Hey hey it’s Grenache Day… and since Kalmoesfontein is home to the oldest known Grenache vineyard in the land, planted in 1952(!) we usually celebrate 17 September pretending it is Raaigras’ birthday. This year the twelve long rows of Grenache Noir turns 69!
So we went looking for other cool things that happened in 1952… Like television’s first magazine-format program, the Today Show, made its debute on NBC with Dave Garroway hosting.
The Original Moulin Rouge movie hit the big screens, Patrick Swayze (may his soul dance in peace) and Jeff Goldblum (“Nice To Meet You, Mr. Dude”) were born and Capt. Vincent H. McGovern and 1st Lt. Harold W. Moore made the first transatlantic helicopter flight (July 15–31).
All good reasons to raise a glass and say a big CHEERS.
“Laduma” (literally, “it thunders” in the Zulu language) is the unique exclamation used by South Africans to celebrate a goal scored in soccer. (source)
Today I’m using it to announce our Tim Atkin scores…
Adi doesn’t make wine for awards or scores and we never enter any competitions (actually I lie, Adi and Hanneke made a sweet wine specifically for a competition this year because the prize is The Jan Smuts Award, but that’s a whole other story, which in itself explains our approach to awards).
You will find no stars or medals stuck on our bottles and no braggy social media posts announcing scores… But, from the marketing and sales side we’re sneaking in this post because we often get asked for scores and we think our 2021 SA report card from Tim Atkin is worth a blogpost.
From 90 points for Secateurs Rosé 2021 (which has a cellar door price of R80 and got a special mention as Best Value Rosé) to THREE wines (Kelder- & Klip Kop Steen and Ringmuur Cinsault), scoring 96 points, we feel like proud parents who want to brag with their kids’ achievements, even if they roll their eyes.
This weekend we very officially opened a new hiking route that starts on the farm. The trail, an old Cape Epic route, was cut open and marked (look out for little reflective tape arrows on droppers) and our first “outsiders” walked it on a perfect spring Saturday.
Starting from The Old House with a climb up to Die Bos (where we had a quick Caperitif & Swaan stop on Saturday, but this is not included in the regular walk) and crosses over four farms (Babylons Peak, Uitkyk, Lemoenfontein and obviously Kalmoesfontein. In total it is about 5.1km and takes 2hours at a very leisurely pace.
On Uitkyk you walk through the Dassiekop vineyard, regarded by Adi as “the finest Chenin Blanc block in SA” and made into our single vineyard wine by the same name. There are epic vistas of almost the whole Swartland, from Riebeek Mountain in the west past Porseleinberg to Paarl Mountain in the east.
We’re happy to announce our ongoing wine sponsorship of Cape Town based Food Jams’ Pro Cook Classes. The series of pro cooking classes for not so pro cooks takes place (almost) every Wednesday in Salt River. The next few classes are about baking skills:
But the future also holds lessons on meat, sea food, foraging and more. Check it out on their website and enjoy a few glasses of Secateurs on us, while learning new skills. Winning.
Our accommodation bookings for 2022 are now open. Book early to reserve those special dates and come spend you birthday / anniversary / reunion or annual holiday on the farm with us.
We have 2 x two bedroom cottages (The Winemakers’ Cottage and The Stables) and 2 x one bedroom dwellings (Die Melkkamer – a new addition- and The Silo) each with luxury bedding, stunning scenery, private pools and access to everything the farm has to offer.
Find out more (click here or via Accommodation on the menu bar) to book to avoid disappointment.
Here in the Swartland most days are Chenin Blanc days, we make a lot of it, we drink a lot of it…
But June 18th is officially known as Drink Chenin Day, officially in the sense that “In 2014 the first #DrinkChenin Day was celebrated on June 12th in New York and 10 other cities across the USA. This campaign was the brainchild of a group of USA retailers and sommeliers. The Chenin Blanc Association joined the campaign in 2016.” It seems it has since moved on 6 days… like I say, every day is Chenin day. (source)
But to celebrate #drinkchenin day, we’ll take a look at a few of our favourite Chenins, that we bottle.
First up, everyone’s go to, value-for-money house white, the Secateurs Chenin Blanc; one cultivar, 28 sites! This little snapshot of our fact sheet tells you more:
On the other end of the spectrum, we make a few Chenins from single specific sites, sites with a unique expression of terroir. These wines might not get bottled every year (if a vineyard does not deliver a juice good enough it will get blended into the Secateurs or the Kalmoesfontein White Blend). The vineyards are old and the yield is low. Here is more on a few of those:
Above is a view of Dassiekop during harvest – Dassiekop, described by Adi as “the finest Chenin Blanc vineyard in SA, a place where viticulture and nature come together in perfect balance” is farmed by Franziska Wickens on Waterval farm, a few kilometers from our cellar.