Thirty reasons why Carmody McKnight is the most extraordinary
vineyard and winery in California and viticulturally unmatched in the world.
1. Carmody McKnight is an estate winery. Only one percent of the wineries in California are classified as true estate. Being an estate winery, the natural, non-GMO grapes derive from the estate vineyard and from nowhere else. Among other important attributes, this means there is total viticultural quality control.
2. There are three volcanoes existing within the property lines, and the natural grapes actually grow in the magma which possesses all of the nutrients in the universe. No other vineyard has even one volcano within its borders.
3. Carmody McKnight, committed to nutrient-rich, sustainable viticulture, redefines the term. Carmody McKnight is the essence of sustainable. No known vineyard can compare to Carmody McKnight in natural sustainability. Even the winery building, constructed from straw-bale, is sustainable in its function and purpose. It is an above the ground cellar. Sustainable in the vineyard and sustainable in the winery.
4. Carmody McKnight Vineyards have never been fertilized nor have needed fertilization of the soils in the thirty years since the vineyard was planted on its own root. This never occurred before in any other major vineyard anywhere in the world, and no other vineyard has such a multiplicity of micronutrient-rich soil types.
5. A stunning discovery recently occurred by way of continuing university studies ~ the discovery of a “wonder soil” found nowhere else on the planet. Over 25,000 USDA soil series reviews were conducted and not one single match was found. It is the most perfect soil ever found for viticulture. This was revealed by way of an 8-month long research project by scientists, professors, and graduate students from Cal Poly University. This soil is unequalled in nutrient values and cation exchange capacity.
6. The soils of Carmody McKnight are the most mineral and nutrient rich in the world and the wines, as demonstrated by the university examinations and studies, are the most mineral rich of all wines. This is important because the richest natural flavors come from soils that are the most complex in micronutrients, resulting in concentrated flavors and more character intense.
7. The winemaker has created only small lots of the estate wine ensuring that the wines will not be filtered or fined, which remove the soul of the wine.
8. The vineyards of Carmody McKnight enjoy the longest growing season in the world (harvesting through November). Long growing season means more layered, natural flavors and fewer requirements for manipulation and corrective winemaking.
9. Limestone-calcareous soils are abundant in CM vineyards and unique to the Westside of Paso Robles. Limestone soils have been proven over the centuries to be essential for superior wines and without this soil constituent wines are inferior.
10. In his book "Terroir," James E. Wilson describes the legendary soils of France, where for centuries limestone has been known as "the one chemical soil constituent associated with wine quality, favoring availability of mineral nutrients and immunity from acidity." The limestone-endowed soils of Carmody McKnight provide natural balance, the key to consummate wines. There is no limestone in Napa, Sonoma and most other vineyard regions in California… only the Westside of Paso Robles and Carmody McKnight Vineyards.
11. Then there is calcium montmorillonite that is predominant in the Carmody McKnight Vineyards ~ in France it is called "the wonder soil," and also "the swelling clay." Very few vineyards in the world possess this rare and most prolific soil on earth ~ calcium montmorillonite. Certainly none in California outside of Carmody McKnight. The soil contains no fewer than 67 minerals. It is the most powerful nutrient known and the most significant detoxifier.
12. Limestone and calcium montmorillonite are the two most important soil constituents for the grape vine and the combination is thought to exist in the most renowned vineyard in France. Limestone itself is known to contribute to wine greatness, and without it ~ wine inferiority. But does the ultimate combination exist in California? Only Carmody McKnight.
13. The Carmody McKnight vineyards have a third component ~ a backyard volcano (in fact three!) ~ thus guaranteeing the most mineral rich (especially prolific in micronutrients) major vineyard in the world, resulting in the cleanest, purest varietal expression.
14. The north-south slopes of the Carmody McKnight vineyards have the advantage of an array of microclimate changes from hilltop to bottom ~ microclimates hard to match in perfection for grapes. The vineyard enjoys the greatest recorded range of diurnal temperature, or high daytime and low nighttime temperature variation, assuring the best net photosynthesis ~ a remarkable 50 degree temperature swings day to night during growing season. This exceptional bioclimatic condition is a viticultural imperative. Photosynthesis is also enhanced significantly in regions such as on the Westside of Paso Robles where the farmland flourishes in high elevations ~ another proven grape growing superlative ~ as opposed to flat valley areas.
16. The vineyards experience the lowest relative humidity of any farming region, a meteorological marvel and, anomalously, bordering a cold ocean. This extremely favorable characteristic also greatly minimizes fungicide dependability which seriously plagues most of the grape-growing regions, let alone our health. Because of these temperature swings, Carmody McKnight, on 24-hour daily average, is also one of the coolest regions in California. Wide temperature swings are essential for quality grapes. These temperature swings are the greatest of any vineyard area in the world.
17. According to a University of California study, the Adelaida region, which is one of the sub-areas of Paso Robles Westside, enjoys more sun days than any area in California. This is a striking phenomenon considering its close approximation ~ six miles ~ to the cool Big Sur Coast. As remarkable and noted by the most respected climatologists is the fact that the Carmody McKnight vineyard area is more moisture free than almost any area known. This is why in its over 30 year history not one fungicide has ever been applied to the vines. In France today up to 14 different fungicides can be applied to a vineyard and shows up in their wine as a toxin. This is true even of their so-called organic wines.
18. The grapes of Carmody McKnight nourish in hillside vineyards ~ a must factor for the great vineyards and wines ~ especially the Grand Cru vineyards of France. With knowledge gained from centuries-long test of time there is no renowned vineyard grown in a valley floor.
19. Most of the vines at Carmody McKnight are now thirty-two years old and on their own root, which means a natural vine. The trunks of the vines are larger for their age than at any other vineyard, an obvious reflection of the prodigious nutrients. The size also suggests that the roots reach deeply into vineyard soils proven to have an astonishing twenty-six different soil types. Before France was replanted in GMO vines the greatest winemakers would not make wine unless the vines were almost all 25 years old.
20. Carmody McKnight lies prominently in the Premium Wine Growing Area of the United States if not the world, has evolved into a legendary vineyard. Maybe it is all best summed up by Brent Hallock, an esteemed professor from Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo. Professor Hallock explained that with the reevaluation of grape-growing regions in light of global warming, the consensus of earth and climate scientists, including the National Academy of Science, is that the immediate area of the Carmody McKnight vineyards in the Westside of Paso Robles is the only Premium Wine Growing region in California. The professor might as well have added ~ and all of the United States and Europe.
21. Carmody McKnight Estate wines cannot be duplicated on any viticultural or oenological level and certainly in the nutrient power of the soils. The entire environment must come into play to ensure that the winemaking is unmanipulated and not chemical dependent. Essential in that ideal is natural, own-rooted grape vines that are not genetically mutated grafted hybrids.
22. Carmody McKnight has never added one single chemical to its estate wines... and no artificial flavors and color. None!
23. The vitis vinifera grapes vines are the largest known in the world and non-GMO and with perfect spacing 8' x 11' for the maximum and protected uptake of nutrients and water.
24. TTB certification regarding sulfites. The law requires all wines carry a sulfite warning if they contain more than 10ppm of total sulfites. Carmody McKnight has 0.
25. Carmody McKnight vineyards were selected for the most significant soil and nutrient studies ever undertaken. For nearly two decades, esteemed universities and viticulturalists and geologists from around the globe visited the vineyard to study and research the incomparable qualities. This has never occurred before regarding any vineyard.
26. The Carmody McKnight vineyard is the leading sustainable vineyard in the world because the soils are the most mineral and nutrient rich known and the wines, as demonstrated by major university studies and tests over two decades, are the most mineral rich of all wines. Ultimately "sustainability" has everything do with the abundance of nutrients in the soil and plants that are not mutated hybrids so the uptake of nutrients and moisture are maximized.
27. Carmody McKnight vineyards have never required fertilization of the soils in the thirty-two years since the vineyard was planted. This has never occurred before in a vineyard, especially one over 30 years old.
28. Carmody McKnight Estate grapes start with the perfect environment to make the perfect wine, but in that journey the wine must be crafted in a natural cellar for its years in its development ~ not a factory environment ~ so that only native or natural yeasts are employed. Unfortunately this is also rare in winemaking today.
29. The vineyard possesses one of the largest known artesian wells on the Westside of Paso Robles with unparalleled water minerals and nutrients as determined by university tests.
30. Carmody McKnight possesses a one of a kind soil named by scientists as black limestone, more prolific than limestone. The vineyards also contain richly productive vertisols with their high-water holding capacity and the special attribute of being drought-resistant.
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