The Vineyards

Carriage Vineyards Policy Page

Carriage Vineyards is an active working vineyard and ranch. Our sustainably farmed vineyard consists of 22,000 vines planted on 27 acres with varieties including Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon. About eighty percent of our vineyard is on hillside and hilltops with a north-south and north-east to south-west slopes. Our vines are planted in a calcareous clay-lime silt stone, offering perfect conditions for these varietals. When visiting the vineyard you will notice the care that has gone into making its success with row spacing at 10-by-5 and 10-by-6 VSP. Our fruit is sold to wineries from California to Arizona.

“We have worked with Carriage Vineyard’s fruit for the past three years and have been incredibly pleased with the quality of the grapes and easy workability with Larry’s picking crew and schedule. We have bought Viognier, Syrah and Grenache from his vineyard and each one is very varietal distinctive. Carriage Vineyards blocks usually ripen early, making time sensitive operations a breeze. Larry Smith is very helpful and kind. He shows great care for his vines and obviously has a great passion for grape growing. We will continue to work with Larry’s fruit and look forward to many more award winning vintages. “
- Paul W. Frankel, Sculpterra Winery (Winemaker)

beautiful vineyard views at sunset abound at Carriage Vineyards Inn in the Paso Robles Wine CountrySyrah
One of the up and coming varietals in California, known as the great grape of Hermitage in the Rhone region of France. This varietal has only emerged in California since the 1980s. We currently have seventeen acres of Syrah. Our Syrah is planted on rootstocks 140R and 1103 and the clones are 877, 1, and 7.

 

Merlot
An all-time favorite grape from the Bordeaux region of France. Although the majority crop of this grape is usually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to soften the tannins, it also holds a class of its own in the market. We currently have a bit over 4 acres of Merlot. It is planted on rootstocks 1103 and is clone 181.

paso robles wine atcarriage vineyardsCabernet Sauvignon
This great grape of the Medoc region of France has been widely adapted in California.Once known for its pure unblended varietal, the current vogue is blending it with others of the Bordeaux varieties to achieve more complex flavors and to sometimes escape the somewhat brutish alcohols and tannins. We currently have over 5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. Our Cab is planted on rootstocks 1103 and 140R with clones 8 and 337.

Grenache
The wines reflect the conditions under which the grapes were grown. When grown under tough conditions or from old vines the wines can be rich and complex, with flavours of roasted nuts, blackberries spices and above all earthiness. As young wines Grenaches are firm and sometimes rough textured. The colour often does not adequately prepare you for the depth of flavour.

Golden-HillsideViognier
Viognier produces very fragrant (floral and fruity aromas) wines with good acidity, tannin structure, and relatively high alcohol. The best examples are produced fairly simply and cleanly, often going from stainless steel fermentation to the bottle. Viognier is sometimes blended with Syrah (up to 20 percent) to give the resulting wine more fragrance and elegance. Some French Château Viogniers are considered to be among the best and most expensive white wines in the world.

 

WHAT OUR WINERY CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING

“Last year we bought 3.5 tons of Carriage Vineyards Viognier fruit and we are tremendously pleased with the results. Larry Smyth was a joy to work with and communication between me the winemaker and Larry the vineyard owner was on going throughout the growing season and into the harvest. The 2011 Viognier grapes were picked precisely to my desire of Brix, pH and TA. We harvest very early in the morning and I was able to get the grapes pressed and cold settled within just hours of the harvest. The pressed must had great nutritional health and the fermentation was steady and strong. I blended the wine with my own estate Viognier and bottled it in February 2012. The aromas are clean and abundant with melon, cantaloupe, white peach, nectarine and grapefruit. We look forward to many years of partnering with Larry Smyth and Carriage Vineyards.”
– Paul W. Frankel, Sculpterra Winery

Chris Cocchiaro – Grower Relations Manager,
Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards April, 2010

“Carriage Vineyards has consistently performed above average for the many years that we have been working with Larry Smyth, and his family. Each year, both the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlot, have produced wines that stand out for their mature flavors, outstanding color, and distinctive terroir. The Linne Calodo soils, extreme topography, and climatic impacts of the El Pomar area, all show through in the grapes, as does the meticulous farming performed by Larry and his staff. Carriage Vineyards has been a great business partner to work with, and will continue to be successful because of their hard work and dedication to their vineyards.”

Bryan Babcock – Babcock Winery – Lompoc
“Never have I encountered a vineyard in the Paso Robles area that has so much potential, while at the same time remains so undiscovered. The combination of well drained hillsides, limestone gushing out of the dirt, and a grower that knows how to sweat, but is at the same time extremely humble and flexible, makes this Eastside property a winemaking gem of the future. The Cabernet and Syrah that I made from this vineyard in 2003 are dark and saturated with distinctive flavors. My guess is that Carriage Vineyards won’t remain undiscovered for long.”

Night views over Carriage Vineyards

Scott J. Welcher – Viticulturist Wild Horse Winery October 2003
“Proprietors Larry & Diane Smyth can be proud of their impeccable attention to detail while developing the Carriage Vineyards. With over twenty years in the winery and vineyard business I have never witnessed a vineyard site developed with such finesse. Seasoned vineyard professionals are normally called upon for this caliber of installation, but the Smyth’s have done it on their own. From site selection to varietal positioning everything was installed with the ultimate goal in mind…Producing premium wines that express the terrior of the vineyard, the nuances of the varietals planted, and the passion of the winegrowers.
With such a great vineyard debut from the Smyth’s, anticipation is high for the 2003 vintage. Early organoliptic evaluations of the Carriage Vineyards Merlot suggest a high fruit tones based upon Black Cherry and spice. The sun is rising over the future of Carriage Vineyards with the forecast suggesting splendid sunny days ahead!”

Mike Faul – Lawrence-Faul Winery February 2004
“As proprietor of the Lawrence-Faul winery in Sunnyvale CA I had been looking for quality syrah from the central coast for quite a while and I came across Carriage Vineyards quite by accident. I can only say that the 2003 grapes have been excellent in quality and I anticipate that it will be a fantastic vintage. Working with Larry and Diane has been a pleasure and I have not seen anyone put as much into the care of the vineyard as I have seen Larry put in. I will enjoy coming back to Larry for ‘my’ Syrah grapes every year. ”

Eric Glomski – Page Springs Cellars May 2005
“Top notch vineyards are all about the relationship between people and place. It takes more than a great site to produce high quality wine grapes and even the most skilled grower cannot coerce superb grapes from an uninteresting site. Luckily, Larry Smyth and Carriage Vineyards offer us both: extremely conscientious and committed farming, and ideal climate and soils.”
“I have been very impressed with the first wines we have made from Larry’s site.”

aerial views of the vineyards

“Last year we bought 3.5 tons of Carriage Vineyards Viognier fruit and we are tremendously pleased with the results. Larry Smyth was a joy to work with and communication between me the winemaker and Larry the vineyard owner was on going throughout the growing season and into the harvest. The 2011 Viognier grapes were picked precisely to my desire of Brix, pH and TA. We harvest very early in the morning and I was able to get the grapes pressed and cold settled within just hours of the harvest. The pressed must had great nutritional health and the fermentation was steady and strong. I blended the wine with my own estate Viognier and bottled it in February 2012. The aromas are clean and abundant with melon, cantaloupe, white peach, nectarine and grapefruit. We look forward to many years of partnering with Larry Smyth and Carriage Vineyards.”
– Paul W. Frankel, Sculpterra Winery