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Akron native and award-winning winemaker Jim Clendenen will be vintner at Akron Art Museum auction

By Katie Byard Published: April 12, 2017

Award-winning winemaker and Akron native Jim Clendenen will be the featured vintner at the June 10 auction to benefit the Akron Art Museum.

Owner of the Au Bon Climat winery in California, Clendenen was born in Akron and attended school through ninth grade in Cuyahoga Falls.  He moved from the Akron area when his father, an employee of Firestone, moved the family to Los Angeles.

Dubbed Auction 22, the event is the 22nd annual auction at the museum. It will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Galleries will be open from 6 to 7 p.m.

The event is the Akron Art Museum’s largest fundraiser, and tickets aren’t cheap. They begin at $300. For tickets and more information, go to

Spice Catering Co. of Cleveland will provide beef, chicken and vegetarian options, and salad made with greens from Spice Acres. That's the 13-acre farm in Brecksville, in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park that is owned by Ben Bebenroth, who also owns the catering company and Spice Kitchen + Bar in Cleveland.

Back to Clendenen...  He is a member of the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

While in college, he spent a year abroad at the  University of Bordeaux in France, and, according to the winery’s website “discovered life beyond tacos.”

Returning to France after graduation, he spent a month in Burgundy and Champagne, and decided to attempt a career in wine rather than go to law school.

Au Bon Climat began in 1982; the winery sources its grapes from vineyards on California’s Central Coast; the name means a well-exposed vineyard.

Jillian and David Pelland are chairing the event.

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