Andy Smith’s driving focus since joining the family-owned winery in 1999 is crafting DuMOL wines as honestly and precisely as possible. A key operating partner in the winery, he is the voice of their portfolio. Andy employs a fully integrated, holistic approach to winegrowing and winemaking which, for him, is a seamless continuum. He leads a winemaking team of four and directs the farming of
DuMOL’s diverse spectrum of vineyards – many of which he’s worked with for over 20 years.
“It takes a while, working with a vineyard, to discover its defining characteristics. Then, it takes even longer to use the right winemaking techniques and sensitivity – a lightness of touch – to highlight those features in the wine. We try not to layer in too many winemaking techniques. We try not to obscure the vineyard character. Ultimately, this allows us to achieve a more complex,
multi-dimensional, effortless quality in the wines.”
Andy’s experience includes work at some of California’s most highly acclaimed wineries, including Gemstone, Littorai, Paul Hobbs and Larkmead. He was named “Wine Personality of the Year” by Wine Advocate in 2005, one of the “World’s Most Influential Wine Consultants” in 2008, and one of the “World’s Grape Gurus” in 2013, both by Food & Wine magazine.
Born and raised in Scotland, Andy was first introduced to wine as a college student working weekends for an Edinburgh wine merchant in the late 1980s. A few years later, honeymooning in Sonoma, he and his wife Karen decided their future lay in vineyards and winemaking. They spent the next five years “following the harvest” between New Zealand, Australia and Northern California. Andy then went on to graduate in viticulture and oenology from Lincoln University in Christchurch, NZ with the ultimate aim of making wine in California.
Andy has called western Sonoma County his home for the past two decades.