Kathleen's Sparkling Pomegranate Cuvée.
Now Kathleen's Sparkling Citron Cuvée!
Kathleen Citron Cuvée is a refreshing, sparkling experience
with the enticing nuances of lemon-lime and honeysuckle.
First woman of the food & wine culture of Paso Robles
Kathleen is the originating woman wine maker, proprietor, and food culturalist in the exciting, viticulturally dominating Paso Robles. She grew up with the land since the age of three, and in her early twenties Kathleen was among the first to plant a noble grape vine, nurture a vineyard, and establish the Westside Wine phenomenon.
Kathleen is certainly the first woman trailblazer launching the food and wine culture of Paso Robles (especially introducing Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil to the Central Coast!). Kathleen launched the management of esteemed Carmody McKnight vineyard and winery 23 years ago.
She established -- for the area... now a viticultural Mecca -- the overarching philosophy of estate, responsible, family-farmed, natural wine creation.
From the beginning, Kathleen inspired her family and classic winemaker, Greg Cropper, to remain resolutely faithful to their special legacy.
Now Carmody McKnight Estate Wines stands head and shoulders above all wineries in the world in respect to "natural" health-conscionable winemaking from viticulture to vinology. Natural? Yes, natural -- the way great wine was always made and should be made -- especially in this day -- if we are to call it "wine" at all.
Wine ideology and principles aside, Kathleen has always demonstrated a sparkling spirit regarding wine, energized by a wonderful sense of joy and genuine thoughtfulness to all. In French it is called joie de vivre -- a zest for life.
For starters -- down the let's-have-fun-with-wine path -- Kathleen created her assemblage of tantalizing Kathleen late-harvest and dessert wines -- always sell-out hits.
These luscious seductive wines were created like no other late harvest -- without manipulation and not-so-funny wine lab tricks.
Taking On The French
It could be seen as high jinks when she took on Dom Pérignon which brought her front and center with the world of sparkling. Kathleen knew... oh, this would really be fun -- that she could make a méthode champenoise to rival the best of the French.
No joke! Why?
She read Champagne -- the Spirit of Celebration by Slavin and Petzke. It pointed out in the very beginning of the book that... "Chalk in the soil in the Champagne region of France gives Champagne its unique nature, its acidity, and its character. Vineyards are planted only in areas that have this snowy-white limestone. The excellent drainage of this porous white chalk, its rich nutritious top layers of soil, and the auspicious microclimates of the region make growing grapes for champagne ideal. In this region near Paris, wherever there is limestone topped with soil composed of mineral deposits and fossils of ancient marine life, there are vineyards. The value of the snowy-white chalk is so high that vines are planted to the rim of most villages in Champagne. Not a chalky hectare is wasted; vines are sometimes planted right up to the back door of a shop or restaurant."
In Kathleen's vineyard she had that chalky soil -- limestone (and only within the Westside of Paso Robles), but even more... her vineyard, alone possessed, calcium montmorillonite -- the "wonder soil" which is limestone on steroids. She also knew that the microclimates in her mountain vineyard have no rival in France or anywhere else in the viticultural world. So in 2003 she and Greg set out to create “kathleen” estate sparkling wine brut cuvée méthode champenoise!
Ten years later the proof is in the bottle for all to experience... and to behold! But this traditional French method for producing sparkling wine -- méthode champenoise -- is an intricate and labor intensive procedure. Kathleen's initial endeavor -- méthode champenoise -- allows the second fermentation of the wine to take place in the bottle. Kathleen’s premiere brut cuvée sparkling wine was created in this method which she still meticulously crafts.
But supply is very limited -- let alone spending a decade for a bottle to faithfully evolve. Sparkling wine is her favorite. Yes, Kathleen is patient... but ten years is a titch long. So if Kathleen is to have a bit more immediacy in the fun and joy of crafting sparkling wine she would include the less time consuming Metodo Charmat in her repertoire.
But it had to be spectacular -- and a joy -- so she set out to have the world's first and unique Kathleen’s pomegranate cuvée, an exciting and enchanting and pretty -- sparkling wine... living up to the timeless advice of Bette Davis (one of Kathleen's favorites): “There comes a time in every woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.” If Bette Davis were still with us Kathleen is convinced she would finish her thought with... a glass of pomegranate cuvée.
Kathleen's pomegranate cuvée!
It gets even more sparkling!
Kathleen's first day at the ranch at age three which was to become eventually Kathleen's Vineyard and Carmody McKnight. It was a day of bliss and celebration, and her father Gary Conway tosses Kathleen into the air in pure joy!
Kathleen ~ A Natural Leader
Making a family farm successful and consistent with the values of our country’s greatest tradition takes steady vision. Moreover it requires a dedication as solid and as lasting as stone. Success without sacrificing values demands rare leadership, and that unique attribute can be found in Kathleen Conway who grew up in the spirit of this pristine land and its promise. Kathleen came to the ranch as a little girl, before the vineyard was planted. She was concerned about the animal life on the ranch even then!
Folks from around the world visit this special place and sense the genuineness, creativity and character that permeate everything Kathleen touches and oversees. Kathleen’s love of animals and especially horses began early in her life as witnessed in the above photo when the ranch was all saddles and 10-gallon hats.
Kathleen possesses the gift of the "sparkling spirit"
The Art of Sparkling
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