Brothers Stuart and Charles Smith are the vineyard managers and winemakers of Smith-Madrone Winery. The name for the winery came as a tribute to the Smith brothers who pursued their dream and to the Madrone trees which distinguish the property.
In May 1971, with a partnership of family and friends, Stuart Smith bought the ‘terroir’ which today is Smith-Madrone Vineyards & winery. He was 22 years old and had just received his B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley and was taking classes towards his Master’s in Viticulture at UC Davis. In trying to find land to plant vineyard in the Napa Valley, through a family friend he explored a forest on the remotest and highest part of Spring Mountain and discovered that the land had been a vineyard in the 1880s and in fact had been part of the wagon trail route between Napa and Santa Rosa. Today he is respected for his expertise and leadership as a mountain vineyardist.
Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery is one of the few entirely estate-vineyard mountain wineries in the Napa Valley. Smith-Madrone’s grapes are grown at the top of Spring Mountain (1,200 - 1,900-foot elevation with slopes up to 35%), west of St. Helena in the Napa Valley.
Smith-Madrone, the winery has been featured in four new books published this spring:
• The Riesling Story: Best White Wine on Earth, by Berlin-based author Stuart Pigott (204 pages, published by Stewart Tabori & Chang.
• The Winemaker’s Hand: Conversations on Talent, Technique and Terroir, by New York City-based Natalie Berkowitz (314 pages, published by Columbia University Press).
• Back Lane Wineries of Napa Valley, a second edition released by Tilar Mazzeo, who lives on the East Coast and in California (256 pages, Ten Speed Press).
• Wines of California, by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jensen, who are both based in New York (592 pages, published by Sterling Epicure).