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Ian Devereux White of Smith Devereux Wines

Inclusivity and Authenticity in Wine with Ian Devereux White

california montana rae podcast wine tasting winemaking Jan 11, 2022

In July of 2021, I officially launched The Wine Ship. It’s been a wild seven months. Not only did I launch, but I decided to execute our first public tasting event (for 100 people!) just 56 days later. A few key people will always stand out in my memory from those first crazy days and nights. Ian Devereux White is one of them. He flew into Denver as the featured winemaker at that event. I couldn’t promise him sales, or publicity, or even that anyone would show up. He believed in me and he did it for no reason other than the fact that I was trying to share my story and invite people to learn to love wine, just like him. Just like me.

Well, people did show up! They got to taste and experience the amazing wines he produces under his brand, Smith Devereux, based in Napa Valley. Our guests got to meet and spend time with him and feel a part of the world of wine. We taught a class on food and wine pairing followed by an amazing tasting. That day is one of my proudest memories to date.

Now, six months later, I’m excited to introduce you to Ian again. This time, as a guest on The Wine Ship Podcast! Just as Ian gave us his time and energy at the event you see pictured in this post, he was also one of the first people to offer his time recording with me.

We didn’t plan what we’d discuss. We didn’t have fancy mics or equipment beyond Zoom (shoutout to my amazing producer, Jessi Carman at Daydreamer Network, for making me sound like I know what I’m doing). We just talked to each other and the conversation intuitively found its way to the title of this post and the episode: Inclusivity and Authenticity in Wine. You see, wine is about more than what’s inside the bottle or a label that’s on the bottle. It exists to bring people together, and it does a bang-up job of that.

I hope you enjoy the episode as much as I enjoyed recording it! Ian, you’re a gem. I can’t wait to have you back in Colorado in 2022. Great things are in the future!

Thanks forever, Montana

Episode Highlights

  • Ian’s story and how he came to be a vintner in Napa Valley. From visiting vineyards as a child to writing for publications like Lonely Planet and the San Francisco Chronicle, to performing with his band, HighNoon.
  • How and why Ian founded Smith Devereux in 2012 and became confident and inspired to share his own story instead of everyone else’s as a writer
  • What sustainability means to him as a winegrower, vintner, father, and businessman
  • How you can explore the idea of pairing music and wine to create an unforgettable sensory experience
  • A few key tips on entrepreneurship
  • Why wine is such a powerful conduit for human connection

“Like any entrepreneurial adventure, it has ebbs and flows and surprises from every angle and you have to wake up and just choose joy because otherwise you can end up in a tornado and you have to accept and love that tornado.”

- Ian Devereux White

Connect with Ian and Smith Devereux!

“We are farmers, we are winemakers. We’re all about trying to keep things down to earth. In a world that is so often inaccessible, we try to be accessible. In a world of luxury, we try to keep things down to earth. In an industry that is often viewed as exclusive, we want to be inclusive.”

- Ian Devereux White

“Our brands align from a values perspective: really inviting people into the fold and offering them opportunities to experience wine without that barrier that sometimes people try to erect to keep themselves [brands] separate from the consumer, which is crazy because those are the people drinking your wines. If you don’t make them feel included then there’s no one to drink the wines with and the wines don’t matter at all.”

- Montana Rae

Photography by Scott Tribby and McMillen New Media

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