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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Barbera

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

  • Nebbiolo

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Pinot Blanc

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

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Au Bon Climat on Snooth

  • 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...


  • So in my line of work--some of you know that I'm a criminal defense attorney in the Bay Area--we don't often cross paths with the winemakers of the bay area.  But every now and then a case shows up in court that involves the wine world.  Two have attracted my attention this month.  The first involves Donkey and Goat, a hip winery in Berkeley tha... Read More

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


  • Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Bright, strawberry, smooth easy drinking. I like! Read More

    Wine review by robfohl


  • v v, the Golden State looks forward to hosting you, again.I assume you know ... for in-town visits would be Au Bon Climat, Jaffurs and Vogelzang.Santa Ynez and Lompoc are a short hour's drive to the north.  That is, in my opinion, the most productive turf for you.  Jon, has, of course already provided some excellent ideas.  To that I would sug... Read More

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


  • Al, Von's is a brand of Safeway.  Safeway was merged into ... the ... the Walmart does not carry Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Chardonnay.  I guess I'll have to check Alberson's and Haggen's to see if I owe you.And to let you know where I sit on the car thrift/status thing, I drive a Honda Civic and Peggy drives an Infiniti QX50.  I reall... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • This might be the quintessential (5th Element) supermarket wine.  I think ... ... Haggen's. Au Bon Climat and Jim Clendenen are very important entries in the history of California Central Coast wine.  This Chardonnay is quite light on the tongue with some flavors of peach and, maybe, papaya.  Very easy on the oak--definitely not a vanilla but... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


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