Hello harvest my old friend…

And then it was February- goodness. We’ve been very busy on the farm; first prepping the cellar and new cold room for harvest, then waiting for grapes and after a rather hectic heatwave everything seemed to come at the same time. The Chenin Blanc anyway.

 

With Jasper now heading up his own cellar down the dust road Hanneke Botha has stepped up to head the team in the day to day of the cellar. Luckily for her and us Keiji has joined us from Japan for the third year and we have a few more pairs of hard working hands joining the regular crew this season.

In the next few weeks I will try to catch them all for a short interview (somehow between 4:30am starts, staggered lunch times and closing shop at 19:30 they have very little time for social media mangers…)

Here’s a few pics, keep an eye on our Instagram account @aabadenhorst for day to day blow by blow action.

A wine club kind-of Sunday

On Sunday we hosted the first lunch aimed at starting our own wine club! Guests who braved the cold, wet weather were well rewarded.

Charl and Semma put on a feast of a lunch while Adi pulled bottles of wine from deep corners of the cellar.

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The menu looked a little something like this:

Starters of braaibroodjies with roasted vine tomatoes, mozzarella & red onion marmalade and slow cooked lamb ribs.

Mains included deboned roast lamb with baked potatoes; chicken Ceasar salad and baked whole brown mushrooms with garlic butter and green beans.

Dessert was bread and butter pudding, served with cream.

Our official, very well thought out club offer will go out to everyone who responded to our call for interest.

World of fine Chenin

Adi doesn’t usually get excited by media attention, ratings or awards…

But on Saturday morning, when we happened to run into each other outside Kooperasie Stories (a beautifully curated antique store on the road between Pniel and Franschhoek), the first thing he said (after handing me a juicebox) was “did you see that Fine Wine article on Chenin?”

So I knew this would be exciting recognition. And it is!

He was referring to the latest issue of The World of Fine Wine – which includes a rare Chenin tasting. A few of our wines (and even two accredited to us incorrectly, sorry Jasper and Keermont…) did well but it is the Secateurs results that got us smiling.

For an entry level wine, retailing under R100 (£12 / $15) to even show up on this list of impressive international wines is quite something. Never mind the 92 points or its position on the list…

As Tim James reports (like just now) “It was, though, above all, a good result for internationally rather unfashionable chenin, with 25 wines out of 37 scoring an average of 89 or more out of 100, meaning “very good” wine on the World of Fine Wine scale (the magazine is one of the more ungenerous scorers, I’d say). Fifteen wines came in the “outstanding” band of 92, 93 and 94 points – eight of them South African, seven French.”

Here are a few (bad quality) screengrabs of scans of the article.

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In other news, my gosh has it been raining in the Swartland! We received 80mm of rain in June and 56mm just this weekend (from Friday the 29th till today) and the region is finally looking lush and green – this is winter like I remember it from my childhood – and man we are loving it.

SpogBoks Kollektiv III

It is Spog time again.

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Join us in the hinterland of the Hemel and Aarde Valley at the glorious Newton Johnson Vineyards fo the “SpogBoks Kollektiv III
Adi, Tyrrel, Miles, Sebastian, Gordon and Bevan (Adam has a sick note) is back for an early evening tasting of their latest vinous konkoktions. This will be followed by a street-food inspired dinner and fiesta in the Newton Johnson winery!
R500 is the per person kost, but if you pre-order (and pay for) your SpogBoks – a kollektion of 12 of the wines from the Kollektiv for R2500 – we will throw in the party for free! Viva la Fiesta!!

New stock [images]

 

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Last week we had our friend Maree and her camera on the farm to shoot some library images for us (it had been five years since we last did it, and a LOT changes on Kalmoesfontein in five years…)

Here is just a sneak peak for your enjoyment. It is nice to see the evolution through the lens of a proper camera (and not an #iphone with #instagram filters!)


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We also shot some photos for new fact sheets for the Badenhorst, Secateurs and single vineyard ranges. Watch this space, we’ll upload them to the site when ready and if you are in the trade, lekker things are on their way – for you and your customers to get a sense of where our wines come from.

Photos: Maree Louw.

#harvest2018

All the grapes are in and things are starting to slow down (a little bit) in the cellar.

Harvest 2018 was late, tough, fast and small. But the fruit looks good and the juice is tasty.

 

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Some interesting notes and figures I spotted in the “grape intake book” include:

15 tons of Muscat de Frontignan (for Caperitif)

on 23 Feb an interesting combination of red grapes came in with a note “Port 2018″…

3,4tons of Raaigras Grenache (pictured above) and

431 kissies of Ramnasgras Cinsault…

 

Harvest Lunch

In the past we’ve been very serious about the “no nothing during harvest” rule. You may have even been on the receiving end of a “no-sorry/are-you-mad? never-in-harvest!” mail…

But that was back in the day when the team was tight and the person doing the tasting would have also been the person braaiing the meat and switching on the pump.

Now we are growing up fast. Early this year Adi’s brother Charl and his lovely wife Semma joined us in the Swartland, and with their wealth of experience in client relations and playing host they have added a new dimension to what we can offer.

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So, this February we hosted a few lunches for international groups. Adi’s mom Judy cooks, Semma and Charl hosts and helps prepare food, Cornelia makes everything look amazing and I just have to put out tasting glasses and spittoons while Adi only has to make a quick appearance, tell a joke and pour some wine.

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Basically what this post is saying is: You don’t have to be scared to ask us to host a group of people in harvest time any more!

Mail Semma on semma@aabadenhorst.com and you might just be in luck.

Groups of 10 – 30 preferred. aalunch3

Op ons boere!

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In die somer uitgawe van Landbou Weekblad se Boerkos verskyn ‘n mooi artikel deur Arina du Plessis, kos-redakteur, wat hulde bring aan ons boere.

Die artikel draai rondom ‘n erfenis braai wat ons in vroeg September op Kalmoesfontein gehou het. Arina en haar span het ‘n hele klomp diverse boere van die Swartland tot in die Klein Karoo en die Koue Bokkeveld genooi en op die dag met almal se bestandele ‘n feesmaal voorgesit.

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Hier is die spyskaart, en die resep vir een van ons gunstelinge op die dag:

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Kry die uitgawe, nou beskikbaar, vir al die resepte, ‘n insigewende kyk na hoe verskillende fraksies van die boere gemeentskap dinge doen en veral hoe die droogte waarin die Wes-Kaap hom tans bevind, almal aantas. Lucille Botha het met almal van peer tot skaap en selfs wyn boere gesels.

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