Photo Credit: Fran Collin

Q&A with Bob Lindquist, Winemaker at Verdad & Lindquist Family Wines

In honor of California Wine Month, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Bob Lindquist, “One of the World’s 50 Most Influential Winemakers” according to Wine & Spirits Magazine, 2022 San Luis Obispo County Winemaker of the Year, and Arroyo Grande local. Located in the picturesque San Luis Obispo County, Arroyo Grande is known for its stunning landscapes and ideal grape-growing conditions. Since 1982, Bob has passionately crafted wines known for their elegance, balance, and longevity in the cellar with a strong nod to the traditional winemaking techniques of the Old World. Read on to learn more from the winemaker himself and discover more about what makes Arroyo Grande a top destination for wine lovers.

Photo credit: Verdad & Lindquist Family Wines

You’ve been making wine on the Central Coast since 1982 with Qupé as your first wine brand. Since 2019, you’ve been focused on the Lindquist Family Wines label in partnership with your wife Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, also a longtime and respected winemaker. What keeps you both motivated?

We love what we do, and every vintage presents a new challenge. Sometimes the business part of making and selling wine can be difficult, but working with vineyards and the actual winemaking process never gets old.

Is there one standout moment in your career as a winemaker that you’re most proud of?

There have been many, but if I had to pick one…Around 1996, I was having lunch with Jasper Morris, Master of Wine (MW) at a wonderful restaurant called Clarke’s in London. Jasper was the importer for both Qupé and Verdad to the UK. He spotted the well-known wine journalist Hugh Johnson having lunch across the room with the president of British Airways and suggested that we stop by their table to say ‘Hi.’  When we did, the wine they were drinking with lunch was Qupé 1994 Marsanne!

What is your general winemaking philosophy?

To make balanced, elegant wines that age well, the kind of wines we like to drink. Our cool coastal climate allows for this style most of the time. We also like to focus on grapes that are either Biodynamic, organic or SIP Certified (Sustainability In Practice).

What makes the Arroyo Grande Valley AVA a good wine region for grape growing? 

The East West running valley that is open to the Pacific ocean. This makes for a cool climate growing area. The seabed influenced soils are also great for grapes.

When and why did you decide to open a tasting room in Arroyo Grande? 

We live a couple miles north of the Village, so it’s our backyard in a way. And we like the charm of the Village.

What wines are you drinking at home right now?

We have a pretty diverse and extensive cellar, I’ve been collecting wine for more than 40 years and Louisa has been for more than 30 years. Our son, Theo, was born in 2001 and is doing a semester abroad through UC Santa Barbara at the University of Bordeaux. So before he left, we drank a number of 2001 Bordeaux and a 2001 Sauternes with him. We also just bottled a number of Lindquist and Verdad wines, so we’ve been trying them at home with different meals and friends!

What do you tell your guests to do while in town?

It depends on what they are looking for on their trip. We recommend other wineries to visit, restaurants, places to shop, beaches to see, etc.

Anything upcoming or new that you would like to share with visitors to Arroyo Grande?

We are moving about two blocks east of where we are now to 211 E. Branch, next to Branch Street Deli and Pizzeria and across the street from Rooster Creek. The owners of the property, Eric and Jill Von Berg, are opening up a brand new art gallery behind the existing Victorian house that will be our new tasting room. We are hoping for an opening around the first week of October, so imminent!

Photo credit: Verdad & Lindquist Family Wines

Stay Longer in Arroyo Grande Wine Country

Arroyo Grande streets are lined with historic buildings, quaint shops, and farm-to-table restaurants. The ambiance is perfect for leisurely wine tastings both in the Village of Arroyo Grande and at nearby vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms. You will need more than one day to explore! Arroyo Grande’s proximity to other renowned wine regions, such as Paso Robles and Santa Barbara County, makes it an excellent base for wine enthusiasts looking to explore a variety of tasting experiences. With just a short drive, you can visit an array of world-class wineries, each offering its own unique blend of flavors and atmospheres. Check out a sample itinerary to help plan your stay!

What to Pack

When setting off on wine tasting adventure in Arroyo Grande or other Central Coast wine country destinations, be sure to pack comfy layered attire to adapt to the region’s ever-changing weather. Whether you’re adventuring into ocean currents at nearby beaches or strolling through sunny hillside vineyard valleys, sunscreen and a trusty wide-brimmed hat are your trusty companions for shielding against the sun’s rays. Depending on what tasting experience you set out on, a pair of reliable walking shoes will ensure your feet are as content as your taste buds. Don’t leave behind the essentials for wine tasting itself, such as a handy notebook and pen for jotting down your discoveries, and a trusty corkscrew if you plan on taking some bottled treasures back home or to the hotel. Remember to arrange for a designated driver or have your rideshare app ready for safe travels between wineries. Lastly, consider bringing along a cozy picnic blanket and some local cheeses or snacks to enhance your wine-tasting adventure with a touch of charm and relaxation amidst the stunning vineyard vistas of the Central Coast.

Book your Central Coast wine country retreat in Arroyo Grande today!