated depth, murky and flabby. Interesting in the '90s, so-so at the millenium, boring over the past 10 years has been my experience. Certainly ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine and crime, part...


  • I thought the Au Bon Climat would show much better, but it was squarely in the lower half, and a contender for worst wine. The first wine tasted was the A to Z Oregon Pinot which showed clean and fresh, but with little depth and personality. The '12 Billard-Gonnet from Burgundy was very much the same, it showed a bit weedy, fresh, but uninterest... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine and crime, part...


  • Curious where you guys place the Au Bon Climat. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine and crime, part...


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