Smith, a former rock-band manager, is recognizable by his headful of long, silver curls. Though he identifies as a classical winemaker, he has long been stylistically at odds with the industry's rural romanticism. He started making wines in Walla Walla in 1999, plumbing the rich and gamy depths of Washington syrahs in high-end, vineyard-specific batches. His success with the Rhône grape helped propel the great Washington syrah rush. But years ago, Smith saw the need for good casual wines, too, and he turned out to be one of the great populists of the wine industry. He put punky black and white graphics on his bottles and gave them names like Boom Boom Syrah, Velvet Devil Merlot, and Kung Fu Girl Riesling, a $12 crowd-pleaser. There is plenty of cheap wine sloshing around on the market today. But Smith's dedication to making wines with varietal character and traceable vineyards at a lower price point was at the forefront of a push toward great, affordable wine.