Charles Smith, Washington State, USA

About Charles Smith

Charles Smith, the American expert winemaker, realised his passion and potential for winemaking only when he moved to the European continent. Throughout the early part of his career, Smith was busy managing various rock bands, including the famous Danish band of Raveonettes.  During 1999, Charles Smith met a winemaker on his road trip to California and that’s where he got the inspiration to start his own brand of wines.

Within two years, the brand of Charles Smith released over 300 cases of vintage wine into the market. There was no looking back for this brand, after this initial release.  One of the major highlights about this brand is that its founder, Charles Smith, ensures that he provides 100% respect for the traditional winemaking methods and techniques.

While the red wines undergo a reasonable maceration process of over 30 days, the white wines are filtered without undergoing the battonage process in order to retain the flavours and characters of the grapes. Thanks to the authentic taste of these wines, they have been regarded as one of the best American wines for many consecutive years.

These wines from Washington are crated in such a way that they can be drunk without any delay. They are made from the purest of grapes using very traditional methods. Some of the very popular wines from this brand are the following:

  • Kung Fu Girl – Made from Riesling grapes
  • The Velvet Devil – Made from the Merlot varietal
  • Band of Roses – a dry and crisp Rose’ wine
  • Boom Boom- Made from the Syrah varietal
  • Eve – Made from the Chardonnay varietal
  • Chateau Smith – Made from Cabernet Sauvignon grape varietal

Since Charles Smith stays rooted in the tradition of winemaking in Washington, he has been awarded the “Winemaker of the Year” award many times in the past.

The History — A man and a van

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.

Land to Hand. Vineyard to Bottle

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 long macerations of 30 days or more on the skins, with no racking after malolactic fermentation is finished. “They go to the barrel ‘dirty,’ on their gross lees,” he says. For whites, he foregoes battonage, and they’re fined and filtered for stability. And once they’re ready to drink, Charles says drink it any way you like it.

Street Cred

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.”


Charles smith wines

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