Arno Smith had the best of both worlds, whilst growing up. Spending his holidays and several weekends on his mother’s family farm in the Tankwa Karoo, near Calvinia, located in the Northern Cape Province, but also got to experience city life, living in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town. Although the lights of the city will always be a part of his safe-haven or beacon of homecoming, the farm and the Karoo is where his heart seemed to find rest. The love that Arno felt for the open spaces, fresh air, and the spectacular landscape on the farm, somehow embedded a passion in him for creating and farming.
Arno was deeply inspired to become a winemaker by a family friend, Lukas Wentzel (winemaker at Groote Post) who planted the seed from a very young age, sparking his interest in the art of wine-making and farming grapes.
After he matriculated, Arno furthered his education and got his degree in Vini- and Viticulture. He decided to travel and work abroad to broaden his understanding of perfecting the craft of wine-making and the incredible and vital role terroir (soil, climate, area etc.) plays to produce top quality wines, each terroir differs from the next. Arno gained so much life wisdom during his time in America and Australia.
In 2010, Arno did his first South African internship in the beautiful Darling wine valley along the West Coast, under the inspiring mentorship of well-known winemaker, Lukas Wentzel. Arno then applied for his first big assistant position and started working at Hillcrest Estate in the Durbanville wine valley to later become the farm manager and winemaker. Arno climbed the wine-making ladder and after ten wonderful years, he was living out his passion. Growing grapes, and making wine. Being able to create something unique and then experience people enjoying it must be one of the most satisfying things one gets to experience. But one thing Arno learned in life is to never stop dreaming and also to never stop growing and bettering oneself.
So, in 2021 Arno made the incredibly daunting but most satisfying decision to go solo and started Arno Smith Wine Company. He knew that everything he learned the past decade, he’s able to use to his advantage to produce top quality wines.
“I believe that wine-making is a true form of art. Every winemaker has a blank canvas and an opportunity to create a masterpiece. I am honored to pick up my brush each vintage and start painting.” – Arno Smith