LOCATION & COORDINATES:
4022 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, California 94574
Phone 707/963-2283; Fax 707/963-2291
Open by appointment only
Wines available to purchase online.
FOUNDED: 1971, by Stuart Smith
MANAGEMENT: Stuart Smith, Founder, General Partner
Charles F. Smith III, Winemaker
François Bugué, Associate Winemaker
MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS: The vineyards sit at elevations between 1,300 and 2,000 feet, on steep slopes which range up to 34%.
PLANTING: Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon were initially planted in 1972. Cabernet Franc and Merlot were added in 1998. Petite Verdot was added in 2007. Pinot Noir was planted in 1972 but grafted over to Chardonnay in 1986.
ESTATE : All wines made entirely from the winery's dry-farmed estate vineyards surrounding the winery on top of Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley. Stuart Smith chose specific slopes with different exposures for specific varietals when planting the vineyards: eastern exposure for Riesling, southern and western exposures across flat stretches for the Cabernet Sauvignon and the coolest north-facing slopes for the Chardonnay. There are numerous historical sights on the ranch, as well as the huge array of natural beauty and wildlife.
SOIL: The soils are mostly deep-red Aiken Stoney Clay loam, part of the Aiken, Kidd, Forward complex of soils which are volcanic-based, well-drained and deep for mountain soils. The underlying geology is the Franciscan Assemblage, unique to California coastal ranges, which includes altered mafic volcanic rocks, deep-sea radiolarian cherts, sandstones, limestones, serpentines, shales and high-pressure metamorphic rocks, all of them faulted and mixed in a seemingly chaotic manner as a result of tectonic plate activity. The soils are rocky, with some rocks as large as small cars.
FARMING: Smith-Madrone is a pioneer of dry farming; from 2017 forward, the vineyards have been minimally irrigated, if at all. Stu Smith explains in this video.
All wines are Spring Mountain District appellation, all wines are estate-grown and estate-bottled.
PRODUCTION: Approximately 3,000-4000 cases a year
HOSPITALITY: Tours and tastings by appointment only, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.
THE ESTATE: 200 acre ranch, partly planted as vineyard over a century ago; California black bears and other wildlife once thrived here; enormous 120-year-old Picholine olive trees frame a path and view down to the floor of the Napa Valley and Bothe Napa Valley State Park
THE NAME: A tribute to the Smith brothers and the predominant tree on the ranch. The Madrone is an evergreen with a red-brown trunk and branches. In spring the tree bears lily-of-the-valley-like flower clusters; in fall orange-red berries appear.
HONORS: Stu was named one of the wine industry's most inspirational people in January 2018. [Link to Wine Industry Advisor]; Smith-Madrone was named Winery of The Year in 2014 by The Daily Meal and its earliest accolade was winning “Best Riesling” in a field of international rieslings put on by Gault-Millau in 1979. The winery is profiled in a segment of Behind The Glass on SommTV.