Here at Qupé wines our focus is on quality. Specializing in Rhone-style wines from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria, the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard in the Edna Valley, where we farm biodynamically, and the Ibarra-Young Vineyard in Los Olivos where we farm organically.Read more...
Qupé (pronounced kyoo-pay') is the Chumash Indian word for California poppy. The Chumash are native to California's Central Coast and Channel Islands, the California poppy is our state flower. Bob Lindquist added the accent to the word Qupé and gave it the pronunciation.Read more...
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This is a classic Central Coast syrah, combining the spice and acidity of the cool climate grapes with the forward fruit of the warm climate grapes. It has the balance to be age worthy...in fact we just received an email the other day from a customer telling us how much they enjoyed a bottle of our 1989 syrah-Central Coast. Best to drink it though and save your cellar space for our single vineyard syrahs.
This wine is 100% syrah from the Alisos Vineyard near the town of Los Alamos in the heart of the Santa Barbara County wine country. We have been getting grapes from this outstanding vineyard since 1994. This wine is almost always our densest most brooding syrah, never that showy when young and always in need of some bottle age to show at its best. This 2008 is one of our best examples. The grapes were harvested on September 18th at 24.3°, 5.6 acidity and 3.36 pH. The stems were nicely mature so 50% whole clusters were used in the fermenter. The wine was aged for 19 months in Francois Freres French oak barrels (25% new). A barrel selection of only 6 barrels (144 cases) were chosen for this wine. It was bottled without fining or filtration in May 2010.
A blend of syrah and mourvedre from Ibarra-Young Vineyard and Grenache from Purisima Mt. Vineyard in Santa Ynez Valley. This elegant wine is aged for 15 months in neutral barrels which help showcase the pure flavors of wild cherries, berries and spice with gorgeous acidity and length.
The Purisima Mountain Vineyard is owned by the Beckmen family (Beckmen Winery) and is located a few miles west of Los Olivos on Ballard Canyon Road in the Santa Ynez Valley. Steve Beckmen farms the vineyard using strict biodynamic methods. Each year this is one of our top syrahs and also one of our most elegant. The aromas always remind me of lilacs with hints of raspberry and spice. This is a wine you can enjoy now or put away in the cellar for a good 10 years. Only 6 barrels produced.
Grown at our biodynamic vineyard this a selection from 4 sections of hillside vines and made from 7 different syrah clones. The wine has lush berry flavors framed by distinctive spice aromatics. It is 25% whole cluster fermented and aged for 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels and bottled without fining or filtration.
This is the best wine from a rigorous barrel selection (8 barrels) and is made from the Alban syrah clone blended with 15% UCD-1 clone. The wine is 30% whole cluster fermented and aged for 16 months in 50% new Ermitage barrels. The wine has great depth and complexity with tremendous pepper spice balanced with intense savory fruit. This was named after Sonnie, Bob's mother and the matriarch of the family.
This wine is classic cool climate syrah with elegance and balance. On the palate pure flavors of dried raspberry, blueberry with hints of cola nut framed by spice. 25% whole cluster fermentation enhances the distinctive pepper notes. The wine is aged for 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels
Made from the southwest facing, low yielding hillside at Bien Nacido Vineyard, the grapes for this wine have the winemaker's special touch. About 10 -15% of the juice is barrel fermented 'en saignée' which adds a toasty mocha complexity. The wine is aged for 20 months in 60% new Burgundy barrels. The wine is concentrated with rich pure fruit framed by integrated spices and has great balance.
A special bottling from the oldest block at BNV which was planted in 1973 to reisling and grafted to syrah (Estrella clone) in 1986. This low yielding block is 80% whole cluster fermented and aged in 75% Hermitage barrels for 20 months. This is incredibly intense wine with smoked meat, tar, leather and blueberries and hard spice. The wine has a firm grip and is incredibly age worthy.
The 100% biodynamic grenache grapes are destemmed and fermented with the grapes native, wild yeast and is aged sur lees for 17 months in neutral barrels. This is elegant yet racy with wild cherry, spice and herbs-de-Provence flavors and shows great intensity and balance.
75% marsanne 25% roussanne light vibrant and refreshing. Organically grown in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley
This wine is 100% viognier from the Ibarra-Young Vineyard, just outside of Los Olivos in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. This is our 24th consecutive vintage of this wine beginning with the 1989 vintage... a special wine that we don't make very much of. These were our first grapes to ripen in 2012. We harvested all of 3.5tons (off 1.25 acres) on August 30th at 23.5° brix, 8.5 acidity and 3.22 pH. I like to pick viognier on the early side of ripeness when it has refreshing acidity and balanced alcohol (this one is 12.6%).The grapes were whole cluster pressed, chilled and settled overnight, then put directly into barrel for fermentation. I like to use 3 year old Francois Freres French oak barrels for Viognier -neutral but still fresh. The wine was aged on the lees for 5 months and went through complete malo. Only 8 barrels were produced, and from those I selected my favorite 5 barrels for this limited bottling of 118 cases. This wine shows more of the mineral and citrus side of viognier while still exhibiting classic peach and honeysuckle aromas. This is a crisp, refreshing example of viognier that works remarkably with many dishes. I like to recommend drinking viognier young and fresh.
This is our first vintage of viognier from our Demeter Certified Biodynamic farmed Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, just outside of Arroyo Grande in the heart of the Edna Valley. In 2011 we grafted over one acre of syrah to viognier, using the Ibarra-Young clone, on a north by northwest facing hillside slope. A special wine that we don't make very much of was harvested at 23.7° brix, 6.7 acidity and 3.32 pH. I like to pick viognier on the early side of ripeness when it has refreshing acidity and balanced alcohol (this one is 13.2%).The grapes were whole cluster pressed, chilled and settled overnight, then put directly into barrel for fermentation. I like to use 3 year old Francois Freres French oak barrels for viognier, neutral but still fresh. The wine was aged on the lees for 5 months and went through complete malo. Only 5 barrels were made and I selected 4 barrels for this very limited bottling of just 96 cases. This is a richer more concentrated style of viognier as compared to our bottling from Ibarra-Young. I get peaches and pears in the aroma along with hints of mineral and citrus. This is a pretty mouthcoating wine without being cloying, with refreshing acidity in the finish. I like to recommend drinking viognier while it is young and fresh.
50% viognier & 50% chardonnay from the Bien Nacido Vineyard. This wine blends exotic floral and peach aromatics from ripe viognier enhanced with tart green apple and lively acidity of early picked chardonnay. This is a delicious, quaffable wine that's a great foil for Asian flavors and satisfying on its own as an aperitif.
Great balance with bright acidity are the trademark of this wine. It is barrel fermented in 25% new François Fréres Burgundy barrels which frame the crisp apple and Asian pear flavors with a lovely savory, buttered toast finish.
Grown on a steep north by northwest facing hillside to soften the sun exposure, this chardonnay is barrel fermented and aged in 60% new François Freres barrels for 18 months. It exhibits a distinct minerality with classic citrus and pear aromas and flavors, with hazelnut and creamy oak overtones. Great structure and pure flavors are the hallmark of this pedigreed wine.
Located in the agricultural heart of the Santa Maria Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyards supports nearly 900 acres of coveted wine grapes. Vineyard blocks include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc, as well as California’s first cool-climate Syrah.
The vineyard’s varied loamy soils provide quick drainage, while its ocean-influenced climate (rated a Region 1 on the U.C. Davis Winkler Scale) fosters slow ripening of the fruit. Here, grapes thrive in one of the longest growing seasons in the state and are allowed extended hang-time on the vines to encourage the full development of flavor, color, and other vital components.
The history of the vineyard property begins in 1837 when the Spanish governor of Alta California granted 8,900 acres of land to José Tomás Antonia Olivera, former superintendent of the missions La Purisima, Santa Barbara, and Santa Inez. The ranch stretched across the Santa Maria Mesa, northeast to the San Rafael Mountains, and skirted the Sisquoc and Cuyama rivers. It was generously watered by a creek called “tepusquet”, a word that means “fishing for trout” in the language of the indigenous Chumash people.
In 1855, Olivera’s heirs sold the ranch to Olivera’s step-daughter, Martina, and her husband, Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros. The couple built an adobe on the ranch and moved in three years later. Ontiveros and his wife raised horses, cattle, sheep, and grain crops, as well as grapes for making wine. Over the years, portions of the original acreage were sold, but the original adobe still stands amid the vines of Bien Nacido Vineyards and remains as one of the few privately maintained adobes in California.
In 1969, the Miller family, who are fifth-generation California farmers, purchased the ranch and an adjacent parcel that had been part of the original land grant. The family reunited the two parcels as Rancho Tepusquet, which currently comprises more than 2,000 acres.
Tepusquet Ranch offered ideal conditions for growing wine grapes and in 1973, the Millers planted premium varieties, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The success of their vineyard set the tone for the Santa Maria Valley’s future, and put the region firmly on the world’s viticultural map.
Located in San Luis Obispo County’s Edna Valley AVA, Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard covers 40 prime acres of an 80-acre ranch. Grape varieties planted include Pinot Noir, Spanish Tempranillo and Albariño, and Rhône representatives Marsanne, Syrah, and Grenache. All are farmed using biodynamic methods and harvested by hand.
Bob Lindquist and Louisa Sawyer Lindquist planted the vineyard in 2005, first conditioning the raw land with biodynamic preparations. These preparations promote soil vigor, while fostering the health and diversity of the ranch, which biodynamic practitioners view as a living organism.
In 2009, the vineyard received biodynamic certification from Demeter Association, the U.S. representative of Demeter International, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing the planet through agriculture. That same year, the wines made from the vineyard were crafted according to biodynamic standards and certified by Demeter Association.
The robust vines climb the rolling hills of the ranch, where low pH soils are composed of gravelly clay loam mingled with mudstone. They thrive in a climate rated an upper Region I on the U.C. Davis Winkler Scale. Average summer highs reach temperatures in the mid-70 degrees F., while nighttime lows drop to about 50 degrees F.
Marine fog rolls in during the evening hours, but burns off nicely in late morning. This cool climate results in a long growing season that yields grapes with naturally high acidity and a delightfully broad spectrum of flavors.
Three large gardens, stocked with beneficial plants, grow in strategic areas of the vineyard. These oases of diversity bloom with a variety of native California plants selected to attract bees, butterflies, ladybugs, and other helpful insects.
Bob and Louisa also installed six owl boxes throughout the vineyard, inviting the hungry predators to move in and help control such pests as gophers and ground squirrels. During the winter months, when the vines lie dormant, about 150 sheep graze among the vineyard rows, simultaneously keeping weeds down and supplementing the soil’s fertility.
The first release from Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, the 2008 vintage, debuted to positive reviews. The wines from that and subsequent vintages display lively flavors and a lovely balance, qualities that bode well for the future of this cutting-edge and environmentally sound vineyard.
The 14-acre Ibarra-Young vineyard grows just south of Los Olivos, in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley. Planted to Rhône and Spanish grape varieties, it thrives in a climate rated a Region II on the U.C. Davis Winkler Scale. The weather at the vineyard during the growing season features cool nights, overcast mornings, and toasty afternoons, often delivering temperature swings of 30 degrees or more between daily highs and lows.
Local wine pioneer Charlotte Young and her vineyard manager, Miguel Ibarra, installed the vineyard in 1971. They planted the original ten acres entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon and sold the fruit to Firestone Vineyards. In 1979, when Firestone's contract expired, a burgeoning demand for white grape varieties persuaded Charlotte and Miguel to graft over most of the vines to Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.
At about the same time, Charlotte joined with a group of friends to form Los Viñeros, a winery cooperative comprised of other small growers. The group built a winemaking facility on the west side of Santa Maria, and until 1984, most of Charlotte's grapes went into the Los Viñeros blends. In 1985, Los Viñeros began to falter, and with grape sales becoming increasingly difficult, Charlotte considered tearing out her vines.
Hearing this troubling news, Bob Lindquist arranged to lease the vineyard and even made a 1985 Chenin Blanc from Charlotte's grapes to help her with the transition. Between 1986 and 1989, Bob grafted over the Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Marsanne (4 acres), Syrah (3 acres), Mourvèdre (1.75 acres), and Viognier (1.25 acres).
From 1996 to 2000, four additional acres were planted to Albariño and Tempranillo for Verdad, the label under which Bob's wife, winemaker Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, bottles her Spanish grape varieties. In 2009, some of the Tempranillo was grafted over to Graziano, a Spanish variety that Louisa uses for blending.
Miguel Ibarra, now in his 70s, still tends the vineyard, and has farmed it organically since 1999. Miguel, who knows each of the vines intimately, has threatened to retire, but remains as the vineyard's caretaker, much to the relief of Bob and Louisa.
In 2008, Charlotte Young passed away just shy of her 92nd birthday. Bob honors Charlotte's memory by including a dedication to her on Qupé's Los Olivos Cuvée label, and her vibrant legacy lives on in the vines and the wonderful wines that grow in this legendary vineyard.
A California resident since childhood, Bob Lindquist named his winery “qupé” to honor the Chumash, the indigenous people of the Golden State’s Central Coast and Channel Islands. Since many of the sounds of the Chumash language have been obscured by time, Bob gave “qupe” its pronunciation (“kyoo-pay”), with an accent on the final syllable.
In Chumash, “qupé” refers to the poppy, a flowering plant traditionally used for food and medicine. In 1903 the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) was officially designated the state flower, and every spring masses of the bright orange blossoms still blanket local hills and back country.
Pictured on the winery’s label, a stylized poppy stands amid a swirl of stems studded with leaves and seed pods. The arresting image - originally intended as an embroidered motif for bed linens - was selected from designs associated with Gustav Stickley, the famed furniture maker and champion of the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 1900s.
Ann Johnson, one of Qupé's original shareholders, discovered the design in a book of clip art available for public use. She sent a copy of the art to Bob, who immediately recognized it as the perfect image for his wine label. The original design resembled a wine glass, but Bob tweaked it to look more like a poppy, in keeping with his intention to pay homage to the region’s earliest residents.
Born in the Midwestern U.S., Robert Neil "Bob" Lindquist moved to Southern California with his family in 1964 at the age of 11. The music scene was in full swing and as the Beatles, Beach Boys, Kinks, Byrds, and Rolling Stones electrified the airwaves, Bob's passion for rock-and-roll ignited. In fact, the Kinks would later figure as a plot device in Bob's path to becoming a winemaker.
Bob had caught baseball fever while living with his family in Germany and listening to the radio as the Pirates upset the mighty Yankees in the 1960 World Series. In 1965, during his first Southern California baseball season, the Los Angeles Dodgers won their third World Series since moving west. The event galvanized Bob into an instant, avid Dodger fan who often sports their logo wear
While attending U.C. Irvine in the early 1970s, Bob sipped quality wine for the first time and instantly was hooked. He began frequenting Hi-Time Cellars, a well-stocked wine shop in Costa Mesa, asking lots of vinicultural questions and buying all the wine he could afford.
In 1975, Bob moved his young family north to pursue a career in the wine business. His first job found him working harvest at Fortino Winery, near Gilroy. When harvest ended, he landed a position in the tasting room at the venerable San Martin Winery, a key player in the growing Central Coast wine industry. Bob's contagious enthusiasm and ever-expanding knowledge of wine soon earned him a promotion to assistant manager.
When an opportunity to manage San Martin Winery's new Ventura County tasting room came up in 1976, Bob seized it. While working there, he often drove north to explore the wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley. Bob frequented Firestone Vineyards, Santa Ynez Valley Winery, and Rancho Sisquoc Winery, admired the fruit of the famed Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, and decided his destiny lay in the wine country of Santa Barbara County.
On New Year's Day, 1979, Bob moved to the Santa Ynez Valley to manage an innovative wine shop in the little town of Los Olivos. The shop's proprietor was the son of Marshall Ream, who co-owned the nearby Zaca Mesa Winery. Through this connection, Bob became friends with Jim Clendenen, Zaca Mesa's assistant winemaker at the time.
Indulging his passion for rock-and-roll, Bob bought tickets to a late summer Kink's concert. After his boss abruptly fired Bob for attending the show, Jim Clendenen stepped in and got Bob a position as Zaca Mesa Winery's first tour guide.
Tourists were few and far between in 1979, so Bob spent most of his time in the cellar, learning to make wine under Jim's tutelage. Also on staff were winemaker Ken Brown and Adam Tolmach, who served as the winery's enologist, both of whom have gone on to win international acclaim for their winemaking skills.
While working at Zaca Mesa Winery, Bob began buying grapes and barrels, and foregoing a paycheck in exchange for use of the winery's equipment. In 1982, he founded Qupé and produced Chardonnay, Syrah and a dry rosé of Pinot Noir, for a total of 900 cases. Bob struck out on his own and left Zaca Mesa Winery following the 1983 harvest, renting space in other area wineries to make wine for Qupé.
As Qupé's production grew, Bob focused his efforts on Syrah and other Rhône varieties, but continued to craft ever-popular Chardonnay, which helped to pay the bills. In 1989, Bob joined his old friend Jim Clendenen (who founded Au Bon Climat in 1982) to build a winery of their own under a lease agreement with Bien Nacido Vineyards. The two continue to produce their wines at the elegant facility, located on the Santa Maria Mesa.
Over the years, Bob and Jim have mentored dozens of winemakers, including Jim Adelman, Gary Burk, Frank Ostini and Grey Hartley, Paul Lato, Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, Morgan Clendenen, and Gavin Chanin. Proving that the wine business can be a true family affair, Bob's two older sons, Ethan and Luke Lindquist, have become winemakers, while his daughter, Paige, manages Qupé's tasting room and wine club. With his wife, Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, as winemaker, Bob has partnered in a second winery, Verdad, which specializes in Spanish varieties.
In 2002, Bob and Louisa purchased an 80-acre ranch in the Edna Valley near the city of San Luis Obispo. The following year they moved to San Luis Obispo with their then two-year-old son, Theo. In 2005, the couple installed the 40-acre Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, which is planted to Pinot Noir, Marsanne, Syrah, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Albariño, and farmed according to strict biodynamic standards.
The Complete Tasting and Tech Notes Over the Past 10 Years
These notes are in pdf format, they encompass the past 10 vintages for each varietal and the vineyards they were sourced from.
To save these notes to your desktop, right click and save the .pdf
Bien Nacido Cuvee
Los Olivos Cuvee