More than forty years ago, Gary and Marian Conway purchased a 19th Century homesteaded ranch west of Paso Robles and six miles from the seacoast art colony of Cambria, within the headlands of stunning Big Sur country.
Gary first beheld the idyllic beauty of this mountain valley aboard a helicopter moments before it crashed. Emerging from the wreckage, Gary dusted himself off and promptly announced to the still stunned real estate broker, "I'm going to buy this place!"
Indeed, in the ensuing years… this pristine land, now known to lie prominently in the Premium Wine Growing Area of the United States if not the world, has evolved into a legendary vineyard. Legendary is an understatement as the land was tectonically formed 26-million years ago by three volcanoes emerging in lava fire from out of an inland sea. From this ultimate power we now find supersoils and wonder soils seen nowhere else on the planet. The volcano trio, amazingly, exists within the 160-acre property lines, and the natural grapes actually grow in the magma! Shades of Shangri-La!
This family-farm, administrated for over 20 years by Kathleen Conway, (bio) did not veer off into an impersonal corporate enterprise. The farmer proprietors/vintners bring deep passions and hands-in-the-earth commitment to the farm, but perhaps more importantly they continue to write in the boldest script the awesome narrative with content rarely advanced in the wine world.
Challenging the status quo, they have taken us back to the future, revealing the essential nature of superlative vine growing and wine making not dependant on GM vines that necessitate artificial additives toxically enhanced with chemical formulations. Carmody McKnight champions “Natural Wine.” Natural wine which derives from the world’s supreme soils and Premium Growing Area as well as authentic vineplants. (link)
The wine world must not ignore this message. It is profound. It is about sustaining quality and redefining classic wine. It is about basic health and our well-being (à votre santé). For some it will seem surprisingly political; certainly it reveals truths with enormous implications for our economic future.
The Carmody McKnight Family
A Renaissance man for our time (in fact he was awarded Renaissance Man of the Year at the Paso Robles Film Festival,
Marian is the practical rancher... “In ranching if you can’t sell your cattle you couldn’t possibly eat all that steak, but now wine…well, that’s a different story!”
A winemaker in her own right (her late harvest Kathleen Cabernet Franc as well as her sparkling wine has gained an extremely loyal following), she knew that even magical lands need down-to-earth commitment.