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An Inside Look: Niven Family Wine Estates

Posted by on June 3, 2017

A stop into Edna Valley AVA isn’t complete without a visit to the tasting room of Baileyana and Tangent Wines.  Their tasting room is housed in an old, one room schoolhouse built in 1909, where some Wine Club Members within the area even went to school here, at one point. The tasting room sits across the street from their historic Paragon Vineyard that was planted by Jack Niven in 1973.

Niven Family Wine Estates: 

5828 Orcutt Road


Their Tasting Room which is housed in an old 1909 Schoolhouse!

You may not recognize the name of Niven Family Wine Estates, but they have been around since the 1970’s, and were part of the planting of the well known Paragon Vineyard within the Edna Valley AVA.  Jack Niven was the one who petitioned for the Edna Valley to become their own AVA, back in 1982. Needless to say, a visit to Edna Valley isn’t complete until a visit to their tasting room.

But, you may know the wines of Niven Family Wine Estates as Baileyana, Tangent, True Myth and Zocker Wines.  Ring a bell, now? At first, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the brands and labels of wines available, but by the end of my tasting, I completely understood why they did it, and it made perfect sense to me.

So, lets break it down for you: They grow 11 Different Varietals of Wine out of their Estate Grown Paragon Vineyards.



The Baileyana Wines were created to showcase the beauty of Edna Valley, in particular with their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals.  You will find very classic style wines in these labels, that really showcase the area.

Wines include:

Baileyana Firepeak Chardonnay

Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir

Baileyana Rose of Pinot Noir

Tangent Wines:

Tangent was created to have an area that truly showcased their more crisp white wines.  For fans, like myself, who enjoy a nice, crisp wine, you will truly fall in love with the Tangent Wine Brand. These are also great wines to try if you’re looking to taste something other than Chardonnay or Pinot Noir off the Edna Valley Wine Trail.

And, these crisp, white wines, are just the wines you’ll be looking for this summer.

Wines include:

Sauvignon Blanc



Pinot Gris


Grenache Blanc

I was pretty excited to try the Albarino, the day was beginning to heat up a little, so that Albarino came out at the perfect time, and the crispness was what I got right off the bat.  It made me excited about the Tangent brand.  I’m also pretty excited to see they have a Grenache Blanc available, if you  have yet to try a Grenache Blanc, I’d recommend the Tangent Brand as a good starting point. These wines stay true to the reason they created them: their crispness.

True Myth Wines:

Every time I see a bottle of True Myth Wines, I am fascinated by their Wine Label, but after visiting their site, I am fascinated by their story:


Opening lines: “In our location on California’s Central Coast, we are eternally awestruck by the magic of her omnipresent influence; from the dry heat of the vineyards in Paso Robles, to the coastal influence on our vineyards in Edna Valley, our grapes are grown just a few miles from one of her greatest creations, the deep, blue Pacific Ocean. We respect Mother Nature for the enigma that she is, and honor her by creating wines of quality and flavor that mirror her splendor. Join us as we continue on this journey. Taste and Believe.”

True Myth is a new take on the legacy that was built by Jack Niven. The family is now striving to create a fresh new vision for the longstanding quality of the region (Edna Valley).

Wines include:

Chardonnay: Another classic Chardonnay out of their Estate Grown Paragon Vineyard. Retail Value: 18.00

Cabernet Sauvignon: This Caberenet actually comes out of Paso Robles, a region which is becoming well known for their distinct Cabernet Sauvignons.  The retail on this will BLOW you away: 24.00

Zocker Wines:

The Zocker was the first label that caught my attention when I walked into the tasting room, because it was unique.  The Niven Family knew it was their riskiest venture yet, but that didn’t stop them:

“German for “Gambler,” Zocker began as the Niven Family’s riskiest venture yet. Our rare but extremely food-friendly Grüner Veltliner and our unique approach to Riesling are the essence of unconventional. The risk paid off: Zocker, all estate grown at our Paragon Vineyard, has been highly praised and recognized in worldwide wine competitions.”

I just had to try their Gruner Veltliner to start off my day:


The Zocker Brand also has a Riesling available.


I truly enjoyed my visit at Niven Family Wine Estates, and I think you will too.  The next time you take a visit to Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo, be sure to plan an afternoon of wine tasting in Edna Valley, and make a visit here a must on your list.

Paragon Vineyard

A brief glimpse at the historic Paragon Vineyard Across from the Tasting Room!

About Edna Valley AVA:

The Edna Valley AVA is located just south of the town of San Luis Obispo and North of the town of Arroyo Grande, and about 5.2 miles East of Pismo Beach, California.  Because of the close proximity to the ocean, these breezes help cool the climate down, making the area a great growing region for cool climate wines, exactly why Chardonnay and Pinot Noir excel so well in this region.  The region was originally planted in the early 19th century by Spanish Missionaries, but saw its revival in the 1970’s with the plantings of the Paragon and Chamiscal Vineyards.  The region became it’s own AVA in 1982, formed by the proprietors at Edna Valley Vineyard (The Niven Family.)

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