California: Bob Lindquist parts with Qupé and creates new project

Respected California winemaker Bob Lindquist has parted ways with the Qupé wine venture that he founded in the 1980s and has set up a new project named Lindquist Family Wines.

Qupé, which is known for its wines from Rhône grape varieties, was bought by Vintage Wine Estates in late 2018 and Bob Lindquist had been set to stay as a consultant winemaker. But the plan has not worked out.

‘It is with heavy hearts that we announce Bob is no longer a partner in, or the winemaker for, Qupé Wine Cellars,’ said a statement emailed this week by Lindquist and his wife, Louisa Sawyer Lindquist of Verdad wines, to wine club members and contacts.

Lindquist founded Qupé in 1982 and, in 1989, built a winery with friend Jim Clendenen, of Au Bon Climat.

Now, Lindquist has started a new label named Lindquist Family Wines.

The statement described the new venture as ‘going back to Bob’s roots and focusing on cool climate Rhône varietals and Chardonnay from organic and biodynamic vineyards’.

Bob Lindquist told Decanter.com, ‘We’ll continue making the wines (Verdad, Sawyer Lindquist and Lindquist) at the winery that I’ve shared with Jim Clendenen for the last 30 years; what we call CLV, or Clendenen Lindquist Vintners.’

On the split with Qupé, he added, ‘I had hoped to stay on and continue making the wines for them, but that didn’t work out. So Qupé will now be made by them at a different winery facility here on the Central Coast.’

Vintage Wine Estates bought the Qupé brand and current inventory from Terroir Life in November 2018 for an undisclosed fee. Lindquist had sold a controlling stake in Qupé to Terroir Life in 2013.

The Lindquists said that they would continue running their wine club, which will now be known as the Lindquist Family & Verdad wine club.

A first shipment of wines from the new-look club will be available from the first week in March.

Club members may occasionally see a ‘Qupé library wine’ in their shipment, said the couple. ‘[We] hope to continue to offer a selection of Qupé wines in the [winery] tasting room,’ they added.