With European origins dating back centuries ago, blended red wine is once again having its day in the sun. Red Phoenix Red Wine Blend represents the essence of this well-deserved resurgence. Unbound by a single varietal or appellation, and given more flexibility with vintages, winemaker Joseph Smith skillfully showcases six distinct varietals in this luscious and layered wine. Unlike traditional red blends, Red Phoenix is both barrel aged and barrel fermented, adding structure, balance, and a new dimension to a wine that is rooted in tradition and soars on the palate.
“Before I met Barry Gnekow, I never had a glass of wine. This has been quite a journey for me, and now wine is my passion and my life's work.
- Joseph Smith,
Red Phoenix Winemaker
Joseph Smith has been making wine for 23 years. For the last 14 years, Joseph has been making highly acclaimed, award winning, 93pt+ wines. In December 2020, Joseph was featured in both the Wine Spectator and the Wine Enthusiast magazines. Both articles recognized his winemaking expertise working with Lodi grapes, and particularly for producing Petite Sirah from the Antoinette Celle Vineyard.
From 2008 to present Joseph has worked as the winemaker for Klinker-Brick Winery, owned by the Felten family. From 2001 to 2008, Joseph worked as the righthand man in Barry Gnekow’s wine consulting practice. During these years, he worked with Michael David Winery (Lodi), Hahn Family Wines (Santa Lucia Highlands), Klinker-Brick Winery (Lodi), Roger and Rogers (Napa Valley), Jessie’s Grove (Lodi) and many others. Under Barry’s mentorship, Joseph gained wine making experience and had the opportunity to learn and oversee all aspects of wine making. Working with wineries and grape growers from the Central Coast to the North Coast of California provided him the opportunity to make wine from many of the well-known AVAs of Sonoma and Napa Valley.
Joseph had originally come to northern California to work with his uncle in the construction business and by chance found a job with Gnekow Family Wines that eventually led to wine making there. It’s not uncommon for a California winemaker to hail from France or Australia, but Joseph was born and raised in Belize with no exposure to wine.