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.

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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

And we’re off!

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After a few weeks of quiet cellar preparations the first grapes have arrived.

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And the winner is:

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Two tons of Palomino came in from the Sout van die Aarde (Afrikaans, meaning Salt of the Earth) vineyard on the West Coast this morning!

I was too late and the boys in the cellar too busy (sticky fingers) to get a picture but I have been assured that the grapes are looking beautiful!

Meanwhile, the vintage might change but the rules stay the same:

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While The Guardian proclaimed Grenache the toughest grape in the world and Forbes put the Swartland on their list of the top 12 underrated wine regions to visit in 2017.

We happen to have the oldest Grenache in the Swartland on Kalmoesfontein, so be sure to (make an appointment to!!) come visit us soon (and by soon I mean AFTER the harvest.)

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Here’s to a five-star 2017!

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!

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The end is near…

As the end of the 2014 harvest starts to come into our sights, here are some pictures from the last few weeks.

late night pasta.

late night pasta.

Cellar innovation!

Cellar innovation!

A Swartland style siesta...

A Swartland style siesta…

Pressing Koffieklip Shiraz!

Pressing Koffieklip Shiraz!

pressing 1985 Steen (Chenin Blanc) after a two year sabbatical. Small berries big taste hey...

pressing 1985 Steen (Chenin Blanc) after a two year sabbatical. Small berries big taste hey…

a cellar of steel!

a cellar of steel!

Samuel's tank, 2014 Vintage.

Samuel’s tank, 2014 Vintage.

Learn from the best

And then he was in France.

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.

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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).


photoBoth these legends will bring their wines to The Swartland Revolution and present them at the Expert Opinion tasting on Saturday the 9th of November.

If you did not get a ticket to the event, come to Riebeek for the Swartland Independent Street Party that afternoon, taste wine from 18 SI members and mingle in the streets. See you there.