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VHS stands for Vinous Heroin Society, obviously. Yet Sam Smith's experiments in wine will definitely not allow you to get on the nod. He paints in bold, exuberant colours, cult wines, for cult times. Satan.
Eighteen Views of Kuitpo Forest has been a project in the making for the past 3 years. It's been the most involved concept that we've ever undertaken in the world of wine and I'm hoping it remains that way for some time to come. What started as a "single particle of an idea" on a train bound for Kyoto, Japan, has quickly transcended and morphed into forming the DNA for the entire VHS label. At the heart of this project is the Japanese idea of TAKUMI（匠）, focussed around perfecting every part of a given process and becoming a master over time. This lead me down a path of attempting to perfect every component of the viticulture and winemaking process, right down to label placement/composition, over the course of a series of wines. Every part of the aforementioned process has been thought out meticulously and executed to as high a standard as possible whilst still adhering to a strict zero-zero approach both in the vineyard and in the cellar. In an ode to Hiroshiges' "One Hundred Views of Edo" (1856-1859) and Hokusais' "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" (1830), Eighteen Views of Kuitpo Forest will focus purely on eighteen different iterations of our beloved single vineyard Gewurztraminer over the course of many vintages, with a central focus on embracing vintage variation(s) and highlighting, at-times, the human influence on terroir. Internally we've always looked at this project like a VHS coming of age narrative, a progression in both winemaking styles and ideology as well as a lesson in restraint. Objectively I feel as though this is our greatest wine release, and achievement, to date. It's been a journey so far and we're honestly over the fucking moon that it's finally time to share this wine project with the world. - Samuel Smith, VHS Winemaker