MMAD Vineyard | Blewitt Springs

MMAD Owners Martin Shaw, Michael Hill-Smith MW, Adam Wadewitz and David LeMire MW in their Vineyard

MMAD Vineyard is a partnership between Tolpuddle and Shaw + Smith’s founders, Martin Shaw and Michael Hill-Smith MW, chief winemaker and CEO Adam Wadewitz and CEO David LeMire MW. MMAD was conceived as an acronym of the team’s initials.

For many years, this talented quartet had been searching for a site in the McLaren Vale. In early 2021 they purchased an established vineyard in Blewitt Springs, attracted by the potential of old vine Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Grenache.

Blewitt Springs is a sought-after, high-elevation area of the McLaren Vale, characterised by its cool, wet climate. Here, grapes generally ripen two to three weeks later than the rest of the district. The 16.5-hectare MMAD vineyard is 200 metres above sea level and the vines are exposed to fresh south-westerly winds blowing in from the Gulf of St Vincent.

The MMAD vineyard neighbour’s local grower Sue Trott’s fabled site, which is the source of one of Willunga’s award-winning single vineyard wines. Its classic Maslin sands enhance the aromatics derived from the cooler position of Blewitt Springs. Beneath the sands of the MMAD vineyard is a layer of ironstone pebbles. The combination of sand, ironstone and cooling winds lends perfume and structure to the wines. Farmed using organic principles, though not certified, there are permanent mid-row cover crops, alternating with green mulch, in every other row. MMAD’s oldest vines, Grenache and Shiraz, were planted in 1939 and 1941 respectively, while the Chenin Blanc dates back to 1964.

Just as this team did at Tolpuddle, a decade ago in Tasmania, with MMAD they plan to take an existing site and, through improved viticulture, transform it into an outstanding single vineyard