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.

Welcome new Tasting Room Manager: Wiktoria Marroquin

We are excited to introduce our new tasting room manager

A picture of Au Bon Climat's new Tasting Room Manager, Wiktoria, smiling at the camera.

Wiktoria (pronounced Victoria) is new to Santa Barbara and California but certainly not new to California wine. She was born and raised in Poland and has worked throughout Europe. Wiktoria moved to Tuscany, worked for a small winery, and discovered her love for Sangiovese. When an opportunity to work at a Michelin star restaurant in Slovenia came up, Wiktoria decided to move. She traded the sun for the snow, and learned everything there was to know about skin-contact white wines that Slovenia is famous for. Continuing her snowy journey, she spent the last five years in Iceland working as one of the few sommeliers in the country. Love brought her to California, and she now gets to call Santa Barbara and Au Bon Climat home.

Come in soon to meet her! She would love to hear from you. Her email is