It's higher, it's colder, it's wetter - that to us, is what really makes this area stand out.

Vintage 2023 Recap

The Adelaide Hills

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.




Our Vineyards 

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. We also use a number of different cultivars or ‘clones’ of each grape variety, which contribute different qualities to the final product.



Shaw + Smith’s Balhannah Vineyard (35 hectares of vineyard) is planted predominantly to Sauvignon Blanc and close-planted Shiraz on property surrounding the winery at 340 - 380m elevation. The soil is free draining sandy loam over red clay with underlying quartzite and shale, with varying amounts of ironstone pebbles.

Our Lenswood Vineyard, about 10km north west of the winery, is planted mainly to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, at 455 – 500m elevation. Undulating with east and west facing aspects, the soils are brown loams over clay with broken shale on the ridges. The vineyard was planted in 1999 and is 20 hectares in total.


Soil + Vine

Shaw + Smith is a member of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, and is committed to the best possible soil and vine health in both vineyards, at Lenswood and Balhannah, and a third in Piccadilly to be newly planted in Spring 2020.

Shaw + Smith has always used sustainable, environmentally sensitive practices including farming individual blocks organically, using sheep to control weeds, facilitating beneficial insects in the vineyard and using seaweed fertilisers, and now use no herbicides, synthetic fertilisers or fungicides.

Organic practice has been a natural progression over time translating to, at its simplest, healthier and more flavoursome fruit. Our vineyards at Balhannah and Lenswood have both gained organic certification, in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Gaining certification has been a worthwhile excercise, but our main priorities are soil and vine health. It is also important to note that for some wines we buy fruit that is not certified organic, and we share our experience of organic viticulture with our growers.

The healthy soil and vine philosophy currently employs the following:

- No herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and fungicides
- Organic compost-based fertilisers
- Mowing and mechanical weed removal
- Shoot and bunch thinning, and vertical shoot position canopies
- Organic canopy sprays for disease control
- High density planting (5000+ vines per hectare)
- Diverse mid-row swards
- Native vegetation areas within vineyards



At Shaw + Smith, our commitment to making the best possible wines mean that sustainability is at the centre of everything we do. This means a biological approach to farming, exploring new technologies for water and energy conservation, and adopting a closed loop approach to packaging recycling. Take a look at our specific initiatives here


Photogallery rendered here.