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JIM CLENDENEN REMEMBERED

John Tilson • 5/17/21        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

JIM CLENDENEN
Mind Behind

AU BON CLIMAT

 


 

Gone too soon, Jim Clendenen, aka Mind Behind, just passed away. Jim was an iconic legend in so many ways. He founded Au Bon Climat in 1982 which was one of the very early wineries in Santa Barbara County. He began his career working at Zaca Mesa which founded in 1973 was the third winery established in Santa Barbara County. At Au Bon Climat the specialty was Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Jim made beautiful, traditional, and very pure wines that express the varietal and the terroir and age beautifully over many years. (To read an article on Au Bon Climat and its history click here)


I first met Jim as a very young man when he and his friend, Tony Chanin, who is Gavin Chanin’s father – Gavin is the founder of Chanin Wine Company and learned the wine trade from Jim (to read an article on Chanin Wine Company click here) – would come to The Underground Wineletter blind tastings to learn about wine. Jim’s accomplishments from that time were remarkable. First he and Tony began working as “cellar rats” at Zaca Mesa. Shortly after Tony left and joined the family business and Jim went on to found Au Bon Climat. He was truly a pioneer and a kind, generous and wonderful man. Jim left us way too soon but he will always be remembered by all of us for so many things that he said and did. May he forever rest in peace in the big wine cellar in the sky.         

In Vino Veritas,

John Tilson      

           

 

 

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  • Fred Schilling says:
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    Greatly saddened by this news. Jim was one of the great characters of the world of wine. Endlessly enquisitive and never failed to tell it straight.
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