Monday, February 22, 2010

Conway Family Wines - family dedication to quality in Arroyo Grande

Conway Family Wines certainly lives up to its name with Chris and Ann Conway and their five children sharing in the ownership and operation of the operation. This devoted family. Purchasing the historic Rancho Arroyo Grande vineyards in 2007, they have dedicated themselves towards developing an award-winning winery on the estate.
Chris Conway founded and led company in Minneapolis in 1969 that grew to become a nearly $300 million leading manufacturer of surgical aesthetics products to plastic surgeons worldwide. Retiring in 2005 he began looking for another adventure. He found it in the Rancho Arroyo Grande vineyard. The rancho is located 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean with 3,400 acres of sloping hillsides, woodlands, pastures and vineyards bordered by the Los Padres National Forest. Bears and mountain lions still roamed the rancho in the far reaches of the Arroyo Grande AVA in San Luis Obispo County.
The climate is moderate with a combined effect of altitude and maritime influences offset by the warm summers. The soils are evolved from ancient sea beds and the fossilized seashells have been incorporated into the Deep Sea label. The estate has three vineyards totaling 230 acres.

The family gathered together an experienced team in both the winery and the vineyard. Winemakers Andrew Adam and Jonathan Medard work with consulting winemaker Paul Wilkins who has worked with several wineries in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria regions.

Conway Family Wines have two labels. The Rancho Arroyo Grande label is their estate wines, while Deep Sea is produced from fruit hand selected from premium Central Coast vineyards. The California Wine Examiner tasting panel sampled four key wines from Conway Family Wines.

The 2008 Deep Sea Chardonnay is a Gold Medal winner in the San Francisco Chronicle 2010 Wine Competition. This Chardonnay has a touch of Viognier with a golden yellow color in the glass. The panel enjoyed the citrus aromas with apple, butterscotch and vanilla. On the palate these similar flavors shown through with good acidity and a creamy mouth feel. The crisp acidity produced tart apple flavor notes with a smooth finish.
Deep Sea 2008 Viognier has a nice straw color with aromas of lemon blossom, citrus zest, pear and wet stone. On the palate you will detect pear, citrus, tropical flavors and a distinct minerality quality. It has a nice acidity and a medium finish.

The 2008 Deep Sea Red Wine is a blend of 74% Syrah, 13% Petite Sirah, 6% Lagrein, 4% merlot and 3% Mourvedre. It won a Silver Medal at the 2010 Chronicle Wine Competition. The beautiful dark garnet color invites you to draw in the aromas and flavors of dark fruits, blackberry and plum with a toasty meaty complexity topped off with spice and floral qualities. The balance of tannins, acidity and fruit is delightful as it leads to a lingering finish.

Rancho Arroyo Grande 2007 Zinfandel has a garnet/ruby color. The intense aroma of dark berries, raspberry, plum and pepper draws you further to sampling the flavors of jammy dark fruit with pepper, clove and cinnamon.

In addition to winemaking the large Rancho Arroyo Grande estate has 30 acres of olive trees and is also a working horse and cattle ranch. 
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