Morgan Clendenen was born in the moonshine soaked mountains of North Carolina. It was at her family’s spring water company during her teens that she honed her sensory skills by evaluating various bottled waters for taste and smell.
On her 18th birthday she had her first winery experience, tasting champagne in Epernay, France, which started her on the road to drinking and appreciating fine wine. After college, still in a quest to make her avocation a vocation, she began working for a boutique wine distributor in Chapel Hill, North Carolina further cementing her interest in and fascination with fine wine. Truly bitten by the wine bug and recognizing that she needed to be closer to the source; she pulled up roots and moved to Napa, California where she learned wine marketing and sales.
In 1994 she moved to Santa Barbara County and in 1996, Clendenen and Viognier were fatefully brought together and Cold Heaven Cellars was born. Since that time Cold Heaven has become the wine industry’s gold standard for cool climate Viognier and boasts up to 5 single vineyard Viogniers depending on vintage. Additionally a beautiful syrah in vintages appropriate to her style and more recently, a strong commitment to making pinot noir in a similar vein. Clendenen believes her wines should have a harmonious balance between fruit and structure, which defines the Cold Heaven “house” style.