The SOMM Journal

August / September 2017

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Page 104 of 148

104 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 { central coast } by Meridith May / photos by Jeremy Ball ALBARIÑO IS AS RECOGNIZABLE for its typicity in California's Edna Valley as it is in its indigenous Galicia—one of northeastern Spain's coldest, dampest regions. Grüner Veltliner from Edna Valley not only shows a close kinship to its Austrian counterparts, but delivers lime zest and Old World acidity that could easily stump a blind-tasting pro. What's the secret to unlocking Old World varietal characteristics in a New World climate? We're not just anywhere in Edna Valley, but at Niven Family Wine Estates, walking the Paragon Vineyard with Vice President of Sales and Marketing John Niven and Vineyard Manager and Director of Winegrowing Scott Williams. Williams is a cool-climate farming expert. Knowing where to plant the right grapes in Edna Valley, California's coolest AVA, he has proved himself indispensable at this celebrated Central Coast win - ery, mastering the 11 grape varieties that have found their home throughout the estate's sustainable, SIP-certified Paragon Vineyard. As is its name, the site is the Niven family's model of perfection. With this many grape varieties to crush and bottle, Niven Family has created proprietary labels in order to more logically group the wines. Take Tangent: The Tangent 2015 Albariño was born from cuttings from Rías Baixas, and the terroir of Paragon Vineyard mimics its Spanish counterpart's proximity to the ocean, as well as its mineral-rich soils. The Albariño's nose of lemon-lime and its racy Third-generation fam- ily member John Niven is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Niven Family Estates. The Niven family has owned and farmed this vineyard for more than 40 years. John Niven's grand- father Jack came to San Luis Obispo in the early 1970s with the vision of planting a vineyard in what was then a valley of dairy farms and dry-farmed garbanzo beans. In 1973 he planted Paragon Vineyard, now home to the oldest continually producing vines in the region. He later went on to petition for the establishment of Edna Valley as an AVA in 1982. The Niven Family's Prized Property ON CALIFORNIA'S SOUTH CENTRAL COAST, EDNA VALLEY—THE STATE'S COOLEST GRAPE-GROWING REGION—IS HOME TO PARAGON VINEYARD

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