Director of Wine and Viticulture, Steve is a founding director of Craggy Range. He has had a distinguished academic, research and commercial career in the wine business since 1980 and is the only specialist viticulturist in the world to hold a Master of Wine – something he achieved first time.
Steve is a big man, both in stature and personality. ‘Towering and gregarious Smith, a polar bear of a man’ is how New York novelist and wine writer for the Wall Street Journal, Jay McInerney describes him.
'I was conceived in the middle of the great Bordeaux vintage of 1961,' is how Steve prefers to introduce himself.
'When you're born in 62, you look for any reason to link something to do with your creation to a better vintage!'
Steve’s presentations on the international wine circuit are illuminating and enormously popular. Time spent in his company is both inspiring and entertaining. His are the sort of engagingly earthy events where you might learn the kiwi interpretation of the word ‘bugger’ or rethink your attitude to humble fencing wire.
‘There are a few names people have called me, but I would describe myself as a vigneron,’ he says. ‘Somebody who has a piece of land and farms a piece of land and makes wine. My greatest personal ambition is to make truly great wines from vines that I’ve planted.’
Steve lives with his wife and two daughters surrounded by the Giants Vineyard in Hawkes Bay.
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