‘The Other Wine Co.’ was established by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill-Smith of ‘Shaw + Smith’ in 2015. In an effort to ‘give the winemakers the opportunity to make wines from varieties and/or regions that fall outside of Shaw + Smith’s rigorous definition’, by making wines from the right grapes grown in the right places.
While this may sound obvious, they say, ‘it is more often than not breached rather than observed, leading to wines that say little about where they come from’ (except perhaps that they should be grown somewhere else). ‘The Other Wine Co.’ focuses mainly on Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from the Adelaide Hills and Grenache from McLaren Vale, and Cabernet Franc from Kangaroo Island, a region that now has over a dozen wineries.
The wines are made at the ‘Shaw + Smith’ winery in Balhannah, and are intended for ‘casual consumption’, with an emphasis on freshness, balance and drinkability. The wines produce avoid an overpowering oak flavour on the palate and over-ripeness. ‘The 2015 Grenache’ won the ‘Hot 100 Wines’ competition, which are now one of Martin and Michael’s best sellers, with many excellent reviews from wine critics.
‘The Other Wine Co. Pinot Gris’ came from low-yielding vineyards, helping the concentration of fruit, with aromas of pear and lemon and a rose-like thread on the palate, accompanied by good acid. ‘The Other Wine Co. Grenache’ comes from 45-year-old vines and is ‘fresh, vibrant and spicy’, thanks to the whole-bunch and whole-berry fermentation, and it features oodles of red fruits on the nose and palate, with fine tannins adding to its drinkability.