G a r y C o n w a y
Gary followed the iconic series, Burke's Law with Land of the Giants, considered one of the most successful programs ever produced on a worldwide basis. Today, many years after its initial release on television, there are highly active clubs and societies around the world devoted to Gary and the series on a full time basis. His show has been seen in every nook and cranny that possesses a television set. Land of the Giants was the number one show recently on Channel Four in England. Gary participated in a satellite special on Channel Four commemorating the seriesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ incredible accomplishment and fan following.
Gary Conway in Burke's Law
Besides starring in series and a multitude of episodic television shows and pilots, he starred in many motion pictures. He had leading roles and even production credits in The Farmer, Black Gunn, Once is Not Enough, to name a few.
Gary also became very successful as a screenwriter and wrote the scripts for such popular films as Over the Top, as well as the highly successful American Ninja series. He also originated films scripts for such stars as Laurence Harvey, Catherine Dueneve, and Eddie Murphy.
Gary Conway in Land of the Giants
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 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.
The hosts arranged for a collection of Gary's original paintings to be shipped to China for exhibit (according to Gary the cost of that alone would be considered prohibitive in the U.S.). The sponsors framed all of them in China, and each one was displayed on separate easels in at least four of the events. The exhibit continues throughout China. The Chinese revealed a deep appreciation for the art. Gary was also invited as the first American to a conference featuring some of China's most prominent, world class artists, photographers and sculptors. It was a seminal affair that looks to be repeated. It was an artistic event that was as moving as it was wonderfully enlightening.
The hosts created original copies of Gary Conway's TV series Land of the Giants which had special presentations and distribution. As in China, the series was the number one American show in most countries throughout the world. They brought in Gary's books, as well as Magnums and Jeroboams with original labels on canvas... the list goes on and on.
According to Gary:
The Chinese are genuinely interested in the actual people creating the art -- on canvas, on film, on the page... and crafting the wine... their character, their humanity... almost more than anything else. They understand the process of true creation, especially with wine and deeply respect the genuine creator. They certainly appreciate and want to learn everything they can about the genesis of the wine -- the vineyard from where it derives. And they completely embrace "Natural Wine."
Among so many knowledge-seeking requests six different glass containers (that were previously prepared by the Cal Poly University) which revealed and described in their complexity all of the soils and the geological layers that characterize the remarkable Carmody McKnight vineyard source of the exclusive wine in China.
Gary pointed out:
The Chinese seemed to know everything about us and understood our intrinsic philosophy and aspirations in contrast to the so called "wine industry" in this country. In the Press Conference, Marian and I spoke to the reporters of several of the biggest wine magazines in the world (published in Chinese) and other publications for hours. They scooped up every detail and were intensely interested in everything and certainly found our university studies remarkable. And they are... but remarkably have never been covered in this country except for one article in Wines and Vines.
Gary drinking Calcium Montmorillonite in China.
It is an astonishing fact that in the twenty-year history of the vineyard there has never been the necessity to fertilize, yet the wine, as analyzed in the extensive Cal Poly University study, has been found to be the most mineral and nutrient rich in the world. More on Gary and the vineyard in Eye on the Bay.
The story of Gary's odyssey with the land, Art of the Vineyard, has been published by the prestigious Journey Editions of the Charles E. Tuttle Company. Besides authoring Art of the Vineyard, the book includes over a hundred of Gary's brilliant landscapes which are indicative of his outstanding reputation as an artist. Art of the Vineyard has received overwhelming praise from all quarters of the country. Connie Martinson on her television show Let's Talk Books, said, "Gary 's Art of the Vineyard would be a wonderful book on its own let alone an extraordinary book of art ." In a review in New Times and on PBS, his work was described as "magnificent, exhilarating, vibrating, extraordinary." In the review in Booklist, perhaps the most significant in the publishing industry, his book and its art was referred to as "vivid, nearly neon color palette...the images demonstrate the human capacity to love, desire, create, and persevere...a rendering of Conway's passion."
Gary wrote and directed the film Woman's Story. LINK TO TRAILER
Woman's Story is already being heralded as: an extraordinary film... a stunning filmmaking achievement... with such artistry that it becomes a genuine work of art. The look of the film is much like a great painting. For Gary the film is indeed an extension of his painting as well as articulating a vital social message. LINK to art work from the film.
(left) Sketch from Woman's Story
Woman's Story LINK TO WOMAN'S STORY EXCERPT is in a unique premiere release around the country where not only is the film reaching theatrical audiences usually unable to see such artistic films but also has been raising much-needed funds and awareness for major museums, schools, universities, and other organizations dedicated to the community's welfare. The film and the exciting premiere events great cuisine and wine dinners and art and wine auctions -- following the screenings have had even the leaders of the communities calling the premiere events and film "amazing," "a shining moment," "tremendous," "awesome,"“fantastic??
Gary's current work as a painter is being displayed on both coasts. He is represented in Georgetown, D.C. at the Susan Calloway Gallery. Gary's work is also represented at PierceModern in Paso Robles, the Central Coast of California. He is considered one of the foremost landscape painters in the U.S. as well as a portrait painter.
Gary is developing a television series both network and online which will encompass his vast experience as a Jeffersonian farmer and winemaker as well as an international series The Studio.. He is also working on his next motion picture project to be filmed on the Central Coast. Tentative title: The Last Dinner... and you thought supper was tense! He has completed a play for a major Broadway producer based on his original film script Over the Top.