T h e S a g a
Our story began 25 million years ago. It is a story that is awe inspiring The Awe (link)
Viticulturalists around the world are amazed by our Magical Soils (link)
Not only the world’s supreme soils and Premium Growing Area but Authentic Vineplants (link)
It is not just about the wine, it is about you too, especially For Your Health (link)
Our wine is "Natural Wine," it is the only wine worth drinking Natural Wine (link)
We are now a part of the story Creative Folk (link)
The story of our estate Tuscan Virgin Olive Oil is one that can't be missed Super-Premium (link)
Let us Explain our Philosophy
Distinguished wine has a distinguishing philosophy of vineyard stewardship and creative winemaking. Our philosophy derives from the totality of the wine experience -- a holism encompassing wine's social history as well as its unique creativity that encompasses sensual nuance and seasonal earth labor.
When we examine the sweeping history of wine the central theme will be forever articulated by Thomas Jefferson who stated that "Wine from long habit has become indispensable for my health." This was not an idle comment by one of our supreme intellectuals; it reflected the enduring family experience of our forbearers who understood that wine's first purpose is for nourishment and well-being.
Carmody McKnight Wines return to that fundamental purpose.
And creativity? Creativity diminishes as volume increases. Limited production is not a catch phrase. It means we produce less to create more.
Less than One Percent of the Wines in California are Authentically Estate.
Buying wine from a family estate and limited production winery supports the new family farmer who is revitalizing our country's greatest tradition. It is also a statement that we will resist industrialization of our wine (and food) supply which has led to the overarching global mediocrity affecting so much of our lives. Supporting artisan wineries is thumbs-up for regional diversity and authenticity, let alone the disappearing family farm -- once the foundation of this country and true individual freedom.
The Latest Wonder
“Wonder Soil” Discovered!
(Paso Robles, CA) – June 5, 2011… The Discovery of a “Wonder Soil” Incomparable for Growing Premium Wine Grapes. In the latest university studies centered on Carmody McKnight Estate Vineyards & Winery (a series of seminal research projects which Cal Poly State University, SLO, in conjunction with other institutions including John Deere & Co. and the SoilTopo, LLC, launched 17 years ago) a stunning discovery has occurred – the discovery of a new “wonder soil” found nowhere else on the planet. Over 25,000 USDA soil series reviews were conducted and not one single match was found. The soil is yet to be named, but it is indeed wondrous with attributes unparalleled for the highest quality wine grape growing. The discovery happened on long-studied, leading-edge vineyards located in the Paso Robles Appellation. link for more information on the "Wonder Soil"
It Began More Than 35 Years Ago
More than thirty-five years ago, Gary and Marian Conway (bios) purchased land in Adelaida, west of Paso Robles, and six miles from the art colony of Cambria at the foot of Big Sur. Gary first beheld the idyllic beauty of the area aboard a helicopter moments before it crashed (on the spot pictured above). Emerging from the wreckage, Gary exclaimed to the still stunned real estate broker, "I'm going to buy this place!" This is the stuff of legends; and, indeed, in the ensuing years the land and its supersoils and textbook microclimates are fast becoming legendary. The legendary beauty of the vineyard, voted the most beautiful on the Central Coast, can be experienced throughout this website.
Adding to the legend, Carmody McKnight Estate Vineyards has been chosen as the only vineyard in the United States to be the subject of an extraordinary joint effort between the State of California, John Deere Global Ag. Services; Motorola, Inc.; Earth Information Technologies, Inc.; and Cal Poly University Earth & Soil Sciences, Food Chemistry, Food Science, Nutrition, as well as Statistical Departments. This project is destined to usher in a new age in agriculture, agronomics, and earth science technologies. link for description
This seminal project is directed by Thomas J. Rice, Ph.D., C.P.S.S., Professor of Earth & Soil Sciences, California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). Professor Rice explains the extraordinary natural environment of Carmody McKnight and its rare combination of soils, along with the unique microclimates, making it the textbook ideal for the finest grape growing and wine making in the world. see video
In previous years, the Carmody McKnight Vineyards have been the subject of extensive university program research with Cal Poly University due to the rarity of the soils derived from calcareous shale, limestone and igneous (volcanic) rocks as well as calcium montmorillonite -- "the wonder soil." As this confluence of soil constituents are found nowhere else, the Carmody McKnight vineyards are particularly suitable for these innovative technological investigations and agricultural applications. For the first time, the centuries-long quest to understand "terroir" is at hand! The vineyards are the supreme example of sustainability in farming. And nature's greatest gift you find in our wine -- a wine unmatched for its minerals, nutrients, and micronutrients, naturally derived, and the basis of good health and well being -- a gift of the ages!
Three Carmody McKnight wines, in combination, create the "Cadenza" Meritage which won against all California wines in the most prestigious of competitions -- the California State Fair Wine Competition. Carmody McKnight garnered an unprecedented six awards. The winery itself was voted number one on the Central Coast. If that wasn't enough -- the label went on to win Best of Show and Double Gold in the Orange County Fair Wine Competition.
Yes, supreme quality is ultimately about the soils and the climate; greatness is born in the vineyard. It is an astonishing fact that in the history of the vineyard there has never been the necessity to fertilize (a common regularity in all vineyards); yet the wine, as analyzed in the extensive Cal Poly University study, has been found to be the most mineral and nutrient rich in the world -- a "natural" phenomenon and the ultimate expression of "terroir" or..."vineyard magic!"
The story of this vineyard is fast becoming legendary. It is about the rare soils, it's about the calcium montmorillonite, it's about the volcanoes, but it's also about the story, the winemaking philosophy, and about the integrity. eighteen reasons for the legend.
center of the viticultural universe: Professors, scholars, scientists and students from the leading viticulture, geology and enology schools throughout the U.S. and Europe have attended and continue to visit and study this one-of-a-kind vineyard. International viticultural research tours encompassing special study and research projects center on Carmody McKnight Vineyards.
Mt. Ignées ~ Carmody McKnight’s Backyard Volcano... the drama is in the wine.
What a tectonic thrill to have your own backyard volcano! Ignées was discovered 14 years ago by Thomas J. Rice, Ph.D., Prof. of Earth & Soil Sciences, Cal Poly University. It is the only known volcano that exists in any vineyard and one of the reasons the vineyard's super soils are uniquely endowed with an array of nutrients that brings unrivaled richness and natural flavors to the wines. Ignées is one of the reasons we have not required fertilization of the soils for over 26 years, making us the epitome of sustainability.
Being at the top of Ignées always proves to be an exhilarating earth experience. Knowing that this was the concentration of the most profound forces of nature and that its effect lasts throughout the millennia inspires the deepest spiritual awareness. This awesome drama of nature can be found in the drama of the wine.
Marian and Gary Conway
In 1995, the Conways produced their first wine in the cellar of their 140-year old farmhouse, following the planting of grapes in 1985. Carmody McKnight, from its beginning, embraced a personal vision and pursuit of the land and its gifts, not bound by commercial restraints, as exemplified in their hand-crafted, artisan, 100% estate blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc along with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a one-of-a-kind dessert wine, Kathleen. Kathleen also creates an estate sparkling wine brut cuvée ~ méthode champenoise. A rarity in California and six years in the bottle -- hand-riddled by the proprietors!
Carmody McKnight welcomes you to its 140-year old pioneer farmhouse ~ now a gallery of art and wine.
Where is this wondrous land? You will discover it. . .
North of Los Angeles, South of San Francisco... and East of Eden
11240 Chimney Rock Road, Paso Robles, C A 93446