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Meet the Maestras: Chrissie Smith

Apr 10, 2024  ·  3 min read

Chrissie Smith might be fairly new to the Canberra wine scene, but she’s already making a name for herself. Establishing Intrepidus Wines in 2021, Chrissie received industry recognition as a finalist for Young Gun of Wine Awards in 2023. In part two of our five-part series, Meet the Maestras, we caught up with Intrepidus Wines owner, winemaker and chief taster, Chrissie Smith.

 

Hi Chrissie! We’ve heard your career in winemaking all started from a conversation in a wine bar, with a wine maker. Sounds intriguing, tell us all about it.

I was doing some events and marketing for Yazzbar at the time. The owners introduced me to a local winemaker sitting at the bar, Bill Crowe of Crowe Wines, who has since purchased a winery in the United States and moved over to live there. Bill said to pop out any time I wanted to see how it’s all made and get my hands dirty. Perhaps I should say get my hands clean, as there is a lot of cleaning involved! Since visiting, I was hooked.

Some friends and I picked some fruit a couple of weeks into that vintage, as they were going to leave it on the vines. I asked Bill if I picked it, if I could make a wine with it, and he said yes. That became my first wine, a 2018 Riesling. I had a seven-month-old baby at the time, Winnie, who used to come along in the pram everywhere with me… picking, processing, the lot. Everyone thought it was hilarious.

Crowe Vineyard
Crowe Vineyard

You’ve had some incredible achievements in your career, what has been some of your highlights?

I think getting a scholarship to complete the AWRI Advanced Wine Assessment course. I got to really hone in on my tasting skills, learn my weaknesses, and I had the opportunity to meet amazing fellow winemakers.

Since then, I’ve been acting as an associate judge every 12 months. You get time to judge wines with other great winemakers and have wonderful discussions. It always renews my initial excitement of why I got into winemaking to start with.

 

What is on the horizon for Intrepidus Wines? What will we be sipping on this season?

I’ve just released my new Sangiovese Shiraz 2023 and new Nero D’aVola 2023. As my vineyard got wiped out with frost this year, I’m going to be working with some other fantastic growers for some new very small batch reds.

Chrissie Smith, winery
Chrissie Smith

Ready to take a sip? Chrissie’s Nero D’aVola 2023 is one of Capitol Bar & Grill’s autumn hero wines, and perfectly paired with our grass fed, 42 day dry-aged sirloin on the bone.

Make your booking today online or call 02 6267 1261.

Want to read more? Check out our part one in our series, Meet the Maestras, here.


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