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Au Bon Climat | California, USA

Santa Maria Valley Vineyards in Santa Barbara County, California

Founded in 1982, Au Bon Climat (which means "a well-exposed vineyard") produces internationally-recognised Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from grapes grown in California's Santa Barbara County.

Au Bon Climat is located at the foot of one of California's most highly rated vineyards, Bien Nacido in the Santa Maria Valley, one of the finest sites in California and ideal for the production of the refined, Burgundian style of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to which Jim so aspires.

Au Bon Climat or ABC, as it is more commonly referred to, has won universal acclaim for its wines thanks to Jim 'Wild Boy' Clendenen its winemaker and owner. Jim regards Burgundy as the benchmark to which he should aspire and buys clones of Pinot Noir from Burgundy in a bid to replicate as closely as possible the restraint and finesse of the wines from that region.

Jim eschewed a career in law for the lure of the vine following a month's stay in Burgundy and Champagne when he was 21. He has never looked back, although he is frequently to be found darkening the doors along the stretch of the Cote d'Or. Unsurprisingly his wines combine the minerally precision and grace of Burgundy with the flair of the West Coast of America.

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