New Leadership at Roudon-Smith Energizes Winery's Commitment to Quality

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Continuing a proud tradition of crafting affordable, balanced and food-friendly wines that began in 1972, Roudon-Smith Winery has announced a recent change in ownership that promises to generate a renewed focus for the venerable winery in the months ahead. With the upcoming release of long-standing favorites, the introduction of a new variation of its classic red wine blend, an exciting lineup of new and distinct wines made from Central Coast grapes and a new tasting room in the works for a targeted June 2011 opening, owner Al Drewke is energized about what’s ahead for the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation winery.

Roudon-Smith Winery, as much a fixture of the Santa Cruz Mountains as the wine appellation itself, and one of the founding members of the AVA, has announced a change in ownership, and is departing from its original location on Bean Creek Road in Scotts Valley.

Al Drewke, a principal partner at Roudon-Smith since 2006, recently acquired controlling interest in the winery and will run its day-to-day operations. He and talented winemaker Brandon Armitage, onboard at the winery since 2006, will drive the dynamic viticultural course ahead for the winery. Citing the move to a new location, Drewke commented, “We’ll continue our tradition of making great, affordable and food-friendly wine and look forward to announcing the opening of our new tasting room very soon!” Finalization of Roudon-Smith’s new tasting room location is underway, with an opening in June of 2011 targeted to coincide with the active and vibrant summer wine tasting season that occurs around the Monterey Bay area each year.

Although the ownership and location of Roudon-Smith are transforming, the winery – an established and recognized brand with nearly four decades of winemaking heritage — is going strong. Roudon-Smith wines continue to be available at many of the familiar retail locations and restaurants in the area that its customers have grown accustomed to frequenting. New, wider distribution channels are being pursued that will provide followers of Roudon-Smith wines even easier access to the wines they’ve favored over the years, as well as the new wines slated for release this year.

Roudon-Smith will continue to source the best vineyards in California’s Central Coast. Al Drewke emphasizes that, “As in the past, we will occasionally venture outside our area if we find a fruit source that meets our high standards — we even have a new red wine blend — the soon-to-be-released RSW Cuvée.” The RSW Cuvée is a new wine that will take over the prestigious mantle previously held by the winery’s widely known and cherished Claret. Drewke explained the reasons for the shift . . . “We recognize that our Claret, although extremely popular, has often strayed from being a true red Bordeaux-style blend, which is actually what the name ‘Claret’ means to most oenophiles. So, in keeping with our continuing thrust for quality as well as accuracy in the way we describe our wines, we’ve chosen to rename the blend, ‘RSW Cuvée’. Rest assured, the new RSW Cuvée blend will always be a ‘Claret’ in terms of its quality and taste, characteristics that our clientele have come to expect over the years.”

In order to provide a smooth transition, Roudon-Smith will be pouring at the original Scotts Valley location at 2364 Bean Creek Road on Saturday, April 16th for Santa Cruz Mountains Spring Passport, where a selection of Roudon-Smith wines will be available for tasting and purchase from 11am to 5pm. Al Drewke enthusiastically commented, “We invite all of our valued wine club members, old acquaintances and new wine loving friends to join us that spring day when we can answer any questions about Roudon-Smith Winery’s new direction, and of course, savor our quality wines.” More detailed information about the event can be found on the Roudon-Smith website, at

About Roudon-Smith Winery
One of the original wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Appellation, Roudon-Smith Winery has nurtured a distinguished heritage of viticultural excellence and consistency since 1972, complemented by a contemporary passion and dedication to create quality, affordable wine. Encouraging the fruit from each selected vineyard to flourish in the winemaking process without manipulation to retain its true character, Roudon-Smith’s winemaker, Brandon Armitage, subtly employs the use of oak — just enough to enhance the personality of each vineyard’s harvest, ultimately transforming the fruit into fine, well balanced wine. Roudon-Smith’s critically acclaimed wines are a perfect choice for entertaining and complement a broad selection of cuisines.

For information about Roudon-Smith Winery; membership in the Roudon-Smith Wine Club; wine events and locations where Roudon-Smith wines can be tasted and purchased; or to purchase wine directly from the winery, please visit: or call: 831-438-1244.

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Fred Gillaspy
Wine Marketing Works
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