Winegrowers

Brothers Stuart and Charles Smith are the vineyard managers and winemakers of Smith-Madrone Winery. They are direct descendants of the Fetherolf family, German farmers from the Palatinate region, who came to America on the Thistle of Glasgow in 1730. The winery's name came as an acknowledgement of the Smith brothers who pursued their dream and the Madrone trees which distinguish the property.

Stuart Smith, General Partner & Enologist Charles Smith, Winemaker

Stuart Smith
General Partner & Enologist

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, he explored a forest on the most remote and highest part of Spring Mountain and discovered that the land had been a vineyard in the 1880s.

Stuart was born and raised in Santa Monica. While pursuing his master's at UC Davis, Stuart was the first teaching assistant for wine industry pioneers Maynard Amerine and Vernon Singleton in 1970-1971. He taught enology at Santa Rosa Junior College and Napa Valley College; he has chaired the 1986 and 2006 Napa Valley Wine Auctions. Today he is respected for his expertise and leadership as a mountain vineyardist. He served on Napa County's Watershed Task Force and on Napa County's General Plan Steering Committee. Stu also serves as auctioneer for an Omaha (NB) charity auction every year.

An avid outdoorsman, Stuart is active with St. Helena's (Boy Scout) Troop One. He has five children and one grand-child.

Charles Smith
Winemaker

Charles F. Smith is the winemaker and general factotum for Smith-Madrone Vineyards & Winery.

After graduating from Santa Monica High School, Charles went to school at the University of California, Berkeley, then San Francisco State University and in 1971 was awarded a K-12 teaching credential. After teaching for a while he joined his brother at the vineyard in 1973. In his "wild oats" days he worked as a probation officer, a furniture mover and a taxi cab driver in San Francisco.

Charles is a top level croquet player, representing the United States a number of times in international competitions. Until recently, he held the distinction of being a co-participant in the longest single game in the history of the World Croquet Federation. The game was played against the Japanese champion in England, in the 1992 World Championships, and lasted 7 hours and 35 minutes. Thankfully, he won.

He has one son and one stepson and two granddaughters. He has lived in St. Helena for more than 35 years.