Charles Smith Wines

Discover Jet City of Seattle, Washington

Location Description

A converted old auto-repair warehouse, the Charles Smith Wines Downtown Tasting Room welcomes visitors to taste our wines and listen to great music. With the help of Seattle's talented Olson Kundig Architects, the tasting room also has two large crank-operated steel swing windows that open onto sidewalk seating.

Contact

Fax: 509-526-5267

Features

  • Charles Smith, owner and winemaker of K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines, ViNO, Secco Italian Bubbles, SIXTO, Wines of Substance and one-­‐half of Charles & Charles, is based in Walla Walla, Wash., has earned global acclaim including “Winemaker of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast (in 2014), Food & Wine magazine (in 2009) and by Seattle magazine (in 2010). Charles Smith has received a total of 66 scores of 95 points and above, and over 300 scores of 90 points above, from the leading wine publications (Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits). Charles Smith Wines are sold in all fifty states and eighteen countries worldwide.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
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Average Bottle Price

$ 15

Winemaker

Growing up just outside of Sacramento, California, 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 Scandinavia in the late 1980s and 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 typicity of both the varietal and the vineyard. In 2008, Charles collaborated with Charles Bieler (Three Thieves, BIELER Père et Fils, Sombra mezcal) to create the Charles & Charles label, which now produces highly acclaimed Rosé, Chardonnay and Cabernet blend.

In 2009, Charles married Rome-native Ginevra Casa, who had an infatuation for local Prosecco in Northern Italy. In 2010, after the change in laws pertaining to Prosecco production, Ginevra and her sister Olivia jumped on the opportunity to champion both the noble varietals and the growers of Chardonnay and created a new category of sparkling wine called Secco Italian Bubbles. Enter Charles Smith, fellow lover of Prosecco, who decided to enhance the portfolio and add Moscato and Manzoni Moscato to the current Secco lineup of Bianco (100% Chardonnay) and Rose (100% Pinot Noir).

2014 brought the inaugural vintage of SIXTO, the Chardonnay-only winery from Charles, in partnership with winemakers Andrew Latta and Brennon Leighton. Inspired by the story of musician Sixto Rodriguez (featured in the acclaimed documentary “Searching for Sugar Man”), Charles similarly wanted to resurrect something that was always great, but was waiting to be rediscovered – as in the old Chardonnay vines in Washington State. Being the sixth project that Charles has created (sextus translates to “sixth” in Latin), the name SIXTO was a perfect fit.

Also in 2014, Charles announced the acquisition of Walla Walla’s Wines of Substance brand. Wines of Substance originally launched in 2006, utilizing the familiar Periodic Table of Elements as a platform for the single-variety wines (for example, “Me” for Merlot, “Sy” for Syrah) and taking a page from the Charles Smith playbook on creating simple, bold, black and white labels. In addition to the Cabernet Sauvignon (which conveniently employs the “Cs” on the label, linking the initials of Charles Smith to the wine), there will also be smaller production, single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc for a high-end, white wine option under the “Super Substance” label. Both wines will be released in the spring of 2015, in conjunction with a Wines of Substance cellar door location in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood.

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 2014, Wine Enthusiast named Charles “Winemaker of
the Year” in their annual Wine Star Awards; Food & Wine magazine awarded Charles “Winemaker of the Year” in 2009 and in 2010 Seattle Magazine recognized Charles as their “Winemaker of the Year.” Charles has received a total of 65 scores of 95 points and above, and 297 scores of 90 points above, from the leading wine publications (Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits). Recently featured on Bloomberg Television, Heritage Radio Network and Huffington Post, Charles Smith Wines is the largest independent and winemaker-owned winery in Washington State with wines sold in all fifty states and eighteen countries worldwide.

The Team

Charles Smith, Owner/Winemaker
Brennon Leighton, Director of Winemaking & Viticulture

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Phil Lane Vineyard, Walla Walla
Charles Smith Vineyard, Walla Walla

Awards

In 2014, Wine Enthusiast named Charles “Winemaker of
the Year” in their annual Wine Star Awards; Food & Wine magazine awarded Charles “Winemaker of the Year” in 2009 and in 2010 Seattle Magazine recognized Charles as their “Winemaker of the Year.” Charles has received a total of 65 scores of 95 points and above, and 297 scores of 90 points above, from the leading wine publications (Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits).

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Hours

Open everyday at 10am - 6pm.

Address

35 South Spokane Street
Walla Walla, Washington 99362
United States

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