We are in the business of creating great wines that bring great pleasure. As contemporary negociants Steve Smith MW and Brian Sheth seek out the exceptional. Hand selecting the best grapes from the finest vineyards. Establishing steadfast relationships with the land, growers and makers who form the DNA of our CRU. The French call it "terroir" – a sense of place. In New Zealand we have our own defining word - Tūrangawaewae - our place to stand in the world. This word describes the special connection of a people and the land they live, love and work in. Our wines reflect the magic and alchemy of this relationship and the true beauty of these places. It is our privilege to share the pleasure, culture and craft of wine with you.
Steve Smith MW and Brian Sheth share a love for the same things: fine wine, Aotearoa New Zealand and enjoying life’s pleasures. They met in Hawke’s Bay over a glass of Chardonnay and in 2014 realised their vision of founding a wine dream together. That dream was to craft impeccable wines from vineyards of exceptional quality and to create experiences where they could share these wines with like-minded people.
Steve Smith MW has a formidable reputation in the wine industry: renowned for establishing Craggy Range in Hawke’s Bay and Martinborough, he is also one of few qualified Master of Wines to be based in New Zealand. Brian Sheth, from Austin Texas, is an investor and wildlife conservationist, with a strong affiliation and love for New Zealand.
Our DNA is expressed through our wine and woven into our visual language. Central to our label designs are the DNA strands that define the different grape clones used in our wines. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah: the essence of these varietals is illustrated on our bottles and captured within them. Our logo, S&S entwined, is our DNA helix representing the foundations of our story: Smith and Sheth seeking the exceptional.
There is a Māori word with powerful meaning, tūrangawaewae, which literally translates as a place to stand; tūranga (place) and waewae (feet). However, it’s meaning is much deeper. It refers to that place to which you belong. Where you are grounded by the earth on which you stand. A place where you hold the confidence to speak and act on behalf of the land.
For us, that place is Heretaunga, which refers to an area of rich alluvial plains in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand and the surrounding catchment area from mountain top to sea. Plains laced by many braided rivers that feed our fertile soils and created the underlay of shingle beds on which some of the best wines in the world are borne.
The name Heretaunga refers to a resting place, referring to the many resting places on the rivers where traditional canoes were once hitched. The word ‘here’ meaning to bind or lash. Heretaunga ararau, a place of a hundred paths. Heretaunga haukunui, a place of heavy dew. A place of abundance. A place we consider our place to stand, whilst acknowledging the primacy of the indigenous people who gifted it the name, Heretaunga.
Exceptional VineyardsVintage Reports
Hawke’s BayChardonnay / Cabernet Franc / Albariño
Located on the southern borders of the warm Bridge Pa appellation, this vineyard features stony red tinged soils infused with calcium brought down from limestone hills by a spring fed stream. The low cropping mature vines have their roots deeply embedded in these soils, which are high in pH. Wines from this vineyard show an impeccable stamp of this place.Next Vineyard
One of the cooler Hawke’s Bay locations due to its inland location and elevation of more than 130 metres above sea level, compared to 25 to 35 metres in Bridge Pa. The soils are similar to the stony red tinged soils of Bridge Pa, ensuring the mature Chardonnay vines do not grow too vigorously. Chardonnay from here has distinctive pink grapefruit character with precise acidity and delicious richness.Next Vineyard
Hawke’s BayChardonnay / Syrah / Cabernet Sauvignon / Tempranillo / Cabernet Franc
Our parcels of fruit from the Omahu appellation are all located in the famous Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district. The incredibly stony soils of the ancient bed of the Ngaruroro River and this warm location create perfect conditions for ripe, full-bodied and gravelly-textured red grapes, and soft flavoured, stony textured Chardonnay.Next Vineyard
The Wairau appellation is where the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc story started back in the 1980s. The original plantings were made in the stony river terrace soils around Renwick township and in the cooler southern valleys. We source from mature, low cropping Sauvignon Blanc vineyards on these gravelly soils, along with vines in the cooler clay soils of the southern valley hillsides.Next Vineyard
Hawke's BayChardonnay / Cabernet Franc / Albariño
The Heretaunga appellation encompasses the plains and river terraces of the Hawke’s Bay region. We source from private growers and our own estates in Bridge Pa, Omahu and Mangatahi: all sub-regions of the Heretaunga appellation. These vineyards, all on gravelly soils, have a long history of producing exceptional wines that truly represent the potential of Hawke’s Bay Syrah and Chardonnay.