Giving Back (in style)

Au Bon Climat partners with other local vintners to benefit Direct Relief—plus, a special dinner in honor of jim clendenen

Frank Ostini and Jim Clendenen

Yes, you can have fun while helping others! The Santa Barbara Wine Auction happens every other year to benefit Direct Relief, with the most current held in November 2022. The event allows everyone to put on their best and raise funds for the international humanitarian aid organization that is based in Santa Barbara. An amazing selection of wines, winery experiences, and lifestyle packages go up for bid to raise funds. Our local vintners always rise to the occasion, and Au Bon Climat has long been a great supporter. 

For our donation, Au Bon Climat offered a double vertical of incredibly rare wines; our Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Chardonnay, 1997 – 2020 and Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Pinot Noir 1997 – 2020, raising $30,000.  These wines were chosen as an homage to the history and impact both Jim Clendenen and Sanford and Benedict Vineyard have done to elevate the renown of Santa Barbara County wines.  

At that same event, Frank Ostini of The Hitching Post wanted to up the ante with a ‘go big, or go home’ donation that was a salute to his dear friend Jim. He took the reins and created a Jim Clendenen Memorial Dinner to be held at the Hitching Post Restaurant in Buellton this February with each seat costing $1000. Over 100 successful bidders will be attending meaning over $100,000 to this great cause. Most guests are close friends of Jim, traveling from as far as Tennessee, Hawaii, Georgia, and New Jersey for the tribute. Frank is coordinating a multi-course salute that includes guest chef Roy Yamaguchi from Roy’s Hawaii who is flying in to create a course, along with local chef Clark Staub from Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos.  The event features large format, library wines of Jim’s dating back to 1980s to match each course. ▲

DONATE NOW: If you would like to support Direct Relief, click below…

Direct Relief is a nonprofit that seeks to improve the health and lives of people, worldwide, affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. The overhead is minimal, so you know your donation is going to where it is needed most.

Au Bon Climat in Asia

FAMILIAR FACES WHILE ABROAD—look for au bon climat traveling through asia

Isabelle with new friends in Japan

The thrill of exploring and experiencing something for the first time can be the best part of traveling, however, sometimes seeing a reminder of home while traveling provides a bit of comfort in an otherwise exotic place.  Should your travels take you to Asia, you may be surprised to see Au Bon Climat on many wine lists.  This is a result of Jim Clendenen’s own wanderlust. Jim had a particular affinity for Japan and was viewed as a celebrity by the wine community. He established key relationships in Japan decades ago which remain today.  It is our second largest export market, just behind the UK.  In recent years we have seen tremendous growth in other parts of Asia, specifically South Korea and China.

Asia is very familiar territory for the second generation Clendenens. At the end of February both Knox (who just finished college in Tokyo) and Isabelle (Japan minor in college) will be leading tastings in Tokyo, Osaka and Seoul.  After many visits to Japan with their father and then on their own, Knox and Isabelle are becoming the new face of Au Bon Climat in Asia. ▲

Happy 70th Birthday, Jim!

Celebrating Jim clendenen all month LONG…

In honor of Jim’s birthday month, we’re offering 15% off Clendenen Family Vineyards wines, Jim’s passion project label, through entire month of January!

Jim Clendenen through the years

“Life is a Banquet, and Most Poor Suckers Are Starving to Death.” – Auntie Mame

Jim Clendenen enjoyed a good party. If he wasn’t going to one, he would create it. It was hard to tell the difference between work and play since it was one in the same to him.  In essence, his life was a party! Being a good businessman and living every moment to the fullest is a balance hard to manage. Jim traveled continuously but every year in December he traveled to another continent (or two) for a 3-4 week luxury vacation enjoying whatever location he landed in to the hilt – with a little work thrown in. Ideally his kids Isabelle and Knox would join him. There were trips to from Antarctica, the Galapagos, Machu Picchu, to Japan, always frequenting the best restaurants, no matter how obscure or costly. Each trip culminated in celebrating his birthday on Jan. 11th in style, before returning. It’s that joie de vivre we are trying capture. This would have been Jim’s 70th birthday and we decided to celebrate it for him – Jim Clendenen style. Join us in the celebration!

January 2023 CFV WIne Special

Start the year off right—join the Au Bon Climat Wine Club ! Members enjoy exclusive releases, discounts on special tastings & events, and Au Bon Climat wines delivered right to your doorstop at 15-25% off!

Plus, for the month of January, combine your wine club discount with our Clendenen Family Vineyards 15% off promotion to enjoy maximum savings!▲

Join us January 14th & 15th


Join us in celebrating the big man’s Birthday—Jim style. Wild, colorful tees or loud Hawaiian shirts are encouraged! Shirt participants eligible for prizes! Share your Jim stories with other devotees while enjoying the wide range of Clendenen Family wines at the Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Tasting Room.