Charles Smith is a winemaker and founder of a number of Washington-based brands. He planted his first vines in the Walla Walla Valley AVA in 1999 and released the subsequent 330 cases of Syrah in 2001 under the label K Vintners, before establishing his namesake brand in 2006. Smith makes single-variety wines under the Charles Smith label, which are known for their striking black and white labels and proprietary names such as The Velvet Devil Merlot, Boom Boom! Syrah, and Kung Fu Girl Riesling.
Smith has vineyards all over Columbia Valley including the sub-appellations of Wahluke Slope, Walla Walla Valley, Snipes Mountain, and Yakima Valley. Production across the Charles Smith brands is up to 650,000 cases annually, making it one of the largest producers in Washington, only surpassed by Chateau Ste. Michelle Estates and Precept. The vineyards practice sustainable farming and use recycled water.
While focused on accessibility and affordability, the wines are still critically acclaimed. Charles Smith was named Winemaker of the Year in 2009 by Food and Wine Magazine and in 2010 by Seattle Magazine.
Ancient Lakes sits on the western edge of the Columbia Basin near the town of Quincy. Here the complex soil patterns of basalt and sedimentary bedrock, topped by Quincy loam and windblown loess, support Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Merlot.
This vintage opens with white peach, mandarin orange, and apricot carried with a core of minerality that makes this dry Riesling gleam with energy and freshness.