In 1975, Bob Lindquist discovered the potential of Santa Barbara’s wine-growing region when he opened and managed a tasting room in Ventura County. While managing a retail shop in Los Olivos, Bob’s career took what some thought to be a bad hop: he was fired for attending a Kinks concert against the wishes of the shop owner. Fate intervened, however, and he was immediately hired as Zaca Mesa Winery’s first tour guide, a job that involved cellar work. There, he met winemakers Ken Brown and Jim Clendenen, who taught Bob the ropes and inspired him to become a winemaker. He founded Qupé in 1982.
While working at Zaca Mesa, he purchased barrels and grapes, and traded his services for the loan of the equipment in the winery’s cellar. His first vintage included Syrah, Chardonnay and a rosé of Pinot Noir. Soon, Bob’s love of the assertive and complex wines of the Rhone Valley led him to focus Qupé on the production of Rhone varietals, particularly Syrah. Chardonnay continues in the portfolio because of Bob’s connection to the wonderful fruit sources in the Bien Nacido Vineyard.
Qupé was named an “American Winery of the Year” for 2015 by Wine & Spirits. This marks the 14th time they have received this award.
“If there’s a single wine that ought to convince Americans to drink more Syrah, it would be Qupé’s Central Coast bottling. Bob Lindquist blends it from cool-climate vineyards in Santa Barbara and warmer climate sites in Paso Robles. With savoury touches of olive and herb underpinning its dark red fruit, the wine proves what energy and drive syrah can achieve in the right hands.”
Wine & Spirits, 2011 Wineries of the Year Issue, Winter 2011