Qupé wines focus on quality, Rhone-style wines from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria, the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard in the Edna Valley and the Ibarra-Young Vineyard in Los Olivos, where they farm organically.
Qupé (pronounced ‘kyoo-pay') is the Chumash Indian word for the Californian poppy. The Chumash are native to California's Central Coast and Channel Islands and the California poppy is their state flower. Bob Lindquist added the accent to the word Qupé and gave it the pronunciation.
Born in the Midwestern US, Robert Neil ‘Bob’ Lindquist moved to Southern California with his family in 1964 and, while attending UC Irvine in the early 1970s, discovered quality wine and was instantly was hooked. He began frequenting Hi-Time Cellars, a well-stocked wine shop in Costa Mesa, asking lots of questions and buying all the wine he could afford. In 1979, Bob moved to the Santa Ynez Valley to manage an innovative wine shop in the little town of Los Olivos. While working at Zaca Mesa Winery, Bob began buying grapes and barrels, and foregoing a pay cheque in exchange for use of the winery's equipment. In 1982, he founded Qupé and produced Chardonnay, Syrah and a Pinot Noir dry rosé. 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 production grew, Bob focused his efforts on Syrah and other Rhône varieties, but continued to craft ever-popular Chardonnay. 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 and has made his business a true family affair: Bob's two older sons, Ethan and Luke Lindquist, have become winemakers, while his daughter, Paige, developed and managed Qupé’s tasting room and wine club for the first four years. 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.
All of the lots were picked separately, whole cluster-pressed, chilled and settled in a tank (48 hours for Marsanne, 24 hours for Roussanne) and then transferred to neutral French oak barrels for fermentation. The various lots went through complete malolactic fermentation before assembling the final blend. The wine was aged for five to six months in barrel before bottling in March 2013.
This is a classic, cool-climate Marsanne has hints of orange, peach, hay and a strong wet stone character throughout. This wine has more up front fruit than the 2010 or 2011, but still with a crisp, clean core of acidity. Although it will drink well in the first few years, it will easily age for 10-15 years.