The Ojai Vineyard, California
Adam Tolmach went to UC Davis and studied viticulture and enology, and after graduating in 1976 he settled down on the property his grandfather bought in the Ojai Valley in 1933 to farm sweet corn and melons, selling them at a roadside stand. After two years of this satisfying, yet difficult and nearly profitless work he sought employment in his field of study.
With degree in hand he found work at Zaca Mesa in Santa Barbara County. Before long he decided to follow his own vision and started a winery with fellow employee Jim Clendenen in 1982. The winery, Au Bon Climat, was an overnight success, but after nine years together Jim and Adam realized they had to follow separate paths. Jim bought the business in 1991 and went on to further glories.
Simultaneous to all this, Adam had planted a vineyard in Ojai to
syrah and sauvignon blanc and had begun producing wine from that
fruit in 1983. When the collaboration with Clendenen ended he
concentrated all his attention on The Ojai Vineyard to further
explore the infinite details of his craft.