Single vineyards vintage 2019

A visual representation of when the single vineyards on and around the farm were harvested this year.

Everything came in in the span of 27 days, starting with the cellar block on 31 Jan and ending with the Ramnasgras Cinsault (planted in 1966!) on the 27th of Feb.

The Golden Slopes (since 1968) and Klipkop (1966) Chenin Blanc vineyards are neighbors and were ripe and ready within 24hours of each other.

There was not enough Tinta Barocca (from the mysteriously names Sk’Windjiesvlei) for a SV wine this year so it went into the Family Red.

Other single vineyard wines, from a little further afield, includes:

Geelkapel White Muskadel from a vineyard in the Moutonshoek farm behind Piketberg, planted in 1984 and harvested on 18 January this year.

Sout van die aarde (Salt of the earth) Palomino is a vineyard on the west coast, just north of Dwarskersbos. The vineyard, planted in 1961, is planted in sheer limestone soil and was ready to harvest on 24 January.

And the baby of the Single Vineyards, the Bokveld Pinot Noir planted in 2006 in the Koue Bokkeveld on the Ceres Plateau, was harvested on the 19th of February.

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.

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.

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 16.01.52

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 16.01.33

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 15.59.48Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 15.58.04

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.

Steen sipping season

It looks like it is Chenin season in the Northern Hemisphere, and our Secateurs seems to be amongst many people’s favourite…

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen recommendations and thumbs up from all over the north. From Temple Cellars in Singapore who made us their white of the week…

35078323_2004201722947773_3612344272218488832_n

…to Paste Online Magazine’s dashing write up about Chenin (click click – read more here) which they recon “had fallen into fuddy-duddy grandpa-wine status until fairly recently” but now it’s real hip and our Secateurs is recommended cause it is “kind of… sensual, actually. Like it’s round in all the right ways and well-defined in all the right ways”…

…and Dave McIntyre recommending it in The Washington Post as a [summer] sipping wine – Secateurs definitely has its glass half full right now.

Meanwhile winemag.com wrote a lovely piece focussing on the 2015 South African vintage saying “a fantastic 2015 vintage, have created a flood tide powerful enough to finally crash on our shore, ready to break existing expectations and create a new, well-earned reputation for South African wine as a serious contender on the world stage.” and we spotted one of our own and many of our favourite wines:

red_wines_from_south_africa_

For up to date posts about all the media we spot ourselves in, keep an eye on our Facebook Page and remember to follow us on Instagram for pretty pictures from the farm and beyond.

Friday things

Never a dull moment on the Partyberg. It is Friday and there are lots of things happening on Kalmoesfontein.

The flowers are in bloom,

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 13.22.14

new wines are going into bottle,

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 13.22.27

and we’re prepping for a trade tasting (and lunch) tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 13.25.06

Meanwhile Greg Sherwood (MW!) posted nice things about the 2015 Raaigras Grenache, and I quote:
“This must be one of South Africa’s best Grenache reds. Coming from old vines planted on Adi Badenhorst’s farm on the decomposed granite hills of the Paardeberg, Swartland in 1951, this wine shows such Grenache purity, power and authenticity.”

img_4466

and our Chenin is included in a tasting line up, in Stellenbosch (of all places).

Happy Friday indeed! Cheers.

Good report cards

The Tim Atkin SA Report 2017 is out and we got a table of wines on the 90+ list!

Say’s Tim: “Both at home and overseas, there is a growing awareness of the winemaking and viticultural revolution that is unfolding in the Cape. Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly passionate about South African wines. And not before time! My annual report is, I hope, a part of that success.”

It sure is Tim!

Our school report reads as follows:

Tim Atkin Report 2017

Not too shabby hey Nige.

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.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-08-17-30
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
 
screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-08-18-13

 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:

mail

“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.

image (13)

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

image (14)

and the Swartland is still stunning in winter…

image (15)

 

 

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)

1395248_539626649447770_1082077953_n

and Nicole was there to pour our latest Secateurs.

1378086_539626406114461_545805618_n

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.

photo 2

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.

photo 53

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