Alright! This fortnight we're looking at the wines of The Other Right, a husband and wife team (Alex Shulkin & Galit Shachaf) based in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. They make wines from organically farmed grapes using no additives and minimal processing.
I first found out about The Other Right when I met Alex at Cafe Troppo in the Adelaide CBD in around 2014. He was there showing his wines to another Alex (Alex Harris), the owner/Manager of Troppo (who, incidentally, does a lot of the artwork for the the Gentle Folk wine labels), and since I happened to be standing right there, they got me a glass and let me join the tasting. By this point I'd gotten into natural wine and had become a regular at the nearby Cork Wine Cafe (Co-managed by Travis Tausend). It was my first time trying The Other Right wines, and I was immediately struck by their freshness, liveliness and Alex's enthusiasm. They were awesome wines that day, and I've been a fan ever since.
Now that I'm doing these fortnightly features, I got in touch with Alex to ask him a few questions about wine and a few other things:
Do you like experimenting and trying new techniques with winemaking?
We love experimenting, but there has been no need for initiated experimentation as grapes and wine are unpredictable matters as they are, and keep presenting us with new challenges we need to adapt to - that keeps our thirst for experimentation quenched. A good example is the 2020 season, when the bushfires and the resulting smoke made some heavy winemaking improvisations necessary. We managed to make good wine from some fairly smoke-affected grapes, but those were nothing like our usual set of wines, with the 2020 Shapeshifter Viognier and the 2020 Love Potion being good examples.
We do have a dream of making a properly oxidative chardonnay, and we are making small steps in that direction every year.
What wine (or other) have you been enjoying recently?
There are interesting wines we come across all the time. Last night, for example, we had a bottle of Roadcider - a fantastic cider made from apples, pears and quinces coming from roadside trees and abandoned orchards by Lucien Alperstein. Quite amazing how well it retained the fruit character and crunch. Another cider we enjoyed recently was Fuente Guijarro's apple cider from Campbell Burton. Also enjoyed the Basket Range Wines chardonnay. Zippy, but generous, just keeps giving. Scintilla's Dayspring is an incredible example of how a warm climate chardonnay can taste amazing. We are spoilt for choice, really.
What music have you been enjoying recently?
Music-wise, it's been quite a range between The Boards of Canada, Dire Straits, lots of jazz, and Daniel Kahn, whose music is a mixture of Klezmer, radical Yiddish, political cabaret and folk punk. A bit of surf rock on occasion, Tarantino soundtracks vibe.
Alright, well, onto the wines. We currently have a whole range of The Other Right available, and all of them come in under $40.
I've especially been into textural whites or those with some skin contact this summer, and can highly recommend the Stay Mellow (Semillon with a little Chardonnay) and Moonshine (Viognier with a little pinot gris).
Moonshine Stay Mellow
Each fortnight we'll bring you a little story about wine and the people who make it and love it. Stay tuned, Juiceheads xx