Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Kick Butt Wines of Charles Smith

Charles Smith is a legend in the wine industry, but not in the same way as Robert Mondavi (Mondavi Winery) or Warren Winiarski (Stags Leap). Those gentlemen are much older and have been established for over 40 years. The ever impressive Charles Smith is much younger and has been established for about half that time, but has none the less created a reputation of amazing talent and wine making skill. His simple straight forward wine labels and delicious juice have amazed many a drinker over his career. 

We are lucky enough to have one of his disciples visit us in the next few weeks to spread the good word. She will walk us through his history and wine making philosophy as well as his off shoot projects that everyone is raving about. This is sure to be a very cool class. (and yes he definitely looks like Sammy Hagar)

Come Join Us For Our: KICK BUTT CHARLES SMITH WINE CLASS on May, 7th @ 6pm

A Short History of Charles Smith
Growing up just outside of Sacramento, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Charles Smith began craving worldly travel at a young age due to his Welsh mother and French father. As soon as he had the chance, Charles decided to move to Denmark (for a “hot piece of a**” i.e. a lady friend he met in the states). While in Scandinavia, Charles spent the next nine years managing rock bands and concert tours throughout Europe, including the famed Danish duo, The Ravonettes. Wining and dining while on the road became a catalyst for his passion of wine, which ultimately triggered the career he has today.

In 1999, he moved back to the United States, specifically to the Pacific Northwest, opening a wine shop on Bainbridge Island, just across the Puget Sound from downtown Seattle. On a road trip in late 1999, he passed through the small town of Walla Walla and met a young Frenchman and winemaker. The two men discovered their common passion for great Syrah and Charles was eventually convinced to move to Walla Walla and make his own juice. In 2001, Charles released 330 cases of his first wine, the 1999 K Syrah. The Walla Walla Valley was now his home.

After a devastating freeze in 2004, Charles brought to life, a label he had once in a dream: House Wine. Low and behold, the label concept had never been created or trademarked, so Charles launched the legendary brand before selling it to Precept Brands in 2006. That same year, Charles started a second brand, Charles Smith Wines. The brand was themed as “The Modernist Project,” which focuses on the way people generally consume wine today: immediately. The intent was (and still is) to create wines to be enjoyed now, but with true typicality of both the varietal and the vineyard.

A self-taught winemaker, Charles is a true artisan and a pioneer in the wine world. In 2008, K Vintners 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 their annual buying guide. In 2009 Food & Wine magazine awarded Charles “Winemaker of the Year” and in 2010 Seattle Magazine recognized Charles as their “Winemaker of the Year.”

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