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Time to wine down: Smith Vineyard and Tasting Room to shutter

Christina and Gary Smith of Smith Vineyards, are looking forward to retirement, though the closure of the family run Smith Vineyard and Winery comes bittersweet after more than 30 years of operation.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

After over 30 years in business, Smith Vineyard & Winery and its accompanying Tasting Room will be closing its doors at the end of May.

The closure is bittersweet for owners Christina and Gary Smith, who have been running the winery and vineyard — 10 acres which Gary’s father Dr. Wayne Smith planted in 1980 — as well as the tasting room located in the former Bunce’s Place building on Mill Street in Grass Valley.

The Smith’s decision to close came “after much thought and careful reflection. Making this decision has given us the opportunity to look back on all of the fond memories, while at the same time, (looking) forward to our future in retirement,” the couple said in a statement.

Many cherished memories were made at the vineyard and winery, where Christina Smith said her children were practically raised.

Of the moments her family shared on the land and in the tasting room, Smith said, “Raising our kids here and having them help with the process has been on the top of our list. I will miss the people; wine club members become like family.”

Smith Vineyards has enjoyed a celebrated existence. It’s 2013 Primitivo was awarded the Double Gold, Best of Region, and Best of State by the California State Fair, and it was recognized in the December 2010 issue of Sunset magazine.

News of the closure begs a rather curious question: what will happen to the wine that is left over? Smith said not to worry.

“We did not make wine last year,” she said. “We are down to our last cases. If there is any excess after the end of May, it will continue to be sold at SPD and Briar Patch, (as well as) Sergio’s and Cirino’s restaurants.”

Additionally, one of the Smith’s employees, Bob Thompson, will be opening a wine shop in the current location of the tasting room.

The Smiths plan to enjoy their retirement by traveling and spending time with friends and loved ones; they will continue their involvement with the community.

“Gary is involved in Search and Rescue. I plan on taking the time to figure that out,” said Smith.

A retirement party for the couple is scheduled over Memorial Day weekend at the tasting room and the community is invited to stop in and appreciate the space one more time, while sending Gary and Christina Smith off to their deserved retirement.

Smith said, “We have loved the relationships we have made along the way!”

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.

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