Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rock Star, Wine Star: Charles Smith

This morning it was announced that the editors of the Wine Enthusiast Magazine released their yearly nominations for "Wine Star Awards."  Walla Walla's Charles Smith, owner and winemaker of K Vintners and Charles Smith Wines, was honored as the only Washington State winemaker nominated for "Winemaker of the Year."  

The accolades of "Winemaker of the Year" is nothing new for Charles. In 2009, he received the same title from Food & Wine Magazine and Seattle Magazine for 2010. Charles is joined with other talented winemakers of the world for this category: Jorge Riccitelli (Bodgea Norton), Marcos Eguren (Sierra Cantabria and San Vicente), Philippe Melka (Melka Wines, and Dana Estates) and Vanya Cullen (Cullen Wines). The 2012 winners will be announced in New York on January 28, 2013.

Charles was quoted, “I’m thrilled to death with this nomination,” Smith explains, “It is not only a great honor as a winemaker, but also a symbol of the quality of wines that are coming out of Washington State.” 

Charles released his first vintage, 1999 K Syrah, in the Walla Walla Valley in 2001. In 2004, he started his second brand, Charles Smith Wines. The recognizable edgy and modern black and white labels, with hand drawn letters and graphics, have become iconic around the state and beyond. 

Certainly a man of vision in marketing, Charles has extended his wine projects with "Charles & Charles," a wine label collaborated with another wine innovator and hipster, Charles Biehler. Also, "Secco Italian Bubbles" and most recently Charles announced a new collaboration of an all chardonnay winery in Walla Walla with Washington winemaker, Brennan Leighton, former winemaker for Efeste. Congratulations Charles and many thanks for helping us to keep Walla Walla on the wine map! 

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