The wine world has lost a true legend. Jim Clendenen, a pioneer in his industry is gone but will never be forgotten, for he has left a lasting impression for generations of winemakers and wine professionals. In the wine industry, being considered "old school" in Italy, France or Greece is considered cool and hip, yet old school in California is considered passé or dated. This may have to do with how young the California wine scene is in comparison to some countries that date back to 6000 B.C. Either way, Jim was considered "old school", well at least in the time that I knew him. He championed the notion of being able to enjoy a glass of wine for lunch "without getting drunk".
During his career he focused on making lower alcohol wines that were more balanced and a better accompaniment with food. Food and wine were his passion in life and this was evident within 5 minutes of meeting him.
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