Botanist & Barrel “DéFi” Merlot
Yadkin Valley, North Carolina
Featured on March 27, 2023
Who: Sisters-in-law Kether Smith and Amie Fields, together with their respective husbands, form the mighty team behind Botanist & Barrel Cidery and DeFi Wines.
As head cider maker, Kether first found her passion for fermentation through a love of kombucha, later working in the Finger Lakes wine region of New York and earning an expert cider certification through Cornell University. She’s supported in the cellar by fellow wine and cider maker Bailey Rehbein, who earned her bachelor’s degree in food science from the University of Wisconsin-Stout before working harvest at esteemed Soter Vineyards in Willamette Valley.
Meanwhile, Amie works as sales director and hospitality manager for the family business, bringing decades of wide-ranging experience in the wine industry and a Certified Pommelier status from the American Cider Association.