Our Story

Tangent is the first domestic winery dedicated solely to producing alternative white wines. Every day is filled with limitless possibilities, all we have to do is reach out to grab them... vibrant is what it’s all about!

Our wines are made with this adventurous, inquisitive attitude, by a worldly winemaking genius who has made wine on five of the earth’s seven continents. His focus is on refreshing, easy-drinking white wines that go great with a vast variety of foods. They are all made with estate fruit grown on the Niven family’s legendary Paragon Vineyard in the Edna Valley, the coolest AVA in the golden state of California.

This dynamic range of crisp and bright, individual and energetic, unoaked and screw-capped whites currently includes Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Grenache Blanc, and a blend called Ecclestone. We invite you to join us as we explore and savor the many vibrant possibilities that lie ahead!

“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. 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.

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 Tangent is poured along with its sister wineries from the Niven Family.

History

The Niven Family pioneered the Edna Valley with the planting of their historic Paragon Vineyard back in 1973. Our family has been continually growing Sauvignon Blanc, along with other cool-climate varietals, since Jack planted those first vines over 40 years ago.

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 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. The opportunity to make exceptional wines in San Luis Obispo County led him to the Central Coast. Christian finds the style of the Tangent wines completely irresistible: pure varietal character, higher acid, minerality, food wines. They remind him of some of the individual varieties he made back in France for sparkling wines, as well as some whites he made in both the Loire Valley and New Zealand. When Christian is not crafting our crisp Tangent 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 the Edna Valley 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. When Scott’s not nurturing the vines that produce grapes for our Tangent 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.