Our Story

Niven Family Wine Estates, based in San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley on California’s South Central Coast, is one of the most innovative family-owned wine companies in America. Recognizing the diversity of our SIP Certified Sustainable estate in the cool-climate Edna Valley, we grow eleven different varietals, and make an extreme range of wines in a wide array of carefully focused styles. No other wine company, whether corporately held or family-owned, grows grapes and makes such a broad spectrum of wines from a single cool-climate estate. Rather than group all of these efforts under one wine brand, the Nivens have strategically positioned them as separate projects for you to enjoy.

“The Niven Family, pioneers of the Edna Valley, have been here since day one—living, breathing and farming their historic Paragon Vineyard since 1973.”

Family

Jack Niven came to San Luis Obispo in the early 1970s with the vision to plant a vineyard in what was then a valley of dairy farms and dry-farmed garbanzo beans. After working with the top viticulture professors from UC Davis and Fresno State, he determined the perfect location and planted the Paragon Vineyard in 1973. Home to the oldest continually producing vines in the region, the Niven family has owned and farmed this vineyard for more than 40 years. Jack later went on to petition to establish Edna Valley as an official American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1982.

The second and third generations of the Niven family have since continued his legacy. Today, their portfolio focuses on exploring the endless potential and diversity in their historic Paragon Vineyard and throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Schoolhouse

The Historic Independence Schoolhouse, built as a one-room schoolhouse in 1909 for the local farming community, has since been updated and now houses the tasting room where the portfolio of Niven Family wines are poured.

History

The Niven Family pioneered the Edna Valley with the planting of their historic Paragon Vineyard back in 1973.

Location

At the foot of our Paragon Vineyard lies Islay Hill, the last extinct volcano in a string known as the “Seven Sisters” stretching from Morro Bay to our estate.

Estate

Our entire estate is SIP Certified Sustainable. We are proud to say that we have farmed in a sustainable fashion since the beginning.

Meet the Makers

The Niven Family is joined by a supremely talented team to help us produce our diverse library of wines. From the vine to the bottle, everyone works together as one and we’d love for you to get to know the leaders of our team.

Christian Roguenant

Winemaker

Christian Roguenant was born to make wine. A native of the Burgundy region of France, he grew up surrounded by vineyards. Christian decided early on to become a winemaker, studying enology and winemaking at the University of Dijon. There, he honed his skills early and has since made wine in numerous countries across five continents. Included in his experience were fifteen years with Champagne Deutz, one of the premier Champagne houses in France and service as a consultant to wineries around the world. His travels brought him to wineries in Argentina, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Korea, where he made sparkling wine for the 1988 Olympics. The opportunity to make exceptional wines in San Luis Obispo County led him to the Central Coast. He has over 30 vintages under his belt and has been with the Niven Family for over 18 years. When Christian is not crafting our wide variety of wines, he is an avid chef, photographer, and guitar player.

Scott Williams

Vineyard Manager

Scott Williams has been farming the Niven Family’s Paragon Vineyard for over a decade. He is a cool climate expert who knows San Luis Obispo County viticulture like the back of his hand. Ask him what the average rainfall or highest temperature day was back in 2006 and he’ll probably know the answer. Growing grapes in the coolest AVA in California is no easy task and demands patience and foresight. He has an intuitive pulse on the property that guides his caretaking of the vineyard. His deep knowledge and connection to our estate is inspiring. Working outside amongst Mother Nature’s beauty is a perfect fit for this avid outdoorsman – when he’s not nurturing the vines that produce grapes for the Niven family’s wines, you might find him mountain biking on one of SLO’s many trails, training for a rock climbing trip up El Capitan, or at the beach surfing.