Art of the Vineyard

Best Selling Stories

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Library Motif

Focus and Inspiration

The land and its history speak through each wine.

The opulent complexity of the estate wines of motif derives from ancient cataclysmic events that contributed to the most profound arrangement of soils and strata to ever occupy a vineyard.

Mt. Ignees erupted twenty-six million years ago, spilling out its fiery magma, endowing the vineyard with the most complex and mineral-powerful soils on earth.  Amazingly, Mt. Ignees is one of three volcanoes within the property lines of the vineyard.  This magma miracle exists in no other vineyard.

The richest wines derive from from the richest soils, sustainably farmed. Only then do we experience nature’s natural, intrinsic flavors, not dependent on manipulation and heavy oak intrusion.

Terroir is patience, not convenient and clever winemaking tricks that haunt the majority of wine now prevelant in the marketplace.  Motif captures the tectonic forces of our universe in a glass!

Cheval Rouge


Cheval Rouge is a true terroir wine dedicated to expressing the rare 1.7 acre motif vineyard, not oak in excess.  It has become a wine of legend even as it is an homage to the premier grand cru of Saint Emilion. The wine derives from an environment of storied soils and vineyard soul; not clever chemistry and oak barrel domination where terroir is impossible to experience.  Fifty months of profound aging in a “natural cellar” straw-bale winery (ensuring native yeast) adds to the wonderment of the wine.

Label and wine find inspiration in the wild mustangs and the legendary roan stallion thundering in the barrancas of the nearby Big Sur coast.  In this mountain land the renowned motif Cheval Rouge Vineyard at Carmody McKnight finds its native earth — legendary soils of limestone, black limestone, calcium montmorillonite, and a wonder soil so rare it exists nowhere else.  Savor the legend.


Harvest Date: October 2, 2010
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Block: Motif Vineyard 4 tons/acre
Oak: 100% neutral
Ageing: 50 months neutral oak
Case Production: 320
Drink: Now – 2027



Cheval Elegant


Limited Edition Fine Art & Wine

Cheval Elegant is the epitome of true creative natural wine that derives flavors from the richest vineyard nestled in a precious Mediterranean climate. The label art of motif finds inspiration through the renowned Big Sur poet, Robinson Jeffers, who in his “Rhone Stallion” paints in words about nature’s power and the spirit of this luminous coastal world, the vibrant ocean, eagles soaring above the hills, the beckoning canyons and noble redwoods.

In our shining mountain land the renowned motif wines are favored by incomparable soils including nutrient-precious magmatic earth which derives from the only volcanoes existing within any vineyard in the world!

Cheval Elegant displays a glorious and irresistible bouquet of crème de cassis, blueberry, crushed violets, and a scintilla of citrus fruit, all beautifully defined and very precise.

The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, creamy in texture. The acidity is well judged with layers of caressing black fruit and hints of roasted coffee.  The long finish lingers with teasing red plum.



Harvest Date: October 27, 2010
Blend: Cab Franc, Merlot
Block: Volcanic Block 1
Neutral Barrel Aged: 48 months;  Unfiltered, Unfined
Bottling Date: November 11, 2016
Alcohol: 15.7%
Production: 110 cases
Drink: Now – 2028