The perfect wine "Story" for Valentine's Day, Smith Story Wine Cellars is the tale of true love. In May of 2013, now husband/wife team, Eric Story and Alison Smith-Story eloped on the Big Island of Hawaii to say 'I Do,' shortly thereafter conceiving Smith Story Wine Cellars on the very same trip. Bay Area born Eric and Fort Worth, Texas native Alison met while both working for K&L Wine Merchants in Northern California over a decade ago. Eric's reputation as one of the nations top German, Loire, Alsace, Austrian and Greek wine buyers and Ali's wine buying, marketing and national sales expertise - not to mention her 'TexiCali Ali' company (and special brand of hospitality!) - fused to make them one of the wine industry's coolest power couples. Their relationship was rooted in wine and a friendship that caught on fire, and deepened with time while discovering wines abroad and with visits to the Anderson Valley.

Pursuing their dream to make their own wine (but on a wine-industry budget), the newlyweds launched “Farmers First” on Kickstarter and Smith Story Wine Cellars became the very first US winery to be successfully crowd-funded. 2017 was the fourth harvest for Smith Story, and they are about to celebrate their 5 year anniversary (both the winery and the couple) in May!

Together they share (in Ali’s words) an “authentic sense of purpose,” and today they bring a combined 30+ years of wine industry experience to manage Smith Story Wine Cellars.

Since 2011, the Storys live in the Russian River Valley AVA along with their Instagram star Goldendoodle Lord Sandwich (while also running a non-profit Socks For Sandwich). Smith Story has two tasting rooms: In Philo, Anderson Valley on Highway 128 & in Windsor, in the Russian River Valley, at Grand Cru Custom Crush.

The wines begin with the land, places that are special to Eric and Ali throughout California, from twelve family owned vineyards throughout Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Knights Valley, Pinot Mountain, Anderson Valley and the Rheingau Region of Germany. As the vineyard program grows, so will their true story. Their belief is to respect what the land offers, while shepherding in the cellar and ultimately delivering beautiful expressions of each varietal to supporters of Smith Story Wine Cellars.

Today's tasting will cover the following wines: 

- 2016 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $25)
- 2015 Thorn Ridge Pinot Noir  (SRP $80)
- 2015 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Franc (SRP $40)
- 2015 Pickberry Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $60)

Smith Story Wines are made with respect for the land, kindness for the grower and, love from the winemaker. Each vineyard they work with is owned by families, they want to ensure their present and future success as grape growers. The wines show restraint, balance and the integrity of the grape. Eric and Ali's winemaking philosophy is to utilize classic, old world techniques and let the grapes and sense of place where they are grown both speak for themselves. Follow their journey on Instagram @smithstorywines.

2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)

2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)

$SRP: 25

Inspired by the Sauvignon Blancs of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé but grown and vinified with a proud California in mind... We often find ourselves referring to this as one as our "star child". Composed of roughly 60% Knight's Valley and 40% Sonoma Mountain fruit. Bright fresh aromatic of white fruits and citrus with subtle hints of chalky mineral which fold into a wonderfully juicy structure which lingers and leaves you wanting another sip. 

Vineyard Location: Knights Valley and Sonoma Mountain in Sonoma County

Harvest Dates: Sunrise in Knights Valley on September 7, 2016 and Sonoma Mountain on September 10, 2016

Aging: fermented and aged for 6 months in stainless steel tanks

Details: 13.9% alcohol

Production: 775 cases

2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)

2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)

2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)

This 2015 Thorn Ridge marks the second Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir for Smith Story. 

Thorn Ridge Vineyard is farmed by The Klopp Family and it is a true honor for us to make wine from their legendary vineyard.

Fruit was hand harvested and 100% de-stemmed. The wine aromatics are alluring and exotic. Dried rose petals, black cherry and a hint of plum co-mingle with a gorgeous floral note. This is one to sip slowly. 2015 was overall a superb vintage and growing season, making the Thorn Ridge a long-range cellaring a great option for the next 7-10 years.

 

Vineyard location: Sebastopol Hills (sub-section of the proposed West Sonoma Coast Appellation)

Soils: Goldridge Sandy Loam

Clones: Pommard & 777

Harvest Dates: 8.27.14 and 9.1.14 at an average brix of 23.5

Aging: 16 months in French Oak (25% new)

Details: TA 6.5 g/L, pH 3.40 and 13.5% alcohol Production: 100 cases

2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)

 

Smith Story’s first Cabernet Franc release! Inspired by a deep love of this grape, especially in regions such as Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur of the Loire Valley.

Farmed for us in the Sonoma Valley AVA, on 4 acres planted in 2005, on a beautiful, secluded hillside. Rhyolitic ash and alluvial wash soil, the vines must struggle to reach root depth, producing deeply colored, extracted but balanced wines.

Hand-harvested in the cool morning hours. The fruit was destemmed and delivered to a stainless steel tank for a long cool fermentation. A delicate red wine full of elegance and finesse. The wine exudes traditional spicy aromatic characteristics of Cabernet Franc that is full of complex fruit flavors with soft tannins and freshness, which begin with the aromas and then linger on the finish. 

Vineyard location: Sonoma Valley

Harvest Date: September 29, 2015

Aging: 20 months in aged Bordeaux barrels

Details: TA 5.9; pH 3.42; 14.5% alcohol

Production: 200 cases

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain

 

Our inaugural single vineyard 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is from the legendary Pickberry Vineyard in the Sonoma Mountain AVA. Blackcurrant and cassis on the nose, with spicy cherry, as well as notes of bramble, Chinese five-spice, and hint of leather. There is an elegant mineral quality on the nose as well and lingering finish.

The 2015 drought played a role. The high temperatures in August and early September accelerated maturity and picking times resulting in lively acidity, moderate to low alcohol and intense aromatics for our Cabernet Sauvignon...a vintage of exceptional quality.

The Pickberry Cabernet Sauvignon grapes had enormous intensity, complexity and concentration. The Pickberry Vineyard was planted in 1982 on the north side of Sonoma Mountain at about 700 feet of elevation with a Northeastern exposure. 

Vineyard location: Sonoma Mountain Soils: Gravelly loam, volcanic
Harvest Date: September 29, 2015

Aging: 20 months in aged Bordeaux barrels

Details: 14.2% alcohol

Production: 300 cases 

 

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain

Eric & Ali

Eric & Ali
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

Eric & Ali

Eric and Ali are curious wine lovers and industry veterans who ultimately decided it was their turn to start their own winery after helping so many others find their creative path to success. The key to Smith Story’s success is that they learned from watching and doing. Together they share (in Ali’s words) an “authentic sense of purpose.”

Ali & Eric met at K&L in 2003. Their relationship was “rooted in friendship that caught on fire,” and deepened with time. Ali had previously worked in sports marketing (Dallas Starts, Rangers, CBS radio), before perfecting her special brand of hospitality which she dubs "southern heart with California flavor." Eric only got into wine initially as a temp gig so he could save up enough to travel Europe. He eventually became one of the nations top German, Loire, Alsace, Austrian and Greek wine buyers. They eloped in 2013 in Hawaii. 

What Ali & Eric drink is what makes them stay on their game. Their palates are well traveled and attuned to both the sublime and the delicious, at every price (their envy-inducing wall of inspiration at their tasting room in Philo celebrates 100s of years of winemaking expertise, which they strive to emulate with each wine they make). Travel abroad informs winemaking style and personality and #TheOtherThingsWeDrink is a regular hashtag they use. 

Smith Story embodies 'wines with heart.' Whether it's through their love for each other, their close relationships with their growers, their Socks for Sandwich philanthropy, or their special care for their consumer fans (handwritten notes from Ali and/or Eric are included in every package...1000 shipments per year, not including 400+ holiday cards. Oh and all bottles are hand wrapped. By them.). Smith Story is a true new classic in the making.

Eric & Ali

2016 Sauvignon Blanc
2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)
2015 Thorn Ridge Pinot Noir
2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)
2015 Cabernet Franc Sonoma Val
2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma
2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain
Eric Story and Ali Smith Story
Eric & Ali

2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)

2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)

$SRP: 25

Inspired by the Sauvignon Blancs of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé but grown and vinified with a proud California in mind... We often find ourselves referring to this as one as our "star child". Composed of roughly 60% Knight's Valley and 40% Sonoma Mountain fruit. Bright fresh aromatic of white fruits and citrus with subtle hints of chalky mineral which fold into a wonderfully juicy structure which lingers and leaves you wanting another sip. 

Vineyard Location: Knights Valley and Sonoma Mountain in Sonoma County

Harvest Dates: Sunrise in Knights Valley on September 7, 2016 and Sonoma Mountain on September 10, 2016

Aging: fermented and aged for 6 months in stainless steel tanks

Details: 13.9% alcohol

Production: 775 cases

2016 Smith Story Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County)

2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)

2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)

This 2015 Thorn Ridge marks the second Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir for Smith Story. 

Thorn Ridge Vineyard is farmed by The Klopp Family and it is a true honor for us to make wine from their legendary vineyard.

Fruit was hand harvested and 100% de-stemmed. The wine aromatics are alluring and exotic. Dried rose petals, black cherry and a hint of plum co-mingle with a gorgeous floral note. This is one to sip slowly. 2015 was overall a superb vintage and growing season, making the Thorn Ridge a long-range cellaring a great option for the next 7-10 years.

 

Vineyard location: Sebastopol Hills (sub-section of the proposed West Sonoma Coast Appellation)

Soils: Goldridge Sandy Loam

Clones: Pommard & 777

Harvest Dates: 8.27.14 and 9.1.14 at an average brix of 23.5

Aging: 16 months in French Oak (25% new)

Details: TA 6.5 g/L, pH 3.40 and 13.5% alcohol Production: 100 cases

2015 Smith Story Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Vineyard (Sonoma Coast)

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)

 

Smith Story’s first Cabernet Franc release! Inspired by a deep love of this grape, especially in regions such as Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur of the Loire Valley.

Farmed for us in the Sonoma Valley AVA, on 4 acres planted in 2005, on a beautiful, secluded hillside. Rhyolitic ash and alluvial wash soil, the vines must struggle to reach root depth, producing deeply colored, extracted but balanced wines.

Hand-harvested in the cool morning hours. The fruit was destemmed and delivered to a stainless steel tank for a long cool fermentation. A delicate red wine full of elegance and finesse. The wine exudes traditional spicy aromatic characteristics of Cabernet Franc that is full of complex fruit flavors with soft tannins and freshness, which begin with the aromas and then linger on the finish. 

Vineyard location: Sonoma Valley

Harvest Date: September 29, 2015

Aging: 20 months in aged Bordeaux barrels

Details: TA 5.9; pH 3.42; 14.5% alcohol

Production: 200 cases

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Franc (Sonoma Valley)

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain

 

Our inaugural single vineyard 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is from the legendary Pickberry Vineyard in the Sonoma Mountain AVA. Blackcurrant and cassis on the nose, with spicy cherry, as well as notes of bramble, Chinese five-spice, and hint of leather. There is an elegant mineral quality on the nose as well and lingering finish.

The 2015 drought played a role. The high temperatures in August and early September accelerated maturity and picking times resulting in lively acidity, moderate to low alcohol and intense aromatics for our Cabernet Sauvignon...a vintage of exceptional quality.

The Pickberry Cabernet Sauvignon grapes had enormous intensity, complexity and concentration. The Pickberry Vineyard was planted in 1982 on the north side of Sonoma Mountain at about 700 feet of elevation with a Northeastern exposure. 

Vineyard location: Sonoma Mountain Soils: Gravelly loam, volcanic
Harvest Date: September 29, 2015

Aging: 20 months in aged Bordeaux barrels

Details: 14.2% alcohol

Production: 300 cases 

 

2015 Smith Story Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Mountain

Eric & Ali

Eric & Ali
[+] VIEW LARGER IMAGE

Eric & Ali

Eric and Ali are curious wine lovers and industry veterans who ultimately decided it was their turn to start their own winery after helping so many others find their creative path to success. The key to Smith Story’s success is that they learned from watching and doing. Together they share (in Ali’s words) an “authentic sense of purpose.”

Ali & Eric met at K&L in 2003. Their relationship was “rooted in friendship that caught on fire,” and deepened with time. Ali had previously worked in sports marketing (Dallas Starts, Rangers, CBS radio), before perfecting her special brand of hospitality which she dubs "southern heart with California flavor." Eric only got into wine initially as a temp gig so he could save up enough to travel Europe. He eventually became one of the nations top German, Loire, Alsace, Austrian and Greek wine buyers. They eloped in 2013 in Hawaii. 

What Ali & Eric drink is what makes them stay on their game. Their palates are well traveled and attuned to both the sublime and the delicious, at every price (their envy-inducing wall of inspiration at their tasting room in Philo celebrates 100s of years of winemaking expertise, which they strive to emulate with each wine they make). Travel abroad informs winemaking style and personality and #TheOtherThingsWeDrink is a regular hashtag they use. 

Smith Story embodies 'wines with heart.' Whether it's through their love for each other, their close relationships with their growers, their Socks for Sandwich philanthropy, or their special care for their consumer fans (handwritten notes from Ali and/or Eric are included in every package...1000 shipments per year, not including 400+ holiday cards. Oh and all bottles are hand wrapped. By them.). Smith Story is a true new classic in the making.

Eric & Ali

Smith Story Wines

Charles Communications Associates is pleased to welcome you to our first Brandlive of 2018, marking our sixth year with the platform.  Today we are proud to feature our new client and old friends, Smith Story Wine Cellars, and the winery's latest releases from Sonoma County. 

Proprietors Alison (Ali) Smith-Story and Eric Story will guide us through the following wines: 2016 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $25), 2015 Thorn Ridge Pinot Noir  (SRP $80), 2015 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Franc (SRP $40), and 2015 Pickberry Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $60).  

To learn more about Smith Story Wine Cellars, please visit smithstorywinecellars.com and follow Smith Story on Twitter at @smithstorywines. We also welcome you to use the hashtag #SmithStoryLive during the tasting (and @CharlesComm space permitting!).

Enjoy!
Kimberly & Alex

The perfect wine "Story" for Valentine's Day, Smith Story Wine Cellars is the tale of true love. In May of 2013, now husband/wife team, Eric Story and Alison Smith-Story eloped on the Big Island of Hawaii to say 'I Do,' shortly thereafter conceiving Smith Story Wine Cellars on the very same trip. Bay Area born Eric and Fort Worth, Texas native Alison met while both working for K&L Wine Merchants in Northern California over a decade ago. Eric's reputation as one of the nations top German, Loire, Alsace, Austrian and Greek wine buyers and Ali's wine buying, marketing and national sales expertise - not to mention her 'TexiCali Ali' company (and special brand of hospitality!) - fused to make them one of the wine industry's coolest power couples. Their relationship was rooted in wine and a friendship that caught on fire, and deepened with time while discovering wines abroad and with visits to the Anderson Valley.

Pursuing their dream to make their own wine (but on a wine-industry budget), the newlyweds launched “Farmers First” on Kickstarter and Smith Story Wine Cellars became the very first US winery to be successfully crowd-funded. 2017 was the fourth harvest for Smith Story, and they are about to celebrate their 5 year anniversary (both the winery and the couple) in May!

Together they share (in Ali’s words) an “authentic sense of purpose,” and today they bring a combined 30+ years of wine industry experience to manage Smith Story Wine Cellars.

Since 2011, the Storys live in the Russian River Valley AVA along with their Instagram star Goldendoodle Lord Sandwich (while also running a non-profit Socks For Sandwich). Smith Story has two tasting rooms: In Philo, Anderson Valley on Highway 128 & in Windsor, in the Russian River Valley, at Grand Cru Custom Crush.

The wines begin with the land, places that are special to Eric and Ali throughout California, from twelve family owned vineyards throughout Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Knights Valley, Pinot Mountain, Anderson Valley and the Rheingau Region of Germany. As the vineyard program grows, so will their true story. Their belief is to respect what the land offers, while shepherding in the cellar and ultimately delivering beautiful expressions of each varietal to supporters of Smith Story Wine Cellars.

Today's tasting will cover the following wines: 

- 2016 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $25)
- 2015 Thorn Ridge Pinot Noir  (SRP $80)
- 2015 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Franc (SRP $40)
- 2015 Pickberry Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $60)

Smith Story Wines are made with respect for the land, kindness for the grower and, love from the winemaker. Each vineyard they work with is owned by families, they want to ensure their present and future success as grape growers. The wines show restraint, balance and the integrity of the grape. Eric and Ali's winemaking philosophy is to utilize classic, old world techniques and let the grapes and sense of place where they are grown both speak for themselves. Follow their journey on Instagram @smithstorywines.


Your message has been submitted.
Share: 
Share: 
  • All Messages
    • Questions
    • Comments
    • My Questions
    • Most Popular
    • Support

Support from Brandlive:

It sounds like you are experiencing issues hearing this Brandlive event. Please take the following steps to troubleshoot:
  1. Ensure your volume on your computer is turned up and speakers connected.
  2. On the video player, in the lower left corner you will see a volume slider to adjust volume. Make sure this is turned up to 100%. 
  3. Try plugging in headphones to your computer. 
  4. Access your system preferences to make sure your audio output is selected to speakers or headphones. 
If you are still experienceing issues, contact support@yourbrandlive.com
It sounds like you are experiencing issues watching this Brandlive event. Please take the following steps to troubleshoot:
  1. Click play on the blue circle with a play icon in the middle of the video. 
  2. Refresh your browser or try another browser on your computer. 
  3. Make sure you have flash on your computer, or video enabled on your tablet. 
  4. Check with your IT department to make sure you do not have a firewall blocking live video. 
  5. Try accessing from another computer, tablet or phone. 
If you are still experienceing issues, visit our resources section or contact support@yourbrandlive.com