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Bergevin Lane Vineyards Promotes Sean Smith to Winemaker

Walla Walla, WA –Bergevin Lane Vineyards, located at 1215 West Poplar Street in Walla Walla, Washington, has promoted Sean Smith to the role of winemaker for the brand, which was co-founded in 2002 by fifth generation Walla Walla native, Annette Bergevin.   

“Our decision to name Sean as our winemaker was simple,” says Bergevin. “He has proven skills in the cellar and has managed all aspects of the winemaking process under our former winemaker, Dave Harvey – an exceptional mentor. Sean’s ready for the limelight.”

Smith started his tenure with Bergevin Lane in 2012 as Cellar Master after working in both tasting room and cellar positions with Forgeron Cellars and Basel Cellars. He is a 2012 graduate of the esteemed Walla Walla Community College Viticulture and Enology program under the tutelage of Tim Donahue and Jeff Popick. 

Prior to finding his passion in crafting premium wines, Smith attended Northwood University in Michigan to study advertising and marketing after graduating from Walla Walla High School in 1998. With his degree in hand, Smith returned to Walla Walla, where he had lived since the age of 9, only to feel like he had landed somewhere else. 

“When I came back, it was a totally different town,” says Smith. “In the early 2000’s, things were just taking off with the wine scene.”

Smith worked in sales and marketing for five years with QualitySmith in Walla Walla but couldn’t help but be influenced by impact of the wine industry. “I started hanging out with people who were into wine and really started to pay attention to what was in the bottle,” recalls Smith. “I was intrigued by wines that stood out and asked myself how did this happen? What did someone do to make this different or better than another?” His distaste for a desk job started to seep in while his interest in wine continued to grow, and he enrolled in the wine program at the community college, known for their hands-on approach and placing graduates in the industry. 

Smith will continue with the fruit-driven Bordeaux style and Syrah program Bergevin Lane is known for but is looking forward to making his mark in the cellar. “We’ve made great wines here for a long time,” Smith says. “I just want to bring them to a whole other level – make them even more fruit driven with polish.”

Smith is also excited about the evolution of their estate vineyard, Bergevin Spring, planted in 2011. “It’s still in its infancy,” he says. “I get to work with fruit that’s just going to get better and better every year.”

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