Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases


Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ is the wine brand of Steve Smith MW and Brian Sheth who together have formed Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates. This is the return of Steve Smith, who is best known for his establishing of Craggy Range with the Peabody family and his role as chief viticulturist for the Villa Maria Estates group before that. Steve has teamed up with Brian Sheth, one of the founders of Vista Equity Partners, a global technology investment firm. Among other business and interests, Brian is also the chairman of Global Wildlife Conservation. Importantly he has a love of New Zealand and its wine, meeting Steve Smith in 2012, to eventually go into partnership with him.

Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine originally aimed to have wine from great parcels from exceptional vineyards, but has grown to purchase unique and individual winegrowing operations, starting with Pyramid Valley in North Canterbury and Lowburn Ferry in Central Otago. The company also has a 5 ha vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay with Chardonnay and Syrah, awaiting its first yield. Michael Henley, formerly of Craggy Range and Trinity Hill is the CEO, and the company works closely with several viticulturalists. Smith and Sheth will launch their first wines under the Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ label in April this year. The wines are made from the highest quality fruit selected from special sites. Steve personally makes the wines at friends’ winery facilities. Here, I review the initial release wines, a 2017 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, three Hawke’s Bay Chardonnays, two from 2016 and one a 2015, and a 2014 Hawke’s Bay Syrah. Interestingly, the labels incorporate DNA genome sequences embossed on them, representing the genetic vine and vineyard basis. www.smithandsheth.com


  • Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Wairau Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
  • Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Heretaunga Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
  • Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ ‘Howell Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
  • Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Mangatahi Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015
  • Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Omahu Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014

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