On the other hand…

The global phenomenon of Lockdown reached us in the Swartland too. We are however super fortunate to live on a farm where ‘not leaving your property’ and keeping our staff safe at home means we have more than enough to keep busy.

The South African Government has put a halt to all liquor sales (insert debate here) which also means we have been taking a closer look at the other things we juggle on the property.

As you can see on our Sidelines page on this website, we do not only produce wine… pretty sure that if you are a fan of the wines you know about Caperitif, probably Swaan Tonic too and likely The 4th Rabbit… but taking heed from our president, lets put a cork in that and look at the other little projects and produce.

Caper berries:

About five years ago Adi started looking for a local producer of capers and well, found none. So in true Adi style he decided to do something about it himself. Up on the east facing slopes of the Paardeberg, where no vineyards grew and some invasive trees had recently been eradicated, we planted Capparis spinosa in between the rows of local trees that we had established.

Year on year the plants have produced more and more berries, this year our crop is standing at 900kgs – and the bushes are still flowering.

The work is labour intensive ( and on a good day one person harvests about 900grams) and the process intense (especially as it is go season over Christmas and New Year) but it provides a few local ladies with steady work and income.

Breads:

The internet is all the rage with sourdough starters at the moment as people, locked inside their houses and avoiding the shops, are trying to bake their own bread.

Charl has been ahead of the trend for a while – but bread baking has a starter on the farm years before he joined the team. First Xoliswa then Molla baked fresh farm white bread for the cellar crew during harvest time (everyone fighting for the crust) and a few years later we started baking those breads to put in the cottage so that a fresh bread smell would welcome guests checking in.

When Charl (the younger Badenhorst brother) and his wife moved to the mountain they brought to the team a new set of skills and passions. So Charl cooks (with his mother’s guidance and recipes) for lunches and small events on the farm and during the winter of 2019 him and his team got schooled in sourdough.

Apart from the bread basket, Charl has also become the pizza oven master and these are a firm farm favourite. 

(Spot the capers!)

Eggs:

With many chickens come many eggs. Used mostly on the farm – again for feeding hungry crew (and kids), stocking the cottages and as an ingredient in Judy’s recipes. Hannes (that’s Cornelia’s brother who joined the team about two years ago as a general Mr Fix-It, but more on the family-team in another post) started keeping track of the hens’ laying track record, showed up with big trays and started selling them off.

Rooibos:

In an attempt to establish a Caperitif garden, to grow as many of the 45 ingredients here on the property, we planted some Rooibos in September last year. A few weeks ago we harvested 500kgs from the 0.5ha plantation. Read more about it on the Caperitif blog (click click).

Swaan:

And then lastly, for now, Swaan, our Cape Dry Tonic Water. We started making this one shortly after the Caperitif project took off, as craft tonic was still scarce back then. See, can’t find what you are looking for, make it…

Like a binge dieter Swaan has had many shapes and sizes but now comes in very cute 200ml bottles, with cans coming soon.

It simple: Persian limes, kai appels; cardamom; mint; water from Voor-Paardeberg; citric acid and quinine. Net so.

So yes, we keep busy. You can listen to Adi chatting about some of this and more on a recent podcast on Ex Amino Wine Company’s Sound Cloud (click here) and keep an eye on our Instagram or Facebook Page to see what we’re keeping busy with in isolation.

Stay well, stay safe.

Harvest 2020

2020 is a leap year, although we didn’t even really need the extra day in February- the grapes are 99% picked and pressed.

Down to just over 250 tons from about 280ish tons in 2019, this year’s harvest came in fast. Vineyards put their hands up to say ‘pick me now’ from early in January; there were a few crazy days in early February when temperatures peaked in the low 40s (that’s degrees Celsius) and it seemed the cold room would never be empty again.

But the vinyl kept playing; the crew kept gooiing kussies; the pomp kept klapping and the team are all smiles.

This year we once again had Keiji (aka Cage) all the way from Japan and Raynard (all the way from Malmesbury…) with new (very) local addition Tol (his father being our much featured long time employee Fortuin); first half impact player Tom (a Badenhorst) and Tom (not a Badenhorst, who has already departed to do it all again in Argentina). With Hanneke keeping on top of all the details and Adi guarding over the bigger picture, the cogs kept on turning – some days from 4am till long after the sun set, only grinding to a halt for the occasional visit from The Loadshedding Demon.

Back from left to right; Tom (not Badenhorst), Tol, Hanneke, Adi. In front; Cage and Ray

Obviously there were a few sunrise braais, many cups of good coffee and, according to the team ‘never the same lunch twice’.

In between Charl and Semma (and Judy and Mina and the team) hosted numerous lunches (and breakfasts and pizza oven experiences) and we put on another edition of Bradstock.

Bradstock, as it is known amongst fans, originated last year as a combined 40th/50th for Belinda and Andy – the jol was such a hit that they decided to do it again this year, making it a mini festival for their group of friends. Hosted over 24 hours and with two meals, three dance floors, eight musical acts, numerous outfit changes and thirty Glamping tents on the terraces – this was a party to remember (and repeat!).

Just a friendly reminder that Kalmoesfontein is not only the home of some of your favourite wines, we also provides a unique venue and location to bring your celebrations to life.

As always, be sure to follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook to see what we get up to.

Single Vineyards 2018 Release

Our Single Vineyard wines are made and bottled with the express intent to respect the truth of the site. Most of these vineyards are on our farm or other slopes and valleys of the Paardeberg. We’ve been working with some for almost 9 years now and each year these vineyards show a consistansy and uniqueness that we seek out.

As Adi says “these are wines without eye-shadow…”

The one everyone is talking about (well, Tim Atkin named it his red wine discovery of the year in his 2019 South African Report… and described it as ‘delicate, ethereal and graceful’, saying, ‘it’s one of the best Cinsaults I’ve ever tasted.’) is the new kid on the block the Ringmuur Cinsault.

It’s rarer than we like our fillet, sold out from our side and most retailers, make sure to grab it if you see it anywhere.

Others returning to the line up include

– the famous Raaigras “oldest Grenache vineyard in the land” from 12 rows / 1268 vines which yields about 3 tons in a good year.

-Chenin Blancs from Dassiekop, according to Adi the “finest Chenin Blanc vineyard in South Africa”; The Golden Slopes, named after the deep yellow coloured granite in the site; Piet Bok se Steen so called after an old vigneron who lived in a tiny cottage besides the block and Klipkop – a tiny parcel planted on top of a granite outcrop in 1966.

– and just to make things a bit harder for our international agents, wines named Sk’Windjiesvlei (a Tinta Barocca planted in 1962) and Sout van die Aarde (Palomino from the West Coast just north of Dwarskersbos…)

Christian Eedes reported on (and scored) all the wines from the 2018 vintage single vineyards recently. You can read his thoughts and tasting notes here (click click).

You can buy some here.

You can read about the 2019 harvest, here.

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.