Dual honours for Smith & Sheth at Hawke's Bay Wine Awards
Hawke’s Bay wine producer Smith & Sheth received dual honours at last night’s Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards with co-founder and Master of Wine Steve Smith recognised in the Hall of Fame and the Smith & Sheth Oenothèque taking out the top gong for Cellar Door of the Year.
The Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Hall of Fame Award was created in 2018 to acknowledge leadership in both the local wine sector and the community and follows Smith’s induction last year as a New Zealand Winegrowers Fellow for services to New Zealand Wine, the Wine Institute of New Zealand and other initiatives.
In announcing the award, Chair of Hawke’s Bay Wine Sally Duncan recognised Smith’s many years of leadership and championing of the local wine industry – a career that saw him become the first viticulturist in the world to achieve the Master of Wine qualification, co-found and steer Craggy Range for 16 years, be named twice in the list of 50 most influential people in the world of wine and in 2017, launch wine brand Smith & Sheth with friend and American entrepreneur Brian Sheth.
The brand’s guest experience, the Smith & Sheth Oenothèque officially opened in early 2019, with just over a year of trading before the world shut down. It is a stylish snug of modern interior design with a cosy outdoor courtyard perfect for soaking up Hawke’s Bay’s long summer evenings. Smith says the Cellar Door of the Year Award is testament to the incredible work of the team in some challenging times where their attention to detail, warm hospitality and exceptional wine knowledge has never faltered. “Tucked away behind Porter’s in Havelock North means we’re one of the few cellar doors in the region without a vineyard vista, but that is part of the magic,” Smith explains. “Our team creates a unique and personal experience for each of our guests whether a seated tasting flight, an extended sensory experience in our studio and barrel hall or friendly banter and an exceptional global wine list for those simply stopping in for a glass of something special. Everyone walks in feeling welcome, and leaves feeling part of our whānau.”