After graduating from Washington State University, Robert held winemaking positions at both large-scale and ultra-premium estate wineries. In his early years at Covey Run, he worked alongside David Lake, Dave Crippen and Kerry Norton, while crafting wine from a wide array of vineyards from a range of AVAs.
Robert spent the 2001, 2002 and 2003 vintages in the Walla Walla Valley as an Assistant Winemaker at Pepper Bridge and winemaker for Amavi Cellars. He worked closely with industry giant Norm McKibben and one of Walla Walla’s premier winemakers, Jean-Francois Pellet. This association opened the door for Robert to work alongside and learn from the talented Christophe Baron of Cayuse Vineyards.
Robert later gained valuable experience in serving as the Director of Winemaking at Alexandria Nicole.
Since his first vintage in 1996, Robert has devoted his career to crafting wine from the region his family has called home for over 100 years, and in 2006, Robert released the first vintage under his own Smasne Cellars label. His passion for creating exceptional wines has led to the creation of other labels, notably Farm Boy, Farm Girl, 1/2 Ass and Robert O. Smasne Reserve.
Robert’s diverse winemaking experiences ultimately shaped his passion, dedication and winemaking style. Today, in addition to making the wine for his own labels, Robert is a sought-after winemaking consultant to many of Washington’s wineries.