Shaw and Smith M3 Chardonnay 2021
Region: Adelaide Hills
Suitable for Vegans: Yes
Suitable for Vegetarians: Yes
Food pairing: This generous Chardonnay would be an ideal match to grilled pork with pineapple salsa or pan-fried whiting with a butter sauce.
Although grapes were planted as early as 1839, it was not until 1979 that viticulture was revived in the Adelaide Hills. Over the last three decades the Adelaide Hills has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most exciting regions. Located in the Mt Lofty Ranges thirty minutes drive from Adelaide, the elevation varies from around 350 metres, to over 710 metres at Mt Lofty. The Adelaide Hills is bordered to the North by the Barossa and Eden Valleys and McLaren Vale to the South, but due to its altitude, the Adelaide Hills is significantly cooler and wetter.
Shaw + Smith was established in 1989 by cousins Michael Hill Smith MW and Martin Shaw. They make wines exclusively from the Adelaide Hills, from varieties that suit the cooler climate: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. Shaw + Smith own two vineyards, in Lenswood and Balhannah. Balhannah is also home to the winery where the Tasting Room is open daily.
Growing the best possible grapes, managing vineyards sustainably, and valuing vine health, soil health, and low yields are central to the Shaw + Smith approach. In the pursuit of quality, all grapes continue to be hand-picked, and the wines are fermented, aged and bottled on site at Balhannah. The wines are vibrant, medium bodied expressions of their varieties that reflect their sites and region.
Shaw + Smith’s first vintage was in 1990, and the early vintages were made at Wirra Wirra and Petaluma. In 1999 they purchased a property at Balhannah, where they planted vines, and built the winery and tasting room in time for the 2000 vintage. In 2012 they purchased an established 20 hectare vineyard in Lenswood. As the business has grown Michael and Martin have built a formidable team to continue the evolution of Shaw + Smith, including Master of Wine David LeMire, Senior Winemaker Adam Wadewitz, Business Manager Grant Lovelock and Group Viticulturist Murray Leake.
Shaw + Smith own two vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, at Balhannah and Lenswood, totalling 55 hectares. The vineyards are planted to varieties that perform particularly well in the region, namely Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
Site selection is particularly important in the Adelaide Hills, with its diversity of altitude, aspect, microclimate, and soil. They also use a number of different cultivars or ‘clones’ of each grape variety, which contribute different qualities to the final product.