ABC (as it is widely known) is iconic Californian estate, stemming from Jim Clendenen’s love of Burgundy. He and Adam founded ABC Au Bon Climate in 1982, to make California wines in the Burgundian tradition. After Tolmach left in the 1990s, Clendenen continued his winemaking. Au Bon Climat aims for Old World finesse, rather than a more typical Californian exuberance., going so far as to import Burgundian clones of Pinot Noir.
The estate both grows its own grapes, as well as buys in from other growers. They also own the ‘Le Bon Climat’ vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. They also source from the iconic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, among others. ABC was certified organic in 2003. While all white wines are fermented in oak, in general, oak is not as prominent as in many other California wines. Only French oak is used.
The four categories or ranges ABC produces are ‘Santa Barbara Country Classics,’ ‘Single Vineyard,’ ‘Historic Vineyards’ and the ‘Blue Series.’