The Other Wine Co. is a new venture from Michael Hill Smith and Martin Shaw, the team behind Shaw + Smith wines based in the Adelaide Hills. The goal for The Other Wine Co. is to make wines where the varietal has found a spiritual connection to the place in which it is grown. The connection between place and grape can take a long time; years, decades, centuries, just look at the Rhone Valley and Alsace.
The inaugural releases from The Other Wine Co. are classic examples of a regional-varietal match made in heaven: Grenache from McLaren Vale and Pinot Gris from Adelaide Hills.
Grenache from McLaren Vale has long been overshadowed by Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, but over the past decade, it has become more and more evident that Grenache flourishes in the McLaren Vale terroir. The old bush vines, grown without irrigation allow the real personality of Grenache to shine through.
Similar to Grenache, Pinot Gris has often been overlooked. Very likely due to the fact it has been grown in warm climates, cropped at high levels and treated very much as uninteresting, cheap jug wine. Given its shared genetic identity to Pinot Noir, it is realistic to expect that it requires the same connection to the terroir as does the “heart break” grape. The high altitude, high-rainfall hills east of Adelaide offer the perfect location to give wines of texture, freshness and elegance.
The Other Wine Co. wines are vinified and bottled at the Shaw + Smith winery in Balhannah. With this new project, the concept is simple: produce wines that are fresh, balanced and highly drinkable.