Dynamic, enigmatic, contemporary, revolutionary. Samuel J. Smith, under the moniker Vinous Heroin Society Wines, epitomizes the new frontier of South Australian winemaking, unpicking our centuries-old adherence to the idea that we should make European-style wines. From his inception into the wine industry in 2014, Samuel’s focus has been firmly affixed to procuring exceptional fruit from sustainable vineyards before utilizing lo-fi vinification processes as a precursor to hi-fi finishing techniques. His utilization of Australian native flora, as infusions, has placed VHS Wines at the forefront of the avant- garde.
The narrative behind VHS Wines is as compelling and thought provoking as the wines themselves. Samuel’s journey into the world of winemaking was initiated during a period of crippling drug addiction and from a time of self-destruction, self-creation prevailed.
Samuel’s philosophy and ideology on winemaking centers solely on consumer perception and experience. At its core, VHS Wines seeks to create a multisensory experience built around “concept” releases. 2016 saw the of the release of “Rat Shit in Love Symphony”, a symphony of four wines of wine with musical pairings designed to be enjoyed in succession. The release of the “Ballad of the Broken Boy, & Beyond” in 2017 saw Samuel push boundaries once again as he attempted to tell his life story as “Chapters”, through the medium of wine, from life through to (hypothetical) death. Samuel’s autonomous approach to his craft has made him a modern -day virtuoso of the industry and has allowed his skillset to exponentially expand, all in the space of only 4 years. In Samuel’s own words “the wines are certainly not perfect, in fact, far from it but I believe there is an honesty and integrity within them. Within any creative process it’s always imperative to define the parameters, and limitations, of your skill set, environment and materials and seek to utilize those as a foundation. Mistakes will be made, and knowledge gained, that’s an exciting prospect”.