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Smashberry Wine



Thomas Fertel has the perfect chemistry for our ground-breaking blends.

Our winemaker didn’t emerge from a California college with the typical degree in enology or viticulture. Instead, he earned his degree in chemistry at Louisiana State University, as his paternal grandmother had done before him.

That’s not to say he knew nothing of quality wines, as he grew up surrounded by amazing food complimented by distinctive wines of every type. His exposure to the wines in particular eventually drew him to California where he learned the art of winemaking from the ground up.  

Fertel first worked as a harvest intern for renowned wineries such as Peachy Canyon Winery in the Paso Robles area and Frank Family Vineyards just south of Calistoga in Napa Valley, all while pursuing his masters in Crop Science and Viticulture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

With multiple vintages under his belt, including harvest, cellar and vineyard work in both California and Burgundy, France. Fertel eventually returned to the Frank Family Vineyards as enologist, where he focused on the production of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. After four years there, he advanced to the role of Harvest Winemaker for Wildhorse Vineyards in the California’s Central Coast.

We’re happy to say Fertel is excited to be on the leading edge of new wine blends he is uniquely qualified to create. “The blending process is a critical aspect of winemaking and I love applying my love for chemistry, a part of my family heritage, to my passion for and knowledge of fine wine.”