Jim Clendenen Brought Alternative Taste to California Wine

Jim Clendenen was en route to regulation college within the mid 1970s when a junior 12 months overseas in France despatched him in a special course, main to a profession as an influential winemaker.

Mr. Clendenen helped restore California’s Santa Barbara County as a wine-growing area and despised lots of the state’s most profitable wines. “Fruit bombs” was his identify for a few of them. He caught to a Burgundian custom that included much less alcohol and extra refined flavors.

In 1982, Mr. Clendenen co-founded the Au Bon Climat vineyard, which is thought for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He remained the pinnacle of the vineyard after his companion Adam Tolmach left in 1991.

In the late 1980s, critic Robert Parker endorsed Au Bon Climat wines and gross sales soared. Mr. Clendenen turned a most well-liked provider to restaurateurs together with Emeril Lagasse.

Mr. Clendenen created one other model, Clendenen Family Vineyards, to tinker with different grape varieties, significantly Italy’s Nebbiolo. On an episode of Levi Dalton’s “I’ll Drink To It” podcast in 2013, Mr. Clendenen described Nebbiolo as a product of “the dirtiest, most bellicose and depressing grapes on this planet”. He added, “When you’ve gotten an important drink, you’ve gotten had a soul-enriching expertise.”

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