Qupé was named to honor the indigenous people of California’s Central Coast and Channel Islands, the Chumash. In Chumash language the word for the California poppy sounds like “kyoo-pay,” so estate founder Bob Lindquist gave the name a French spelling and used it for his label. Lindquist founded Qupé in 1982 after a dozen years working at Central Coast wine estates and wine shops. Qupé quickly earned a following for Chardonnay, though Lindquist’s passion is Rhone varieties. He is one of the pioneers of the Central Coast Rhone Rangers movement and has been influential in creating a market for well-made American Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne and Marsanne. Qupé grows grapes on its own San Luis Obispo County vineyards, and sources grapes from premier local vineyards including Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley. Qupé makes red and white wines that win accolades from reviewers.
Central Coast AVA is a huge wine producing area that extends from Santa Barbara County in the south to San Francisco in the north. With more than 100,000 vineyard acres, it includes parts of six counties near the Pacific Ocean. Nearly 20 smaller AVAs lie within the Central Coast AVA. Central Coast earned appellation status in 1985. Included in the appellation are parts of the counties of Contra Costa, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz. Nearly every grape varietal grown in California is grown somewhere in the Central Coast AVA, though Chardonnay accounts for nearly 50% of the entire wine grape crop.
This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.