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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and you might just be in luck.
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.”
Adi visited Vouvray this weekend to observe the best in Chenin Blanc.
Below is Damien Delecheneau (Domaine de la Grange Tiphaine), who will be in the Swartland to present Expert Opinions at The Revolution next month. He spent the Sunday afternoon picking a vineyard with friends.
While Vincent Careme, (Domaine Vincent Careme) might be one of the world’s best Chenin winemakers, Adi showed him how to pack a braai grill, and kept a keen eye on his braai skills (which apparently he learned from his South African wife Tania).
Both these legends will bring their wines to The Swartland Revolution and present them at the Expert Opinion tasting on Saturday the 9th of November.