"Clark is a winemaker's winemaker. As a consultant, he knows the industry from all sides and brings curiosity, intelligence and skill to the cuvée. A great source of information. I particularly appreciate his ability to remain focused on the task at hand.
"Clark has been a guiding influence in the wine production side of the business, which, as growers, we could never navigate on our own. Under his guidance and tutelage we have developed great wines from our own vineyards, a website, a marketing strategy, and most of all, a feeling of certain security, that we are doing the the right thing even in difficult times." -Jake Stephens, Proprietor, Diamond Ridge Vineyards
"Smith teaches at Napa Valley College, UC Davis extension, and CSU Fresno, where he has a reputation for making complex concepts accessible." -David Darlington, Wine and Spirits Magazine
"Over my many years as a wine industry professional I have worked with innumerable master winemakers, but Clark Smith truly stands above them all. He possesses the most comprehensive understanding of the complexities of wine of anyone I've ever known in the business, and his ability to communicate his knowledge to his clients and his students is unparalleled. The proof is in the bottle, and the wines speak for themselves."
-Dr. Stephen Krebs, Napa Valley College
My name is Clark Smith and my business card says “Winemaking Sidekick.” I’ve been in the wine business since 1972 when I dropped out of MIT and got a job in an Oakland, CA wine shop. I completed the BS and MS programs at UC Davis, built R.H. Phillips in the ‘80’s, and founded Vinovation in 1992, providing high tech services and consulting for over a thousand wineries, originally centered around the reverse osmosis VA and alcohol adjustment techniques I invented.
In 1984 I began teaching a short course at UCD called Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry, which continued for 24 years and was one of their most popular courses, attended by everyone from home winemakers to seasoned professionals. In the early ‘90’s, I began to see cracks in the theories I’d been taught at school, and began to focus on French winemaking aesthetics and techniques. I felt I was making really good white wines and terrible reds, and this led me on a journey to rediscover what red wine itself actually is.
After playing many years in the big leagues, I find I enjoy working with the small guy, the start-up, the one-on-one where I can be a sounding board and provide a second opinion. I particularly like to help growers invent their own brands. I want to assist you in following your own dream, not mine.
Here are my areas of specialization:
- General questions on wine chemistry and microbiology
- Wine and must additions such as pH correction and brix dilution
- Brettanomyces management
- Oxygenation techniques
- Sulfite-free wine production
- Applications of reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration or other tangential flow membrane systems
- Cork and closure quality control
- Alcohol Adjustment
- Wine treatment recommendations
(send sample to GrapeCraft Wines, 1458 Industrial Ave., Sebastopol, CA 95472)
For Vineyard Owners:
- Grape maturity determination
- Grape varietal planting choices
- Making wines and development of new brands
For Marketing Managers:
- Wine evaluation
(send sample to GrapeCraft Wines, 515 Orchard Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95404)
- Wine and music matching for specific wines or background music for tasting rooms and restaurants