The Smoke Tree conversation started in 2013 among a small group of Northern California winemakers and viticulturists. Having worked together in various projects across Napa and Sonoma, we shared an increasingly common belief that somewhere along the growth in popularity of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, affordable options had strayed too far from their varietal beauty.
Many a long lunch brought us together, inspired by a shared vision to create artisanal wines at an affordable price. With long established relationships across the valley, we partnered with specific growers with exceptional fruit; all are sustainably cultivating their vines, and some are organic.
The Smoke Tree team shares a commitment to sustainable agriculture and non-interventionist winemaking techniques. With each vintage, we invest time and patience to craft wines that are true to the beauty of the fruit. 2014 was our first vintage.
Vibrant and balanced, Smoke Tree Chardonnay offers aromas of stony mineral, pear and honeysuckle. The palate is clean and mineral-driven with tones of pear and white nectarine. The finish is long with firm mineral tension.
Smoke Tree Pinot Noir offers aromas of black cherry, Santa Rosa plum and licorice with a hint of oak. The palate echoes with continued flavors of bing cherry, plum and cocoa. The finish is long and fresh with supple tannins and lingering minerality.
Smoke Tree’s new winemaker is a world traveler, environmentalist and third-generation Sonoma winemaker.
She grew up in California’s Bay Area just east of Berkeley. Childhood memories are full of the outdoors: summer swimming, winter skiing, camping in fall. Her love of nature and family history led her to UC Davis, where she earned a viticulture and enology degree in 2003.
Post-graduation, she made wine in New Zealand and South Africa before returning to Northern California. After two years at then privately-owned Clos Pegase, Anne moved to Sonoma’s Gundlach Bundschu. Her decade-long experience there helped her fully understand the concept of terroir, conveying the nuances of varying climates and grape varieties. Constantly striving for professional growth, Anne finished Sonoma State’s Executive MBA program in 2017. She joined the Smoke Tree team in the spring of 2018.
With Smoke Tree, Anne brings a mindful, long-term perspective to vineyard care. In her words, “vines are temporary but the land is forever.” In the cellar, fermentations are responsibly native. Oak is present to help the fruit and vineyard expression shine, not overshadow them. The wines are lower in alcohol with no residual sugar.
When Anne is not busy creating the newest vintage of Smoke Tree, she is planning her next global travel adventure or cooking with family and friends.
With their whimsical pink-purple blooms, smoke trees are visually charming. Plant enthusiasts appreciate their drought-resistant character, requiring minimal maintenance to thrive.
And so it is with Smoke Tree wines. Non-interventionist winemaking techniques allow the inherent beauty of our fruit to shine.