It's February 4, 2020. The SF 49ers lost the Superbowl. We moved full-time to the Anderson Valley that took most of January to accomplish. Hospitality Director Will Kinney is off to his next chapter in his career (we are cheering him on!). Lord Sandwich is super bored bc we've not had anytime for walks. 100% Tariffs on our German wine imports linger, but Smith Story Wine Cellars is rocking into this new year! Check this out...
On January 7, 2020 WE JUMPED FOR JOY!
Esther Mobley, Wine Editor of The San Francisco Chronicle named Smith Story Wine Cellars among "The 52 California wineries you need to visit in 2020".
The origins of Smith Story Wine Cellars are in San Francisco, where Eric Story and Ali Smith Story met while working at K&L Wine Merchants. They married and launched their own wine brand, setting down roots in both Sonoma County (where they make their wine) and Anderson Valley, where they source much of their fruit.
The couple operate a tasting room in both counties, and the Anderson Valley location — inside the Madrones complex in Philo — is particularly fun. Come here for tastes of the diverse Smith Story wine portfolio, including several excellent Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs from sites like Helluva Vineyard and Nash Mill Vineyard. Eric Story also makes wine in Germany, and you can taste his Rheingau rosé and Riesling here. As a bonus, Ali Smith Story loves antique shopping and sells many of her eclectic finds in the tasting room.
We knew something was up a few weeks earlier when photographer Erik Castro sent us a message that he was coming by to shoot a few images in our Anderson Valley tasting room. We had NO IDEA it was for this epic list. Our hope is that this accolade helps us reach a bigger circle of wine lovers and particularly those who like to travel to wine country.
Since last October's horrific Kincaid Fire and PG&E power-outages, we've had a rough go at it in terms of seeing guests walk through both tasting room doors here in the Anderson Valley and Windsor. We do feel optimistic about the new year already, as many wine country travelers are turning to experiences that are more personable like the ones we grew up on and offer hereat Smith Story.
February 1, 2020 Marked 3 Years for our Anderson Valley Tasting Room
We recall the day so vividly. It was cold, rainy and thrilling!!! The three of us unlocked the door to our tasting room together for the first time a little misty-eyed. For two years prior we only sold Smith Story through our website and wholesale with an occasional private tasting in our home and/or vineyard partners in the Anderson Valley and Sonoma County.
These past three years have been insanely fast. Our small but mighty eclectic tasting room in Philo has become a welcoming and warm place for not only our guests, but for us too. The tasting room has brought such stability to our family winery. Over 4000 visitors have come through our door here, 100% have left with a smile on their face and 99% with bottles of Smith Story Wines in tow. Investing in a place where your heart lies is totally worth it...it's full of heart and spectacular wines. Thank you. See you soon here at 9000 CA 128, Philo, Ca along the lovely #CA128West
Smith Story Snippets
*MADE WITH LOVE ... our Valentine's Day promotion is in full-swing, details are here. $100 for a custom-etched wine decanter + a bottle of 2018 Smith Story Rosé. AND we're delivering door-to-door in Marin County and San Francisco next week. Please place your order by the weekend.
*Cliff our local UPS Driver along with Lord Sandwich obtained the most likes of anyone in Mendocino County on the UPS DOGS Facebook page a few days ago. The comments are hysterical!
*Staying in shape, well we're getting in shape this year. Starting with "Smith Story Wellness Tea Selections" available in our Anderson Valley Tasting room. Guests may select from a handful of organic loose leaf teas from a local tea company we met years ago at the Marin Country Farmers Market. Best part for us... tea is served in German and Italian vintage tea sets and includes a small snack. Ali's been A Balanced Glass tribe member for awhile now, a cup of hot tea while lingering in our tasting room will allow a nice break and a bit of palate recovery while visiting wine country.
*The Storytellers Wine Club is growing! Listen, besides being a wine club full of lovely single vineyard wines and a few to guzzle, members receive discounts on wine, shipping, corkage-fee credits and a few other goodies that membership provides. We're lining up discounts on lodging in our local areas for Winter, Spring and Fall getaways. Your membership allows us to plan ahead in the cellar. Our small single vineyard wines are designed to go only to our membership. If you sip on at least 6 bottles of Smith Story wine over 12 months, it's worth it to join The Storytellers. Our Spring 2020 offering details are coming soon.
*Winter White Wine Festival in the Anderson Valley is Feb. 22-23. Go to www.avwines.com to purchase tickets. We are hosting an open house on Sunday February 23 too. Pairing our white wines with delicious banana-leaf wrapped roasted pineapple tamales! First come first serve. (Insert Ali slapping Eric's hand away from the serving tray here, like two or three times).
*Private tastings at the winery in 2020 are mostly hosted by one of us, however, we have a great hospitality team at the winery to host when we just can't make it. Plan on 45 minutes to and hour for a tasting and tour. The winery is only 45 minutes from the Napa Valley, 1.5 hours from San Francisco and 5 minutes from the Sonoma County Airport. Oh and of course we are 1 minute drive from the new Russian River Brewing Company which pours our Sauvignon Blanc in their pub. LOVE IT! To book an appt. go this page on our website.
*Facetime with Ali & Eric! Yes! Only if you schedule in advance can you stream us in for your dinner parties and tastings. Heck, we're even working with sales reps who call on a handful of accounts each day while they stream us in from the winery, tasting room and/or vineyard. Just ask us! If you are interested in hosting a private tasting and dinner in your home etc., please ask us to join. If we can't physically be there, we'll make the most of beaming us in! Send your requests and questions to tastings at smith story wines dot com
*If you eat and shop in California, Smith Story Wine Cellars is now self-distributing. This means your favorite place can order from the winery directly. We are focused seeing Smith Story wines on 100 solid wine lists in 2020 across California. Email ali at smithstorywines dot com with your local list of favorites restaurants, wine bars, local wine shops and connections you may have. This year we are also saying YES to more private tastings at Country Clubs, homes and private dining rooms throughout California and Lake Tahoe this year. Reach out!
*Let's see, what else? Please continue to ask for Smith Story Wine Cellars in your hometowns. We've worked so hard to establish a great partner in Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic so far.
Ali's off to Texas for a quick 3-day market visit with our wholesaler (Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits) visiting Austin, San Antonio and DFW then off to Baltimore for a week to work with our Mid-Atlantic wholesaler (Lanterna Wines)... and March 13 she is kicking off Smith Story to 100 sales pros in Boston! Catch Eric and Sandwich here in the tasting room and winery, we have a busy bottling month ahead which is always thrilling to see our babies go into bottle.
Thanks for reading this far down! We love love that you love Smith Story Wine Cellars, you keep us keeping on... just don't forget to tell a few others and help us grow in 2020! Enjoy our new playlist, a collection of fun memorable songs of 2019. (https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/smith-story-wine-cellars-2019-ca-128-west/pl.u-leyllRYuKPg0m)
Peace and Love,
Eric & Ali Story ... and Sandwich too!