Blacksmith Cellars is a 1,500 case winery that rests upon the vision, dedication and hard work of one man, Matt Smith. Passionate about both the science and art of wine, he approaches his craft in ways that seem simultaneously systematic and inspired. He makes his wines in a warehouse located on the grounds of the former Naval Air Station in Alameda - across the bay from San Francisco. Because he doesn’t own a patch of vineyard, he’ll make wine from whatever comes through his network of growers - or even the spot market. As a result, he’s sourced grapes from Mendocino, Alexander Valley, Oakville, Stags’ Leap, Lodi, and Monterey and has worked with a range of varieties - from the well-known (Cabernet, Chardonnay, Syrah, Grenache) to the underrated  (Barbera, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc) to the obscure (Torrontes, Malvasia Blanca, Verdelho).

Originally from Virginia, Smith was studying Chemistry at Sonoma State University in the early 19990s when he was hit by the winemaking bug. A stint at Beaulieu Vineyards was followed by an enology degree at Fresno State and then being hired as assistant winemaker to Sam Dashe, a fellow “urban winemaker” who became an important mentor. Smith struck out on his own in 2004 with an Alexander Valley Cabernet. With that first wine, Sam established his method of doing all the jobs himself: tending the vines, picking, sorting, crushing, pressing, punching down, blending and bottling. From the start, Blacksmith Cellars has received critical accolades and plenty of fans, but the need to maintain control of his process and vision has restrained any temptation to grow the winery to beyond what Smith can do solo. Happily for us, he has also resisted the temptation to raise prices. From Blacksmith Cellars we can get an artisan product - delicious, well-made wine from top appellations at an affordable price.

Wine Maker

Matt Smith





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Wines from this Winery

BLACKSMITH Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley

To many, Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley conjures up rolling vineyards of gnarled, head-pruned Zinfandel. But it’s not a secret that the region produces standout Cabernet Sauvignon, too. Because the Dry Creek Valley is cooler than the Alexander Valley, but less foggy than the Russian River Valley, the Cabernet wines tend toward a refined and elegant style, with Bordeaux-like structure, body and savory complexity. This blend of 90% Cabernet and 10% Merlot was sourced from a single vineyard planted on the east side of Dry Creek Valley, where rocky hillsides with thin soils contribute to small berry size and great fruit concentration. A lively nose of high-toned blackberry, violets and lavender opens up to generous flavors of red and blue fruits, olives, crème de cassis and cocoa. Try this juicy wine with grilled meats or veggies, pork tenderloin, or aged cheeses. 

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¥4,840 (incl. tax)
BLACKSMITH Cabernet Sauvignon

For centuries, “claret” referred to red Bordeaux wine sold in Britain. For Matt Smith, C.L.R.T. is a Bordeaux-styled Napa Valley wine; that is, a Cabernet blended with a hefty amount of Merlot and a bit of Cab Franc. But for us, Matt Smith’s C.L.R.T. is a pleasure delivery mechanism that delights with layers of deep black cherry, blackberry cassis, dark chocolate and vanilla notes, cinnamon, and spice. And the best part is that this Napa Valley Cabernet won’t cost an arm and a leg. Enjoy now or cellar for a decade or more.

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¥5,500 (incl. tax)
BLACKSMITH Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Oakville Napa Valley

Oakville produces some of Napa Valley’s most illustrious (and expensive!) wines. Blacksmith Cellars’ Oakville Reserve is a wine with a pedigree but a reasonable price. About this wine, the winery says, “We have always sought to obtain absolute perfection in our Cabernet Sauvignon and this Oakville fruit represents the best of what we ferment. The fragrant bouquet offers up voluptuous black cherries and currents woven together with layers of rich French oak extract. The structure is massive and densely packed. The concentrated, full-bodied flavors of crème de cassis, vanilla, and espresso persist through the long power-packed finish. The Oakville Reserve will pair beautifully with a wide variety of rich foods and will age easily for the next 10-15 years.”

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¥7,150 (incl. tax)