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The Santa Barbara Vintner Legends Series: Jim Clendenen & Adam Tolmach

August 8, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

- $59.00 – $94.00


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2 Legends, 12 Wines, 1 Fellowship Dinner!

This is an evening that will go down in Central Coast wine history. Having just Jim Clendenen from Au Bon Climat or Adam Tolmach from The Ojai Vineyard by themselves would be a magical night, but having them both together — which was Jim’s idea! — is incredibly special.

Join Legendary winemakers Adam Tolmach Jim Clendenen, and ESB members for our first Winemaker Fellowship Dinner! Guests will come together to enjoy a “Fellowship Dinner”, where each guest brings a food item (starter, side, or entree) to share family style…(i.e. Potluck) and participate in a side-by side tasting featuring 12 wines, with Jim Clendenen and Adam Tolmach in attendance! Members will meet and sit with Jim and Adam, who will share their stories and wine through a sit-down dinner provided by the members. Hear how Adam and Jim have shaped the landscape of wine in Santa Barbara, as you taste through recent vintages and library wines. See guidelines for the Fellowship Dinner at the bottom of this page.

Wines included in the tasting are as follows:

Clendenen Family 2017 Tocai Friulano “Borgo Buon Natale”
Ojai Vineyard 2017 Viognier ~ Roll Ranch

Au Bon Climat 2011 Chardonnay ~ Bien Nacido Vineyard
Ojai Vineyard 2016 Chardonnay ~ Bien Nacido Vineyard

Au Bon Climat 2010 Pinot Noir ~ Isabelle (Magnum)
Ojai Vineyard 2010 Pinot Noir ~ Fe Ciega (Magnum)

Clendenen Family 2005 Syrah/Viognier ~ Rancho La Cuna Vineyard
Ojai Vineyard 2008 Syrah ~ Presidio (Magnum)

Clendenen Family 2012 Late Harvest Viognier
Ojai Vineyard “Kick On Ranch” Riesling Ice Wine

*Take home wine options are younger vintages of the library wines featured at the event:

Au Bon Climat 2015 Pinot ~ Noir Isabelle
Clendenen Family 2012 Syrah/Viognier ~ Rancho La Cuna Vineyard
Ojai Vineyard 2015 Pinot Noir ~ Fe Ciega
Ojai Vineyard 2015 Syrah ~ Presidio

Jim Clendenen landed in UCSB to study pre-law, but ditched that after working a harvest at Zaca Mesa Winery in 1978. It was a fateful trip to Burgundy in 1981 that crafted his idea of what wine should be. So when he returned, Clendenen teamed with his friend Adam Tolmach, also a Zaca Mesa alum, to start Au Bon Climat inside of a Los Alamos dairy barn back in 1982.
As the brand grew, Clendenen moved into a winery surrounded by Bien Nacido Vineyard and became the face of Santa Barbara County wine across the country and world — he still maintains an intense travel schedule proselytizing the region’s wines to all who will listen, and even some who won’t. His Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays became recognized for their high-acid, age-worthy style, which he never wavered from even as consumer and critical tastes moved riper.In 1991, Adam Tolmach left Au Bon Climat to start his own brand, The Ojai Vineyard, on a property in Ojai that his grandfather bought in 1933. He was already growing Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc on the property — although those grapes would succumb to disease in the ensuing years — so built a winery on the property that he still uses today.He developed a widely respected and critically beloved brand that’s focused on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and other Rhone varietals. Adam was one of the first vintners to start buying grapes by the acre rather than the ton, allowing greater control of the farming. Most of the grapes come from Santa Barbara County, but Adam is still focused on the Ojai Valley, where he sources Syrah and is now growing disease-resistant hybrid grapes on his property.Both Jim Clendenen and Adam Tolmach are proponents of library wines. The tasting room for Au Bon Climat in downtown Santa Barbara regularly hosts vintage tasting events, and The Ojai Vineyard tasting room just off of the Ojai arcade has dozens of older vintages for sale every day.

Guidelines for the Fellowship Dinner:

1. There will be approximately 25 members in attendance. Guests will consume small portions of your dish, so no need to bring full size servings (i.e. 25 full-size hamburgers). Instead, cut into thirds or quarters, with each portion being a serving for one person.)

2. Couples or parties of 2 have option of bringing 1 larger dish (like a main, sandwiches, pasta, casserole), or two regular-sized dishes (like small bites, salads, sides). Parties of 1 bring one dish of choice.

3. Please bring a serving utensil for your dish, if needed. ESB will provide plates, napkins and silverware.

4. There is no kitchen! Your dish should be something that does not require a heat source. (It’s like a picnic…but inside…and instead of grass, beautiful art.) Foods that can be served warm, cool, or at room temperature are preferred. Sorry, fondue might not be the best idea.

The event will begin with a reception with two wines, followed by seated tasting of the following 4 wines. Then there will be a break for dinner. With dinner, the tastings will continue with two syrups and dessert wines.

Don’t want to cook? No problem! Call up C’est Cheese, Tino’s or Whole Foods, etc., and have them put together a cheese, charcuterie, apertivo platter, or something from the prepared foods. Alternatively, you can get take-out from your favorite restaurant.


August 8, 2019
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
$59.00 – $94.00
Event Categories:
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Santa Barbara, CA United States




Smart Casual
Self Parking
Open To
Members & Member Guests
Please Bring
Food Item (starter, side, or entree)