Artistic, iconic and instantly identifiable, our playful labels have been celebrated from the day they were released. The concepts hint to wine flavor and pairings, and each original piece of artwork is a collaboration from Charles and his longtime friend, artist Rikke Korff.
Few winemakers have a story quite like Charles Smith. Although he was born and raised an hour from Napa Valley, CA, Charles didn’t discover his love for wine until he moved to Europe. While living abroad, he managed a number of rock bands, including the famed Danish duo The Raveonettes. It was the wining and dining of a rock n’roll life on the road that sparked Charles’ passion for great wine.
In 1999, while on a road trip to Walla Walla, WA, Charles met a winemaker who convinced him to start making his own wine, true to his own story and vision. And in 2001, Charles released 330 cases of his first vintage. Eight years later, he would be named Winemaker of the Year by Food & Wine magazine and again in 2014, by Wine Enthusiast.
Charles’ knowledge of and respect for old world winemaking techniques coupled with his commitment to how people actually drink wine are what make his wines so unique. His reds undergo extended maceration on the skins, with no racking after malolactic fermentation is finished. This allows for longer time on the lees, building mouthfeel. For whites, he foregoes battonage, and they are fined and filtered for stability. And once they’re ready to drink, Charles says drink it any way you like it.
In 2008, Charles Smith Wines was recognized by Wine & Spirits magazine as one of the "Best New Wineries of the Last Ten Years" and as "Winery of the Year" in its annual buying guide. In 2009, Food & Wine magazine awarded Charles "Winemaker of the Year"; in 2010, Seattle Magazine recognized Charles as its "Winemaker of the Year"; and in 2014, Wine Enthusiast also named him "Winemaker of the Year.”