Sommelier Louisa Smith of Lord Stanley - Biography

San Francisco, CA

May 2019

Louisa Smith was raised in Virginia where she attended Virginia Commonwealth University, majoring in psychology. With a budding interest in food and wine, her uncle arranged for her to travel to France where she took a WSET course while staying on a female-run vineyard. When Smith returned to the States, her aunt took her on a trip to San Francisco and nearby wine country to check out possible job opportunities, in case one day she decided to move there.

Smith took her first sommelier job at the London NYC hotel where she gained experience in fine dining, and then moved on to wine bar and shop Vino Vino in TriBeCa. 

A job at Salinia Wine Company brought Smith to Sonoma in 2009. During the grape harvest, she worked 12-hour days, seven days a week. Smith loved every backbreaking minute of it, and decided to follow the grape harvest to Australia, developing a fascination with natural wines. She brought this interest to Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar in Melbourne, a restaurant within a hotel-casino where Smith built her first natural wine program.  

In 2012, she bottled her own wine in conjunction with Salinia, and by 2013 had made the Bay Area her home. Smith is now the wine director of Lord Stanley, the Michelin-starred restaurant from Rising Star alums Carrie and Rupert Blease. Her all-natural, small producer, new-and-old world wine program is a beacon for natural wine lovers, advocates, and professionals in the Bay and beyond. In spring 2019, Moongate Lounge opened above (and from ) Mr. Jiu’s with a wine program by Smith.