Shaw + Smith team buy stake in McLaren Vale winery

November 17, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Shaw + Smith’s founders, Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith MW, and joint CEOs Adam Wadewitz and David LeMire MW, have bought into Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale, SA and will produce three single vineyard wines, a Grenache, Shiraz and Chenin Blanc, under the MMAD Vineyard label. 

The MMAD Vineyard partnership, named after Martin, Michael, Adam and David, is committed to great vineyards and this 18ha site is about very old vines, a great location farmed for quality and vine health, and making wines that reflect the site and season.  

The MMAD Vineyard is planted to Grenache, Shiraz, and Chenin Blanc with the oldest vines, Grenache and Shiraz, planted in 1939, 1941 and 1964 respectively. 

MMAD Vineyard partner, David LeMire MW, said: “This is rare earth, and the old vines are a precious resource and part of our viticultural history that we are grateful to have the chance to work with.” 

Chief Winemaker, Adam Wadewitz, continued: “We have been looking around the area since 2014 and thinking about that unique little part of the Vale, higher but influenced by the sea with beautiful old vines, sand and ironstone. 

“Originally we were drawn to the Grenache and Chenin being both old vine and interesting but the Shiraz has been a real surprise, too.” 

The 2021 MMAD Vineyard wines will be released in the second half of 2022 as a standalone brand to Shaw + Smith.

Shaw + Smith was established in 1989 by cousins Michael Hill Smith MW and Martin Shaw and own two vineyards, totalling 55 hectares, in Lenswood and Balhannah in the Adelaide Hills where they make wines suited to cooler climates: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.

MMAD Vineyard is their first foray into McLaren Vale.

Balhannah is also home to the winery where the Tasting Room is open daily and where the hand-picked grapes and wines are fermented, aged and bottled.

Shaw + Smith’s first vintage was in 1990, and the early vintages were made at Wirra Wirra and Petaluma. In 1999 they purchased Balhannah, where they planted vines, and built the winery and tasting room in time for the 2000 vintage.

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