Scott Meadows   |      Bradley Smith

Bradley Smith

Winemaker, Silenus Winery


After receiving his degree in psychology from the University of California – Riverside Bradley found himself drawn to the Napa Valley. Over a bottle of Mumm bubbles he fell in love with wine, vineyards and the promise that Napa held. He determined to find a way to dedicate his life to wine and the pursuit of the greatest wines anywhere in the world.


Born in Fresno, California, and surrounded by the world's most fertile farmland, Bradley was familiar with agriculture and farming but he never thought he would end up with dirt on his boots. But the grapes called and Bradley found a harvest job in Napa and moved up for the season. This first crush changed his life. Bradley enrolled at California State University – Fresno in enology, and graduated in 1999 and moved right back up to Napa. 

Bradley worked two years as the enologist at Benessere Vineyards in St. Helena specializing in Sangiovese and Zinfandel wines. He then moved to Laird Family Estate as the Assistant Winemaker. Laird Family Estate, a very high-end, custom-crush winery, allowed Bradley to work with many of the most talented and famous winemakers in Napa. In the five years he spent at Laird he learned the techniques and procedures used to make some of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay wines in Napa, techniques he was eager to apply to his own wines.

In 2007, Bradley accepted the position of winemaker at Silenus Winery and has been there ever since. Bradley has been able to apply his winemaking philosophy of incorporating the history of winemaking with modern techniques to create distinctive wines that are rich, lush, and graceful.

The vineyards at Silenus have proven to be a unique playground for Bradley's winemaking talents resulting in wines that express their terroir and are densely flavored while remaining graceful on the palate.

Bradley is an avid vegetable gardener who takes his own produce from garden to table to be enjoyed by his wife and son. He also is a committed volunteer at the Napa Community Library where he helps English language learners and adults with learning disabilities improve their literacy skills.