September 2023 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

Scroll through for the latest news and updates from Au Bon Climat including a special experience shared by Isabelle Clendenen, a delicious family recipe from our Tasting Room Manager, Wiktoria, and an update on Harvest 2023! And as always, find the tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your September Wine Club Shipment below!



September Bundle Special

In celebration of harvest, we are offering special pricing on a group of our ABC favorite wines. This selection truly represents the delicious style of Au Bon Climat. Take advantage of our Flat Rate Shipping and add on to make it a case!

RETAIL: $140

One Bottle Each Of the following:

2020 ABC Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard “Santa Barbara Historical Vineyards Collection”

Exceptional – as usual! Spiced orchard fruits, citrus, toasty brioche as well as hints of nuttiness all emerge. The palate grips with crushed rock minerality giving frame to the stone fruit and citrus flavors.

2019 ABC Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus”

A wine of great aromatics and character showing black cherry/cranberry fruit, rose petal, earth and spice. Balance is the key to this wine – of oak and fruit – tannin and acid – elegance and intensity. 

2019 ABC Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”

A fragrant, ethereal bouquet leads to a complex, savory Pinot Noir with loads of spiced cherry, cranberry and red currant fruits as well as brambly herbs, underbrush, and leather-like aromas and flavors.

Shipments will ship the week of September 11th. The deadline to add-on, or adjust your shipment ore ship date is August 30th by 5 pm. If you would like to add on outside of the wine club offering, please email Quantities are limited.


Please advise (if you have not already) whether you would prefer to ship your September shipment along with your November allotment to avoid heat damage. If you see your package as ‘skipped’ in your portal, you will receive your September allotment with November. Once your order has entered our shipping department, ABC is no longer liable for heat-damaged packages.  

Included in this Shipment…

2021 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Los Alamos Vineyard, Santa Barbara Historic Vineyards Collection, Santa Barbara County

It was 1982 when Au Bon Climat made its first wine in a small barn at Los Alamos Vineyard and we have been making wine from them ever since. The vineyard is known for creating wines of texture and depth. The 2021 Chardonnay shows aromas of dried lemon, white flowers and grapefruit-peel with hints of apricot, coconut and oak. The palate surrounds a rounded almond flavor, with tart citrus and warm wood tones decorating the experience. It is layered with a luxuriously textured mouthfeel, bright acidity, and a clean finish.

2022 Au Bon Climat 80% Pinot Gris/20% Pinot Blanc, Santa Maria Valley

Harvested with low sugar and high acidity, the crisp Pinot Gris portion of the blend supplies the energy, while the Pinot Blanc delivers minerality and depth. Together they create a delightful, dry white that is immensely drinkable. The fresh fruit character of green apple, pear and nuances of apricot broadens on the palate. A wine of beautiful minerality and purity. Light and refreshing, it has enough body and intensity to pair with a wide range of cuisines.

2019 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard “K Block”, Santa Maria Valley

Bien Nacido is known for their Chardonnay, but K Block is particularly special. We felt it deserved its own bottling and the royal treatment. The fruit was hand harvested, whole cluster pressed, then barrel fermented and aged 20 months in new, custom crafted, 350-liter French oak barrels from François Frères. We use these barrels for only our best wines. The result is an impressive, rich, creamy Chardonnay that is voluptuous yet well defined. Sweet barrel spice mixes nicely with the baked apple, pear, and lemon curd fruit character. It is wonderfully balanced with nicely integrated acidity, and a great finish.

2020 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Runway Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley

Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir characteristically has a very fragrant cherry, cranberry, rose petal and spice aroma, and firm structure. The fruit from Runway provides all that yet is richer and more intense. This expressive Pinot Noir has a core of red and black berries, and offers loads of spice with touches of licorice, cola and sagebrush. It is a well-structured, balanced, deeply colored wine with more richness and intensity than most. Round and plush, it is one of the more voluptuous, racy wines in style. Aged 24 months in French oak barrels, 50% new.

2019 Barham Mendelsohn Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

This hails from a five acre vineyard that is organically farmed in the most meticulous fashion. The extraordinary fruit is hand harvested, sorted vigorously in the vineyard, and then trucked to the winery in the cool of the night arriving early morning. A long and slow fermentation in 5 ton open-top fermentors extracted pretty but complex Pinot flavors. It was aged for 20 months in François Frères French oak barrels, 33% new. This is a rich Pinot Noir with black cherry, cassis and cocoa flavors combined with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanillin from the French oak barrels. Well integrated, silky and seductive, it’s a perfect match with lamb chops.

2019 Clendenen Family Nebbiolo “Bricco Buon Natale”, Santa Maria Valley

We have been creating Old World style Nebbiolo for over 20 years. It requires patience and commitment. Four years of barrel age has created a wine of refinement, depth and beautiful structure. Floral and berry aromas jump from the glass with secondary aromas of rose hip, orange zest, black currant, anise, dark cocoa just starting to develop. The intriguing bouquet is joined by dark cherry and plum fruit well integrated on the palate. There is a wonderful balance between the richness of fruit and complexity of age.

2018 Clendenen Family Petit Verdot, Estate Bien Nacido Plantings, Santa Maria Valley

Petit Verdot ripens so much later than the other Bordeaux varieties, it may seem surprising the varietal ripens so well at a cold vineyard like Bien Nacido. But it does. This is a beautifully layered, garnet colored wine that has the depth, structure and elegance of a highly ranked Bordeaux. Blackberry, boysenberry, and dark cherry fruit is upfront with back notes of sage and lavender. Tannins are firm and well stated. It is a balanced wine of refinement that will age for years to come.



Every other Sunday the Tasting Room will host Live Music Sundays from 3 pm to 5 pm.  We put tastings on hold, so you can enjoy a glass of wine.  Club members’ discounts apply to glasses of wine.

2023 Summer Lineup for our Live Music Sundays

Mom’s Heartwarming Spin on Hungarian Lecso/Lecho/Leczo

The Perfect Comforting Stew for Cool Evenings From WikToria

Wiktoria Marroquin at Au Bon Climat Winery

As the cold raindrops gently tap on the window pane and a soft breeze whispers through the trees, there’s nothing quite like the comforting embrace of a warm bowl of Hungarian lecso. This cherished family recipe has been passed down through generations, and it holds a special place in our hearts. Today, I’m excited to share my family’s Polish spin on this classic Hungarian stew – a dish that my Mom used to lovingly prepare on cold rainy days, making it the best comforting meal ever. Let’s dive into the heartwarming world of our Hungarian lecso!


  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 zucchinis 
  • vegetable broth
  • 1 big yellow onion
  • kielbasa (you can get a real deal one at Euro Market in Goleta, the best one is from Pulaski Meat)
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes 
  • salt 
  • pepper


  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Best Served: The Next Day
Prepare the Ingredients:

Start by washing the red peppers and zucchini thoroughly. Slice the bell peppers into thin strips, and the zucchinis into half-moons. Set them aside.

Create the Flavorful Base:

In a large pot, add some olive oil and sauté the onion until it becomes translucent and slightly caramelized. This is the foundation of our stew, adding a hint of sweetness and depth of flavor. Take your time with this step to get it just right.

Add the Peppers and Zucchini:

Once the onion is ready, add the sliced red peppers to the pot. Let them cook for a few minutes until they start to soften. Then, add the zucchini and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to mingle.

Introduce the Kielbasa:

Now comes the star of our spin of lecso – the kielbasa! The most famous thing in Poland. My personal favorite is when my brother makes one from scratch but when you are an immigrant you deal with what you can find, right? Cut the kielbasa into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot. Their smoky richness will infuse the stew with a delightful savory note.

Pour in the Crushed Tomatoes:

Open the 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and carefully pour its contents into the pot. The tangy sweetness of the tomatoes will complement the other ingredients, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.

Season to Perfection:

Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that the kielbasa can add some saltiness, so go easy on the salt at first, and you can always adjust later.

Simmer Slowly:

Now, it’s time to let the magic happen. Pour in the vegetable broth and 3 cups of water until all the ingredients are just covered. Bring the stew to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for at least an hour (I do 2-3 hours), stirring occasionally.

Patience Is Rewarded:

After the long, slow simmer, your Hungarian lecso will have transformed into a comforting stew with layers of rich flavors. But trust me, the patience is worth it! The next day, the flavors will have melded even further, creating a symphony of taste that will leave you wanting more.

Enjoy & Share the Love:

Serve the lecso in deep bowls and savor the heartwarming goodness with your loved ones. Don’t forget some crusty bread on the side to soak up the flavorful broth. Share stories, laughter, and the love that goes into making this treasured family recipe.

There’s something magical about the way a comforting stew can bring warmth to your soul, especially on cold evenings. Our family’s spin on Hungarian lecso has been a source of joy and comfort for generations, passed down from my Mom’s kitchen to ours (my American husband is addicted to this leczo). As you take your first spoonful of this heartwarming dish, you’ll feel the love and care that goes into each and every bowl. So, on those cool evenings when you crave a warm and comforting meal, give our Polish-Hungarian lecso a try. It’s not just a stew; it’s a taste of family tradition and the best kind of comfort food.

May 2023 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

Scroll through for the latest news and updates from Au Bon Climat including a delicious recipe from our Cellar Master, Enrique Rodriguez, read an interesting piece that will help you open your next “aged to perfection” bottle, plus meet our new Tasting Room Manager, Wiktoria! And as always, find the tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your May Wine Club Shipment below!




Our May Wine Club Shipment is particularly outstanding. Many are limited edition wines that will sell out quickly. You may just want to add on to your shipment and take advantage of our new rates!

We are excited about the two add-on specials being offered in addition to the wines in the club shipment.  While we have been making Mondeuse (Rosé) and Syrah (Syrah/Viognier) for decades, it is the first time creating them into 100% red varietal wines under the Clendenen Family label.

Clendenen Family 2018 Mondeuse (Noire) Bien Nacido Estate Plantings,
Santa Maria Valley $25

Great value! This offbeat, French varietal creates a delicious, juicy red wine with deep color and a berry/peppery flavor. Blackberry, plum, pomegranate appear up front, with nuances of clove and black olive on the back palette helping to create a savory and food-friendly wine. 

Clendenen Family 2018 Syrah “Z Block”, Bien Nacido Estate Plantings
Santa Maria Valley $75

This is an intensely purple, opaque wine with gobs of fruit suggesting crushed blackberries, fresh violets, and earthy spice from one of the great Syrah blocks in America. The palate is rich and structured with an amazingly deep Syrah character that makes this wine intriguing and worthy of aging for years to come.


Within your wine club shipment email, click on the Adjust Your Shipment button. On the next page, under the blue menu banner on top in the right corner, click on the button Edit Wines. Select the bottles you’d like to add, then click on Save Selection located on top. If you would like to add on wines outside of the wine club portal, please email us the selection, we will do our best to accommodate. You have now customized your shipment! To see the total breakdown, including shipping discount, click on TOTAL.  

Upcoming Events to Note In MAY…

ANNUAL Wine Club Pickup Party

Experience the ultimate celebration of wine and cuisine at our exclusive Annual Wine Club Pick-Up Party, hosted at the breathtaking Au Bon Climat winery. Join us for a lovely afternoon on our Bien Nacido Vineyard, surrounded by lush vines and rolling green hills for this special event that simply can’t be missed. 

All Club Members are welcome! Make your reservation today!

Included in this Shipment…

2018 Au Bon Climat Reserve Pinot Noir “Les Révélés” Lingua Franca Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon

We were fortunate to get fruit from the prestigious, estate vineyard of Lingua Franca located in Williamette Valley’s Eola-Amity Hills AVA, and set aside a few of our best barrels to create this Reserve. It is off-the-charts spectacular, loaded with crushed blackberry/cherry/blueberry fruit with intriguing nuances of anise, lavender, pink peppercorn, and oak vanillin. The underlying power and complexity are ‘under the surface’ currently, but will be apparent soon. Don’t miss out!

A picture of a red wine bottle - 2018 Au Bon Climat Reserve Pinot Noir "Les Révélés" Lingua Franca Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
A picture of a white wine bottle - 2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection. Sta. Rita Hills

2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection. Sta. Rita Hills

Another exceptional wine from the first great vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Spiced orchard fruits, citrus, brioche, and toasty oak as well as hints of nuttiness all emerge in the glass. The palate grips with crushed rock minerality giving frame to the stone fruit and citrus flavors. Medium-bodied and well structured, it has bright acidity and a clean, vibrant, pure style that’s going to gain richness and depth with a year or two of bottle age and keep for a decade.

The 2019 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 34th Anniversary Celebration Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

Welcoming aromas of macadamia nut, cream, sweet butter and orange zest are joined by flavors of coconut, cherimoya, and other creamy, white fleshed fruit backed by hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and minerality notes. Though a rich, opulent wine, it is focused and tight in style that should build nicely with bottle age.

A picture of a bottle of Chardonnay wine - The 2019 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 34th Anniversary Celebration Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills
A picture of a bottle of Pinot Noir - 2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus” Santa Maria Valley

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “La Bauge Au-dessus” Santa Maria Valley

“La Bauge Au-dessus” translates as a “wild party upstairs.” A classic Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, it is a wine of great aromatics and character showing cherry/cranberry fruit, rose petal, earth and spice. The key word is balance. A balance of oak and fruit, a balance of tannin and acid, and a balance of elegance and intensity. This delicious, Old World Burgundy style Pinot Noir does not compete with food but maximizes the dining experience by complimenting whatever is paired with it. The wine is crafted to have a more integrated structure and suppleness early on, making it enjoyable now, though it will continue to age handsomely.

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”, Santa Maria Valley

“Knox Alexander” Pinots represent the very best lots of Santa Maria Valley fruit we make each year. This wine does not disappoint. A fragrant, multi-layered bouquet leads to a complex, savory Pinot Noir with loads of spiced cherry, cranberry and red currant fruits as well as brambly herbs, underbrush, and leather-like aromas and flavors. It is very focused on the palate, in a tight, racy style. Wonderful now but will reward those who age it for years to come.

A picture of a bottle of Pinot Noir - 2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Knox Alexander”, Santa Maria Valley
A picture of a bottle of red wine - 2017 Clendenen Family 90% Syrah/10% Viognier, Santa Barbara County

2017 Clendenen Family 90% Syrah/10% Viognier, Santa Barbara County

The Syrah and Viognier grapes were co-fermented, a style that is often seen in the Rhône region of France that takes the tannic, muscular Syrah and with the 10% addition of Viognier, gives it suppleness. This deeply colored wine has a gorgeous perfume of crushed blackberries, fresh violets, black pepper, and earthy spice that carries through to a rich, supple palate. Five years aging in 500-liter oak puncheons ensures it is imminently enjoyable now, and a perfect companion to hearty dishes like cassoulet or grilled pork chops.

2021 Clendenen Family Pinot Gris, Santa Maria Valley

This delightful Pinot Gris is crafted in a more Alsatian style. It is easy drinking but with sophisticated elegance. Crisp, minerally, and dry, the wine has a fresh green apple/pear character with subtle notes of lemon and lime that are well framed. Its delightfully uncomplicated yet elegant nature makes it a versatile food partner. Match with lighter fare such as trout amandine or crab salad. Perfect for casual sipping with friends.

A picture of a bottle of Pinot Gris - 2021 Clendenen Family Pinot Gris, Santa Maria Valley

Nicole’s Maternity Leave

A picture of Nicole Wasserman, our DTC Director, holding a glass of wine.

We are excited to announce that DTC Manager Nicole Wasserman is expecting her first child in May! With that being said, she will be on maternity leave from April-August. Wiktoria and Lily will be covering for her during those months. If you need to contact us regarding your membership, please email

Flat Rate Shipping – Good News!

Damn Amazon. Who doesn’t love free shipping? For small businesses, it’s prohibitively costly. With all its regulations and surcharges, it is nearly impossible for a winery to absorb the cost of shipping wine.

Shipping costs in the past year have exploded. We know, and you have told us how unhappy you are with the increased costs. We have explored many ways to reduce the shipping costs.

Good News! We have negotiated with our shipping company to dramatically reduce our shipping costs. We are seeing an average reduction of about 28%, and for some East Coast deliveries as much as a 45% reduction.

With these lower costs, we are implementing Flat Rate Shipping. Based on your delivery address, our shipping rates will be the same for 1-3 bottles, 4-6 bottles or 7 – 12 bottles. This rate will be used for Wine Club shipments and wines ordered off our website.

A UPS driver speeds by delivering packages.

Enrique’s Pasta with Bacon, Corn, and Scallops

Enrique Rodriguez has been our cellar master at Au Bon Climat for over 3 decades. His role in winemaking is vital, but his side gig was as Jim Clendenen’s “sous chef”. When Jim was traveling, Enrique made lunch for the winery staff and guests.  With Jim gone, he is now the “Chef de Maison” for the winery and our daily lunches continue to be exemplary. This recipe is a staff favorite and is highly adaptable; it’s the bacon, corn and cream that give the basic flavors.  You can switch out the scallops for shrimp, clams or even crab.  Enrique uses whatever we have on hand, and it’s always delicious.

A bowl of pasta with scallops and bacon, garnished and ready to serve hot!


  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bag frozen corn (or six ears of fresh cooked corn)
  • 1 pound bay scallops
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto sauce
  • ¾ cup cream
  • ½ cup basil leaves, chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add salt and pasta.
  2. While the water begins to boil, fry bacon in a large sauté pan until crisp.  Drain bacon on paper towel.  Pour off most of the grease from the pan.  When cool, rough chop bacon.
  3. Return pan to stove, when hot, add onions.  If onions stick, add some olive oil.
  4. When onions soften, add bag of thawed corn.  Sauté corn for 3 to 5 minutes.  If it needs moisture add some wine.
  5. Add scallops and sauté until scallops are almost cooked, just a minute or two.
  6. Add wine and pesto sauce.  Let the wine cook down a bit then add cream and mix thoroughly.  You may add more wine or cream, or some pasta water if you want additional sauce.  Add chopped bacon and half of the chopped basil to sauce.  
  7. Drain cooked pasta and toss with a little olive oil and place in large serving bowl.  
  8. Pour corn and scallop mixture over pasta and toss until pasta is well coated.
  9. Garnish with remaining basil and serve hot.

February 2023 Wine Club Newsletter

The Latest from Au Bon Climat

Scroll through for latest news and updates from Au Bon Climat including a great recipe to pair with your favorite Pinots, an update from the vineyard in regard to our recent rainfall, a special add-on offer… plus tasting notes and details for the wines featured in your February Wine Club Shipment! Enjoy our February Wine Club Newsletter!


February Add-On Special: ENJOY 50% OFF TOTAL SHIPPING

“Best of 2017” Six Bottle Bundle 

We have selected six wines that stand out from the 2017 vintage, representing different styles, and that have multiple scores in the 90s. Add this bundle to your club shipment and get 50% OFF total shipping! To do this you will need to adjust your shipment by February 6th. The directions are straightforward and provided below…

2017 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 32nd Vintage Celebration Sanford & Benedict

This truly regal wine is made for those that appreciate creamy, richly textured Chardonnays. There is lots of buttered citrus, orchard fruits and slight pineapple notes as well as spice, toasty oak. It is focused and precise on the palate, has good mid-palate depth, and outstanding length. Scored 95 points Wine Enthusiast; 93 points Jeb Dunnuck; 92 points Wine & Spirits Magazine.

2017 Clendenen Family Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard

A knockout – rich, creamy, balanced. For this limited edition Chard, the finest lots of Bien Nacido fruit were barrel fermented in super expensive, custom-made Francois Freres barrels. The style is more complex and intense than our ABC counterpart. Scored 95 points Antonio Galloni’s Vinous; 93 points Jeb Dunnuck; 93 points Wine & Spirits Magazine.

2017 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Isabelle”

Our richest, most heralded Pinot begins with aromas of mulled berries and blossoms with a touch of tobacco and earth. The center delivers a luminous raspberry sweetness that grows in lift and expression as it opens. Scored 96 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 92 points Wine & Spirits Magazine.

2017 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard

This single vineyard Pinot delivers depth. The 2017 is a rich, meaty red with a dense fruit character showing earthy, berry aromas joined by mouth-filling flavors of plum and bitter chocolate on the palate. Aged 18 months in french oak barrels, one third new. Scored 91 points & Best Buy from Wine & Spirits Magazine.

2017 Barham Mendelsohn Pinot Noir

Pinot from this region has a signature spice. When meticulously grown, organic fruit meets stellar winemaking, the result is a sophisticated, beautifully balanced red showing racy, deep berry fruit, and an intriguing Oriental spice character that is mouth-filling.

2017 Black By Black (Bordeaux Blend)

This is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot showing a classic dark berry character with back notes of sage and tobacco. Aged about 24 months in barrel, it received all the necessary TLC in the cellar to create a dark, rich red that has benefited from bottle age.


Within your wine club shipment email, click on the Adjust Your Shipment button. On the next page, under the blue menu banner on top in the right corner, click on the button Edit Wines. Select the February Add-On Bundle, then click on Save Selection located on top. You have now customized your shipment. To see the total breakdown including shipping discount, click on TOTAL

Upcoming Events to Note…

Au BOn Climat at World Of Pinot Noir 

This elite three day event is held at the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara includes luncheons, spectacular themed dinners, 2 days of Grand Tastings, must-see seminars, and an Opening Night Party – whew! Get your tickets now! Some events have already sold out. As of this writing, Friday and Saturday Grand Tasting tickets are available. Au Bon Climat will be participating in Saturday’s Grand Tasting. We always have something intriguing. See you there!

Special Pinot Noir Flight at THE Tasting Room

In honor of World of Pinot Noir, our tasting room will be pouring a special Pinot Noir flight that weekend. Make a reservation here.

SAVE THE DATE: Wine Club Pickup Party

A wonderful afternoon in wine country! The perfect Mother’s Day adventure. Includes a memorable luncheon, wine tasting stations, and special wines for sale including The Bargain Table. Each membership can invite 3 guests, for a total of 4. All club members are welcome! Reservations will go live April 1st.

Included in this Shipment…

2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, “Nuits Blanches au Bouge – Hindsight”, Santa Maria Valley

Another brilliant version of this wine with textbook Chardonnay notes of pear, ripe stone fruits, caramelized lemons, chalky minerality, and toasted spice. Aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months, it’s medium-bodied and balanced, with a great mid-palate as well as impressive length. Each vintage this wine gets new designation. “Hindsight” was a natural with the 2020 vintage. 

2020 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay, Bien Nacido Vineyard – Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection, Santa Maria Valley

The aroma immediately reveals this is obviously Chardonnay made in an Old World style. Tightly woven aromas of nectarine and peach are clean and delicate on the nose of this single-vineyard showcase. A chalky backbone holds up the palate, where creamier subtle notes of gardenia and coconut arise. Scored 93 points Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

2020 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Isabelle”

A blend of our top Pinot barrels from different vineyard sources, the Isabelle Pinot is Au Bon Climat’s most highly regarded. It is a bright and effusive wine with tons of aromatic presence and fine balance. Sweet red cherry fruit, orange peel, spice, and dried herbs open first, followed by a host of perfumed floral notes that lead into the mid-palate and finish. Silky and quite elegant, all it really needs time in the bottle to come into its own.

2020 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard – Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection, Santa Barbara County

True to Los Alamos wine region, this Pinot has a dense, straight forward fruit character. Aromas of ripe cherry/red berries are joined on the palate by nuances of forest floor, bitter chocolate, cola and vanilla that mesh to create a beautifully balanced wine that is enjoyable now but will develop for years to come. Aged 18 months in new French oak barrels.

2019 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir, Lala Panzi Vineyard, Russian River Valley

This organically grown Pinot is luscious, feminine, pretty, aromatic…it tastes like the Russian River Valley. Along with the red berry/cranberry fruit character, this lovely wine shows an amazing array of aromas and flavors – Chinese five spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom, followed with a balanced vanillin note from 50% new French Oak barrels.

2021 Grenache Gris, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

Grenache Gris has its origins in the south of France. Our version is an easy drinking, dry white that has massive appeal, with structure and flavors not unlike an expensive White Hermitage with its restrained stone fruit character and mineral backbone. From Clendenen estate in Los Alamos, the fruit is barrel fermented and aged briefly 8 months in neutral french oak.

2018 Grenache, Rancho La Cuna, Santa Barbara County

A beautifully balanced but structured Grenache with whimsical berry and earth notes in the nose followed by deeper berry and spice notes on the palate. Only a few barrels made of this wine.


Q: How is the rainy, winter weather affecting the vines in your area?

Simply put, for the most part, welcome! California has been in a drought for many years which has concentrated the salt deposits in the soil to a level where it was becoming toxic. Salts in soil contain important micronutrients, but some—like sodium, chloride and boron—carry a toxic punch if left to accumulate. The ocean influence in the geology of Santa Barbara along with a drier climate makes this a concern particularly for growers here. With the needed rain, the salts are flushed, or leached, and necessary salts and minerals spread out for a more balanced growing environment. The intense rains have recharged drought-thirsty aquifers and water tables have revitalized the vines. If only the rains could have come over a longer, less intense period…

We have also had some nice frosty weather providing good chill hours for dormancy. In addition, bugs and pests don’t survive as well in the cold. This contributes to a healthy bud break.

Mushroom Wellington

The nutty flavor of creminis makes this a flavorful dish well matched with Pinot Noir. Serve with a mixed green salad with pear, toasted walnuts and dried cranberries.


  • 16 oz cremini mushroom
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 oz spinach
  • nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, sheet
  • flour, for rolling out puff pastry
  • 2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg, beaten (for wash)
  • water


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Add the mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until crumbly, 10-12 times. Be careful not to over-process.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and sauté until the onions are translucent and most of the broth has evaporated.
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes more, or until fragrant.
  5. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce and sauté until most of the liquid has released from the mushrooms and evaporated, 10-12 minutes.
  6. Push the sautéed veggies to the sides of the pan and add a bit more olive oil to the center. Sauté the thyme and rosemary in the oil until fragrant, then incorporate into the rest of mixture.
  7. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted. 
  8. Let mixture cool.
  9. Grease an 18 x 13-inch baking sheet with nonstick spray. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out puff pastry sheet to fit the baking sheet. Transfer the puff pastry to the pan.
  10. In center third of the pastry, add a layer of potato slices, side by side. Lightly season with salt. Top with half of the mushroom mixture and spread in an even layer, about ¾-inch thick. Add another layer of potatoes and the rest of the mushrooms, and top with a final layer of potatoes, seasoning each time.
  11. Fold one side of pastry over the filling, then the other side. Seal the top and bottom ends over the filling. Score the top of the Wellington diagonally with a sharp knife. Do not cut through the dough.
  12. Beat egg with 2 tablespoons water in small bowl until frothy and brush over the Wellington. Decorate with more pastry, if desired. Poke a few air vents in the pastry.
  13. Bake for 35-40 minutes. until golden brown and puffed.
  14. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into thick slices.