Jim Clendenen, the grand Pinot poobah behind Central Cali's Au Bon Climat, is a winemaker many of us have come to depend on (in fact, we're still thankful for his foresight to chill his reds during AWFF's sweltering swan song, unlike most of the labels there). Now there's a reliable destination to sample the fruits of Clendenen's labor, as the vinter has teamed up with Santa Barbara's Wine Cask to open The Au Bon Climat Tasting Room and Jim Clendenen Wine Library. Whew! Try fitting that one on a t-shirt. What's in store here?
Opened in mid-May, the Wine Cask-adjacent space will serve as a retail store for the label, as well as bring attention to the man's lesser known Ici/la Bas, Vita Nova, and Clendenen Family Vineyards brands. Vertical tastings will showcase past and present vintages, while the space comes strapped with a fireplace and food from The Wine Cask is available.
$15 dual tastings will unite Clendenen's wines with those of Wine Cask owner Doug Margerum, a longtime Clendenen pal who also has a tasting room at this El Paseo address. Clendenen says, "For many years the Wine Cask was the only place consumers could purchase Au Bon Climat wines in our area. So it's really meaningful to have our first tasting room located near good friends."
Find The Au Bon Climat Tasting Room open at 813 Anacapa St., Suite 5. Santa Barbara. 805-895-4084.