Bronze sculptures of Catharine and Jack Niven by Tim Lloyd.
“The Tasters” by Tim Lloyd (inset) and glass etching on wine bottle by Candice Norcross.
Tim maintained two careers in the arts simultaneously – the art of creating wine and the art of creating three-dimensional forms as a sculptor. He combined the two by creating the awards to celebrate the honorees at the annual Central Coast Wine Classic for 22 years. They can be found in the homes and archives of Professor Maynard Amarine at UC Davis, Chef Jacques Pépin who appeared with Julia Child in the 1999 PBS series, “Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home,” Jack Niven founder of Paragon Vineyard Co. and pioneer grower of Chardonnay in the Edna Valley, winemaker Donn Chappellett who founded the second winery in Napa Valley following the end of Prohibition, KCBS wine and food critic Narsai David who pioneered culinary radio in San Francisco and the PBS series “Over Easy,” internationally known winemaker Jim Clendenen who founded Au Bon Climat known for Burgundian-focused award-winning wines and Richard Graff who purchased Chalone Vineyard in 1965 and built a winery whose wines placed third out of ten in the Judgement of Paris in 1976.
Tim earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art & Design from California Polytechnic University in 1981. The following year Tim found a job working as a cellar rat at the Edna Valley Vineyard, a partnership between the grape grower Jack Niven and Chalone Wine Group. Tim continued to work in wine production for twenty years at the Edna Valley Vineyard.
Tim also continued his career as an artist. One of his most exciting works is the nine-foot-high ‘“Cellarman” sculpture commissioned by the Chalone Wine Group for their corporate headquarters in Napa, California. This piece was originally created as an award for the Inaugural Wine Classic in 1985 and presented to Jack Niven.
Tim’s Tasters sculpture has been incorporated into this wine bottle by artist Candice Norcross to honor Tim’s work as a sculptor. The Wine History Project Collection contains one legendary wine bottle with the tasters etched into the glass by artist Candice Norcross.
Tim was also commissioned by the Niven family to create the bronze busts of Jack and Catharine Niven mounted together on a marble base; the Nivens have contributed significantly to the wine history of San Luis Obispo County. They were the second growers to plant Burgundian grapes in 1973 in the Edna Valley. They became known for their premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Jack led the effort to research and apply for the Edna Valley AVA which was granted in 1982. Catharine was the first woman to establish her own vineyard in the Edna Valley and to produce Chardonnay under her own label, Tiffany Hill. The Niven family graciously donated the bust and the Tiffany Hill 1988 Chardonnay bottle to the Wine History Project. They are on display in our San Luis Obispo office.
The bronze sculptures of Catharine and Jack Niven by Tim Lloyd were donated to the Wine History Project on November 7 by their grandson, John Niven.