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Don and Lindsay Schroeder created the Chien brand after being inspired by the wines of Alsace. The pair moved to the Lompoc Valley from Eureka, California in 2000 to help Don's mother and stepfather plant their vineyard, which is now Ampelos Vineyard. Don also assisted in making wines for Ampelos and is now the winemaker for Sea Smoke Cellars.
The name Chien is the French word for "dog." Raising two dogs has created a special place in their hearts for these animals. Chien donates a portion of profits each year to an animal rescue foundation. The emphasis with Chien is Grüner Veltliner and Edelzwicker.
The Schroeders also have another independent label, Chien Tcheté (French for "spotted dog"), which includes Beaujolais-style wines using Pinot Noir grapes from Central Coast vineyards.
The first vintage is 2008. The wines are sold through a mailing list and at the Ampelos tasting room in Lompoc.