Rated!

We might not be the kind of winery that (takes time to) stick medals and awards on our wines or hang certificates on our walls (too much taxidermy and too many Tintin posters to put up!) but it is kind of nice to hear what experts think of our wines.

Experts like James Molesworth from the Wine Spectator. And so it was rather lekker to get these two ratings / write ups via our US distributors, in our inboxes last night.

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Brightly defined, with delicious quince, persimmon and green almond notes forming a core that is threaded with quinine and white ginger details. A light touch of toast on the finish lets the fruit and minerality play out. Drink now through 2019. 15,000 cases made.
–JM
 
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 White peach, yellow apple, heather and verbena notes are still tightly coiled at the core, while makrut lime and racy chamomile hints streak through the finish. This has purity and depth, and should unwind well in the cellar. Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Verdelho, Clairette Blanche, Viognier, Sémillon, Marsanne and Palomino. Best from 2018 through 2022. 500 cases made.

-JM

Cheers!

In the harvest time…

It feels like this heatwave has been ongoing for ever. Forever I tell you. When it is still 30’C at 10pm it is hard to imagine it will ever cool down again, ever!

But, life goes on and the grapes are starting to come in. Last week our first Shiraz was picked, 22 tons of it! Meanwhile there is some good international publicity and a few nice emails from the other side of the world.

“You know that South African cinsault we tried?” he said. “I took the opened bottle to a dinner with a load of wine trade people and they went mad for it and said it was the best wine of the night. They were raving on and on about it.”

To read more from The Telegraph on our Ramnasgras, click here.

This morning I woke up to a very nice little note of thanks and praise from a family snowed in in Michigan, USA… hard to imagine in the dry hot Swartland summer, but nice to receive anyway:

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“a little vacation in a bottle,” like!

On a side note, if you were lucky enough to get tickets to Cape Town’s very first Gin & Tonic Festival, taking place next Saturday, keep an eye out for Swaan, we will be mixing with some exciting new local gins!

gin&swaan

fresh from the farm

Always something new and exciting up his sleeve – Adi and Kyle are now working on a new little project to keep them busy during the winter months.

Without saying too much and letting the cat out of the bag, just think herbal and fruit chenin based infusions, craft tonic and MORE BEER!

I even heard rumours of a budget to build a brewery.

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First public tasting will be at the Swartland Revolution this year…

Other than that, we are building new accommodation on top of the sherry cellar

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and the Swartland is still stunning in winter…

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Spier Secret

This weekend it was time for the 2nd annual Spier Secret Festival (at Spier, obviously).

They celebrate Chenin Blanc (as we all should)

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and Nicole was there to pour our latest Secateurs.

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While at the food market Yoliswa sold her (world famous, if you consider the guests who have enjoyed them at our cottage on Kalmoesfontein) rusks under the trees.

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Yoliswa was very happy with her sales and is already thinking of expanding her business. We would like to thank everyone who helped her make this a success, especially Varenka who designed the packaging.

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Chenin photos with thanks to The Chenin Blanc Association of SA. View more here. 

The Oak on tour

Adi is on his annual tour of the US. I always think of him as a rock star as he travels from one wine shop / restaurant / airport / hotel and state to the next, pouring wine and talking kak. This year it even feels like there is a small paparazi following him around as I get updates on social media.

As every year, his schedule remains a mystery to most of us, Cornelia just knows when he will be back on the farm and I only know where he has been once I hear via our social media channels.

On October 3rd he was spotted in Fort Lauderdale, Florida pouring wines

tara_devonOct 03, 9:27pm via HootSuite

This guy is as colorful as the painting he’s in front of! Adi is winemaker of @AABadenhorst -gorgeous wines from SA http://ow.ly/i/3k7JQ

and four days later he was hanging out in Denver…

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And then on the 8th South African athlete Dan Hugo tweeted that he just

“Tapped @AABadenhorst on the shoulder, during TSA security at DIA. Told him I was a fan of his work. True travel story. Can’t wait for home.”

Meanwhile back home the crew is busy planting Adi’s “legacy oaks…”

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The planting of 500 Cork and Mediterranean Oaks started yesterday.
“One day when I’m old and done, I’ll sit in the shade of these oaks and drink my son’s wine while I watch the grand kids play” says Adi.

While in the vineyards the new growing season has started. We feel summer in the air…

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Even though 10 days ago there was still snow on the mountain peaks and it was too wet for tractors in the 1969 Chenin vineyards. Like Jasper says “a bit of skoffeling and motivation goes a long way…”1377058_633706196664006_1134330463_n

 

Four weeks till the Swartland Revolution. Get excited by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Thursday tasting

We’ll be back at the City Bowl Market on Hope Street (Cape Town) tomorrow (Thu 30 May) pouring Secateurs and pairing it with some wild mushroom canapes by chef Matt Manning.

The market is a great place to buy some fresh organic veggies, taste some wine, buy some gourmet dinner and just meet up with friends.

Our wines sell at cellar door prices

Secateurs Chenin Blanc R55

Secateurs Red Blend R70

and you woun’t find a better deal anywhere else (besides the cellar door, obviously, but that is an hour from Cape Town and by appointment only, see how we spoil you?)

Secateurs range

AWE-some

Featured in the new issue of AWE Inspiring News – the “Winter 2012/2013” issue – is some interesting takes on South African Wine and the rise of Chenin Blanc (something that is close to our hearts.)

This is the cover (certainly NOT how things are looking in the Swartland at the moment!)

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A look at chenin, especially in the Swartland:

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And some interesting facts on SA wine:

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#WineGems

Last night was the first Adi and Jasper show (as Justin called it) of 2013 – the WineGems tasting at &union.

A full house (Gemma says she takes 18 bookings, but there were at least 30 people squeezed into the bar) tasted both the Secateurs, the Family Red and White blend, the funky white and were also treated to (another) sneak peak of Jasper’s first offering – a red blend and a chenin blanc.

DSC07600 DSC07599 DSC07594From what I see on twitter the crowd really enjoyed it. With Adi on top form – full of jokes and stories – and Jasper taking his time to tell the Muskeljaatkat story in detail – there were lots of laughs.

Some feedback on twitter:

Batonage: Awesome evening of wine tasting. @AABadenhorst wines and some Muskeljaatkat white and red @andUnionwine. Adi most amusing winemaker in SA.

Blackdelilah: Did I mention we had an AWESOME wine tasting @andUnionwine last night? Wines by @AABadenhorst & his able-bodied assistant, Jasper #goodstuff

JustLisa_Love: @AABadenhorst @andUnionwine – awesome left field tasting for our first#WineGems of 2013 – loved it!

darrynvdwalt: Best @andUnionwine #winegems in ages – haven’t laughed so much at a wine tasting. Legends! @AABadenhorst

LiLi1866: @AABadenhorst Best #winegems so far last night!! A stand-up comedy show & wine tasting rolled into one – amazing 🙂

I tried to tweet some of the Adinisms and quotes from the ‘comedy show’ – check out our twitter stream if you want to see more.

My favourites:

AABadenhorst: We work on psychological ripeness. You don’t wanna pick on a Friday for instance. – Adi, duh.

AABadenhorst: “This is not a pretty wine but it’s made to drink. We drink LOTS of this” – Adi. #secateurs Red

AABadenhorst: When is harvest over? Well the #oesAf party is on 22 March, so before then…

YES. We put some dates in diaries over dinner (at the ping pong table)

DSC07611 DSC07610I also have dates for two tasting brunches, but I have a long waiting list to inform of that first. But watch this space for more details soon.

Thanks Gemma and everyone who showed up, tasted, laughed, bough wine and and and. Love you guys…

 

#CapeWine2012

Feedback on last week’s Cape Wine event at the Cape Town International Convention Center is looking very positive.

Reading through bloggers and journalists’ accounts of the week in the stormy Cape it seems they had just as much fun as we did.

According to Bizcommunity this year “was the show’s most successful expo to date with producer exhibitors up 15% and visitors reaching a record at just under 1500.”

Says chairman of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), Johann Krige: “Our industry has wowed the international wine community with an exciting and diverse range of quality wines and a fresh and inspiring approach that has demonstrated our world leadership in eco-sustainability and energy-efficiency among wine-producing nations. We showed very effectively that we are making better wines at all price points and that we are making wines, better.”

The Swartland Independent members all had a stall together in the back of the hall. Our funky stand attracted visitors constantly and seemed to be very popular.

with thanks to spit and swallow“In the Swartland corner, it was exciting and very busy, especially with Adi Badenhorst there to make things happen” – John Ford, read more here.

Emile on Winegoggle simply says “dig the Swartland Grand Funk stand. Mohammed Ali poster and other non-vino artefacts. Cool dudes. I order some chickens from Callie Louw, Porseleinberg. Talk boxing with a chick from the Sandveld, goes by the name of Katrien.”

Rebecca Gibbs reports: “The Swartland has also been turning heads in the past five years and quality of the wines can’t be denied. The Rhone-like blends produced from old bush vines in this Mediterranean climate are original and interesting.”

“It was a jolly good wine show,” says Melvyn Minnaar,Unlike other crowded wine shows where the ‘commercial’ aspects always seem to linger in the background (‘have you tasted this?, wanna buy some?), and tasters sometimes feel trapped by the expected eyes of the pourer, this show seemed to operate to a different vibe. A friendly fraternity.”

We had lots of fun living it up in the big city of Cape Town for a week. With the farm bakkie in rush hour traffic (once in sunshine with Helena, Eben and American buyer John on the back and once in pouring rain with no windscreen wipers…), dinners at Fork and Dias Tavern (just to keep it diverse) and lots of laughs with old and new friends.