While active in television and motion pictures, centered mostly in Hollywood, Gary discovered and fell in love with a broken-down ranch on 320 acres in the Central Coast of California. Gary first beheld the idyllic beauty of the area aboard a helicopter moments before it crashed. 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 vineyard and its supersoils and textbook microclimates are fast becoming legendary by way of Carmody McKnight Estate Wines.
Adding to the legend of the land, the vineyard was chosen as the most endowed in the world and the subject of an extraordinary joint effort between John Deere, Motorola, Earth Information Technologies, and Cal Poly University with support from the State of California due to the rarity of the soils derived from calcareous shale, limestone, and igneous (volcanic) rocks as well as calcium montmorillonite -- "the wonder soil." No other vineyard in the world possess all of these renowned soil types and in such abundance.
As a result, three of Carmody McKnight wines, in combination to create the “Cadenza” Meritage, won against all California wines in the most prestigious of competitions – the California State Fair Wine Competition. The winery itself was voted number one on the Central Coast. Gary's label for the Meritage also won a double gold and "best of show" at the Orange County Fair Label Competition. It was the first time that a wine and the label on the bottle won the highest of all awards. Gary's labels have earned innumerous major awards and international acclaim.
Marian and Gary Conway, were recently invited to China where they were feted and received like very few Americans. Gary Conway addressed Peking (Beijing) University in a landmark speech. He spoke to over three hundred captains of Chinese industry (mostly billionaires), also the President and heads of the University... in the premier program -- the EMBA Degree -- in the leading business school and university in China and foremost in the world. There was a running film accompaniment with several videos of Gary Conway's life and work, as well as Marian Conway (they revered Marian and admired -- and knew about -- her great scholastic achievements).
A special video was screened relating the story of the astonishing vineyard and sustainable winery where the "Volcanic Created" emanates -- a wine that was now available in China for selected corporations and individuals. Every table in this great hall was served with only Carmody McKnight Volcanic Created wine, created exclusively for China.
This university speech was only the first of a series of events held in the Conway's honor and lasted over a week. As interesting and impressive as the university speech... was the Press Conference; video link (Press Conference).
This event was unprecedented. Before the actual Press Conference in a separate set of rooms Gary and Marian spoke directly to reporters from China's major press. This significant event was held in a cluster of magnificent buildings of antiquity -- with the U.S Ambassador present and other distinguished members of the press -- then back to yet another beautiful set of rooms to speak to reporters for nearly two more hours. The sponsor and hosts spent well over $100,000 on the press conference. The most prominent wine magazines in China (Wine in China and Wine Magazine) and beyond (La Revue du vin de France - China) were present as well as a formidable group of other major traditional press. Nothing like this press conference has ever been assembled in the world of wine.