Smith & Sheth
New Zealander Steve Smith, Master of Wine and ex Craggy Range winemaker, and American-born Brian Sheth, an investor and wildlife conservationist, met in Hawke's Bay over a glass of Chardonnay, and in 2014 realised a shared dream and founded Smith & Sheth. They are a contemporary négociant business, seeking out and hand selecting the best grapes, from the finest vineyards to make exceptional wines. Smith had forged strong relationships with growers over decades throughout his career, gaining access to wonderful parcels of fruit, and he likens Smith & Sheth to the British wine merchants of times gone by, who would make incredible wine using their connections. They chose the name CRU for this brand because CRU means vineyards of exceptional quality. The French call a sense of place ‘terroir’, but in New Zealand they have their own word for it: Tūrangawaewae (from tūranga which means ‘standing place’ and waewae which means ‘feet’) is one of the most powerful Maori concepts, meaning a place in the world where one feels connected and empowered, and describes the special connection of a people to the land they live, love and work in. Smith & Sheth's philosophy is closely linked to the land. They believe that nature is in charge and that DNA is expressed through their wines. The CRU wine labels depict this ideology. The DNA strands define the different clones of the grapes used in their wines, the core of which are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Syrah. The essence of these grapes are illustrated on the bottles and captured within them, and the S&S entwined logo is their DNA helix representing the foundations of their own story. Smith& Sheth are located in Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of the North Island of new Zealand. They presently source fruit from four vineyard sites in Hawke's Bay and one in Marlborough, to craft a range of wines that are in total harmony with exceptional finesse. Smith and Seth are passionate about what they do and say it is their privilege to “share the pleasure, culture and craft of wine with you”.