From the beginning in 1982…
Au Bon Climat winery has been devoted to crafting classic, Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County. The convergence of cool brisk Pacific air, marine-based soils, and east-west running valleys of the area provided an ideal place for growing exceptional grapes. Hence the name “Au Bon Climat,” the French idiom for “good place”.
Forty years later, the wines have earned a world-class reputation internationally. Jim Clendenen, “The Mind Behind” Au Bon Climat, set the objective and stayed true to its course. As the fads in California winemaking have come and gone, Au Bon Climat has maintained a laser focus in producing traditional, site-specific, nuanced, iconic wines.
Au Bon Climat is more than a winery
It is a state of mind. The intention to create world-class, Burgundian-style Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs of intrigue, longevity, and balance through traditional principles was set in 1982 by Jim Clendenen, after exploratory trips to Burgundy. It never changed.
By incorporating Old World winemaking in a New World wine region, the wines inherently carry their own signature but still resonate with restraint and equilibrium. Barrel fermentation, whole cluster pressing, lees aging, and substantial time in François Frères barrels are standard practices at ABC. Hand-picked grapes are harvested at a sugar level that encourages the wine to age slowly. These are not flashy, exaggerated wines. Rather, they are layered, well-structured, and lower in alcohol.
Jim Clendenen assembled a dedicated winery team, one that understood and shared his manifesto from the beginning. This committed crew became the Au Bon Climat wine family. The symmetry between creating masterful wines, a gratifying/mentoring work environment, and a strong, like-minded community, has brought loyalty and a shared sense of vision to the winemaking style that remains to this day.
Taste of Santa Barbara
Our tasting room, located in the historic Presidio neighborhood of downtown Santa Barbara at 813 Anacapa Street, Suite B, features both current releases and library wines of Au Bon Climat, Clendenen Family Vineyards, and Jim Clendenen’s other creative wine endeavors. Our knowledgeable and helpful staff will guide you through your tasting and can help you find the perfect wine from over 100 different wines available for sale. While ABC’s focus is Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, we have wines crafted from over 16 other grape varieties. The extensive wine library, which is on full display, is unmatched in Santa Barbara.
Our wines are beautifully balanced, age gracefully, and have shown well for decades. Given our 40 years of making wine, we have amassed a very extensive wine library. An ever-changing offering of library wines is tasted and available for sale in the tasting room. A gift of cellar-aged wine is perfect for the wine enthusiast in your life. Large format wines from magnums to jeroboams are also available.
Choose from 2 tasting flights available daily: the Classic Flight ($25) with a rotating selection of our best-selling blends and crowd favorites and the Reserve Flight ($25) featuring small-production single varietal wines from our Blue Label Flagship, Historical Vineyard Collections, Single Vineyard and more. Each flight has 5 exceptional wines.
Curated Private Tastings
Join us for a unique and memorable wine tasting experience curated especially for you! With our expansive breadth of vintages from classic Burgundian to off-beat varietals, we can create a wine tasting like no other. Enjoy a private tasting and a one-on-one experience with our knowledgeable tasting room staff. This tasting flight is fully customizable based on our extensive tasting room and wine library inventory. All Private Tastings need to be booked one week in advance. The price is $75-$100 per person, depending on the wines chosen. For availability, recommendations, and customization, please contact Wiktoria Marroquin, Tasting Room Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: We advise making a booking at least one week in advance.