www.chienwines.com    
   Chien Wines P.O. Box 2952 Lompoc, CA 93438



About Us

We moved to the Lompoc Valley from Eureka, CA in early 2000 to help my mother and stepfather by overseeing the installation of their vineyard, which is now the award winning Ampelos Vineyard.  As the vineyard implementation was under way we longed to have a friend on the ranch with us.  Living in a farming community everyone seemed to have a dog as a sidekick. In May of 2000 we visited the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society to see about adopting a dog.  After carefully perusing each animal I was drawn to one specific dog.  All of the dogs had leapt at us in their kennels as if to say “PLEASE PICK ME!!”.  Not this dog though, he was the only one to growl at us and for some reason I wanted him.  But I had my mind made up and the next day we returned to adopt Bear, a 2 year old male, Chow-Chow/Labrador mix breed.  After trying unsuccessfully for almost 2 hours to get Bear in the truck we finally got him home.  He had been neglected and abused before we brought him into our lives and for the first few nights he would not come in the house without picking him up and carrying him in.  Every time we would leave he would scream and cry and when we would return home he would cry as if to tell us “thank you for coming back.”

Over the next few months Bear and I developed a special bond.  He would not have much to do with Lindsay and did not like me to hug him or get too close but he was warming up.  I took a job for the 2000 harvest with Babcock Vineyards and my love of wine was born.  I had always enjoyed drinking wine and after working those first long days of harvest the passion inside me flourished.  Lindsay was working in a tasting room at the time and unknowingly accepting the role of a “harvest widow”.  I worked so many hours and was home so little that in September she wanted a dog of her own.  After going back to the Humane Society they directed her to a local couple that had some unwanted Chesapeake Bay Retriever/Chow-Chow mix breed puppies.  Shady was brought to the ranch one evening by the owners to see if there was an interest.  I had no idea this was happening and as I pulled up the driveway after a long day of work I saw Lindsay standing with a small black bundle of fur.  Shady had been kept inside a small apartment with 5 other dogs with only a child's swimming pool to go to the bathroom in.  She had infections all over her skin and she was very malnourished. 

Over the next few years I worked at various wineries and furthered my passion for wine and the wine industry.  Every evening we looked forward to coming home to our dogs, they brought us both so much joy.  Eight years later and Bear is an extremely well adjusted, happy dog that loves to cuddle and receive all the love that is given to him.  Shady is also a wonderful dog but since we have raised her from a puppy she has become quite a princess and lazes about moving from dog bed to dog bed filling her day sleeping and occasionally hunting a lizard or two.  I am currently the winemaker for Sea Smoke Cellars and although we now have a wonderful son named Alex our dogs are still our children and we love them immensely.

We chose the name Chien for one very simple reason.  We have two passions in our lives, dogs and wine.  Because we love the wines of Alsace we chose the name Chien which is the French word for “dog”.  We feel that after raising 2 dogs, especially one that was so badly abused, making wine has a very similar foundation.  Lots of love, patience and persistence is needed.  We have that in abundance for Bear, Shady and Chien.

Chien will donate a portion of our profits each year to a very deserving animal rescue foundation, Noah’s Ark.  Noah’s Ark has been rescuing and rehabilitating abused and neglected animals and children for 30 years.  If you would like to donate directly to Noah’s Ark you can do so at their website: http://www.noahs-ark.org


   
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