|Owner(s)||E. & J. Gallo|
|Link to this site|
The original plantings at Edna Valley date to 1973 when Jack Niven planted Paragon Vineyard dedicated to Chardonnay. This was the first modern era planting of wine grapes in the region. Nivan had enlisted Professors A.J.Winkler from UC Davis and Vincent Petrucci from Fresno State University to find regions in California where vitis vinifera could thrive. They both independently identified the Edna Valley outside San Luis Obispo. 500 acres were planted to 13 varieties to establish the Paragon Vineyard.
In 1980, Niven launched Edna Valley Vineyards and 2 years later spearheaded the application for Edna Valley's AVA status. Today Edna Valley is owned by Gallo, while Niven's second- and third-generation descendants continue to farm Paragon Vineyard for Niven Family Wine Estates. Paragon Vineyard now has 1,100 acres under vine.
A replanting program is ongoing with new trellising systems, reorientation of the rows, improved drainage and replanting varieties that are appropriate for the different parts of the vineyard. The site has a marked maritime influence and the resulting growing season is quite long.
Winemaker Harry Hansen came to Edna Valley Vineyard in 2001 from Gloria Ferrer. In 2013, the winemaker was Josh Baker.
The emphasis has been on Chardonnay but recently the winery is sourcing Pinot Noir from Edna Ranch which allow expansion of production.
Three Pinot Noirs are offered: Edna Valley Vineyard Paragon Pinot Noir from six clones located on a gravelly hillside location, Edna Valley Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir made in small quantities in the best vintages from Dijon 777 grown on gravel and Swan selection grown on sandy loam (most recently sourced from the Santa Lucia Highlands), and the Edna Valley Vineyard Winemaker Series Pinot Noir.
The Jack Niven Hospitality Center and tasting room is modern and well positioned to take advantage of magnificent views over the Edna Valley. Tours are available on weekend. The address is 2585 Biddle Ranch Road, San Luis Obispo. Multiple varietals are produced and are sold online.