Thirty reasons why Carmody McKnight is the most extraordinary
vineyard and winery in California and viticulturally unmatched in the world.
1. Carmody McKnight Vineyard is the ultimate in "sustainability." The soils have never been fertilized nor have needed fertilization of the soils in the thirty plus 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.
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 in Europe or the United states or anywhere 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 in Europe or the United States 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 is an estate winery. 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. Only one percent of the wineries in California are classified as true estate. Estate wineries are becoming rarer in Europe and other parts of the world.
5. A stunning discovery recently occurred by way of continuing university studies -- the discovery of a “wonder soil” found nowhere else on the planet. Super calcium montmorillonite! 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 and natural healing. No other supplement for skin and internal consumption is comparable.
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 prolific in the CM vineyards and unique to the Westside of Paso Robles as far as California is concerned, but more abundant in parts of Europe. 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 Estate Vineyards -- in France it is called "the wonder soil," and "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. As mentioned, a super calcium montmorillonite -- "Magma Milk" -- was discovered on this land by the university. Over 25,000 USDA soil reviews were conducted, and no comparable soil was found anywhere in the world!
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.
15. 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.
16. The vineyards experience the lowest relative humidity of any farming region in Europe or the U.S., 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 in France and much of Europe, let alone our health.
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 or France. 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. And true even of their so-called organic wines.
GMO grapes which now overrun Europe and most other countries that produced once-fine wines necessitate a flood of virulent fungicides.UFCQue Choisiramazingly found in France as many as"14 different fungicides in a single bottle of wine. The report immediately established a connection between fungicides in wine and a raft of diseases including cancer and Parkinson’s disease." This is also true with wines throughout Europe and most of California. The Westside of Paso Robles may be one of the few places on earth left where non-GMO grapes can flourish. This is because of the perfect microclimates and rich nutrient soils, especially limestone, defending against diseases now plaguing Napa, once renowned areas of France, and throughout Europe, and providing authentic flavors not requiring oak barrels with their own toxic problems. The serious warnings by UFCQue Choisir, the most prominent consumer group in Europe, must not be ignored. Almost every single bottle of wine tested was carcinogenic. Drinking most wine from Europe and California is now difficult to recommend, whereas natural, non-GMO wine without fungicide use in the vineyard, as remarkably the case with Carmody McKnight, is the healthiest food anyone can put into the body.
18. Perfect topography. The grapes of Carmody McKnight nourish in hillside vineyards -- a must factor for the great vineyards and wines -- notably 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. For centuries, sloping and hillside vineyards characterize the greatest wine areas. Undulating to moderately steep terrain creates the supreme vineyard sites everywhere in the world for that matter, as they combine ideal drainage with greater intensity of sunlight than lower elevations at the same latitude (photosynthesis).
Although wine was already produced from grapes in France in Roman times, the first to develop in earnest the French vineyards were monks, starting in the 12th century. Over time and with the advantage of hundreds of years to observe practical viticulture it was discovered that vines on slopes prospered best, created the most favorable wines; valley floors were never planted for the ideal wines. The vines stopped when the hillside stopped.
So, it has always been a puzzle why premium grape vines were planted on the expansive valley floors in California as was the case with Napa. The reasons not to plant in such a valley with its predominate alluvial fill and mostly nutrient barren soil have long been understood, and planting for wine quality has been mostly avoided in the flat valleys. To compound the problems in Napa (and most other areas of the world now too) the vines were planted in factory-style with vineyards connected end to end and unrelieved. This has long been realized to be a serious detriment and for obvious reasons.
When grapes are planted on valley floors and bottom lands they are also subject to a microclimatic phenomenon called cold air drainage that often severely damages vine plants. Cold air drainage can result in an early vine-killing frost. The coldest air descends to the lowest elevation, but on flat areas there is no escape for the damaging freezing air.
Valley microclimates create other troubles inherent to a valley floor with excessive uncontrollable wind and flooding. It was both these factors that helped phylloxera to proliferate. Planted without vineyard-block interruptions, phylloxera and other diseases relentlessly attacked the vines without vital natural gaps. The factory-style, dense, back to back planting was the main reason why phylloxera spread in Europe too. The flooding carried the microscopic phylloxera louse or aphid, that lives on and eats the roots of grapes, anywhere and everywhere. Nothing can be done in disease prone areas like Napa to stop the wind-borne spread that occurs in the early stage of the pest's life cycle.
If that were not bad enough it became far worse with the planting of GMO root stock and the emergence of global warming which exacerbates all these problems and makes the combating of diseases almost impossible. As global warming inevitably worsens the problems increase exponentially, and will make areas like Napa impossible for vitis vinifera to flourish or even grow as is already evident with vines being pulled out after five years.
Global warming raises average temperature levels and causes more humidity, the perfect breeding ground for the worst of the vine diseases as evidenced in France and most other countries in Europe. Global warming and the excessive wind also make devastating fires more likely and uncontrollable and another potential danger for areas like Napa with little to be done to prevent them.
19. Most of the vines at Carmody McKnight are now thirty-three 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 and most of Europe were 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, and has evolved into a legendary vineyard. Maybe it's 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 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 the United States and Europe.
Now astudy published in the Journal Proceedings of theNational Academy of Sciences in conjunction with all the major scientific organizations in the world, and specifically regarding wine,forecasts temperature increases triggering the loss of two-thirds or more of Napa Valley’s current grape output with similar losses projected in most of the premium growing areas in California as well as France, Italy, Spain, and Greece.
Further investigations involved the major governments all over the world in the most significant, comprehensive, and far-reaching global studies of wine production and climate change: "Climate Change, Wine, and Conservation" The studies begin with the following:"Viticulture is famously sensitive to climate.Wine grape production provides a good test case for measuring indirect impacts mediated by changes in agriculture, because viticulture is sensitive to climate and is concentrated in Mediterranean climate regions that are global biodiversity hotspots."
According to the projections, which are stunning and with enormous implications for the future of premium viticulture, quality premium wine grapes as far as California is concerned could only be grown in a thin strip of land along the coast (mainly Central Coast) of California. The band lies about 10 miles from the Pacific. Vineyards outside of the band will begin to suffer as is now the case in Napa with vines being pulled out after 5 years! Napa is approximately 40 miles from the ocean, Santa Ynez is around 20.
Carmody McKnight in the Westside of Paso Robles is one of the closest vineyards to the Pacific, approximately 6 miles, but interestingly not adversely affected by the proximity with downsides such as excessive fog and moisture and limited sunlight. Of most all the vineyards in California, Carmody McKnight is ideally positioned to prosper in the future.
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 which are prevalent in the vast majority of vineyards in Europe and California.
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. The vineyards contain richly productive vertisols with their high-water holding capacity and the special attribute of being drought-resistant.
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, and not known to exist anywhere else.
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