Happy Spring from the Swartland.
If you haven’t been to Kalmoesfontein, here is a look from above.
Happy Spring from the Swartland.
If you haven’t been to Kalmoesfontein, here is a look from above.
If you’ve ever had a bottle of our wine (or Caperitif or Swaan Tonic) in your hands and took some time to examine the label you would have noticed a lot of detail. But did you know each detail has a story, a connection to our journey and our family?
No? Well let me enlighten you. In this post we’ll look at the horseshoe and the three headed bird (sometimes a goose, sometimes a swan, never a sparrow).
The three headed bird:
Yes, three heads are “trippier” than one, as Adi likes to point out, but in actual fact the meaning here refers to three generations of Badenhorst farmers.
Adi and cousin Hein’s grandfather was the farm manager of Groot Constantia for 46 years, their fathers were born there and farmed together in Constantia, making Adi and Hein the third generation. Adi obviously farms and makes wine in the Swartland while Hein has an olive farm in Prince Albert, amongst others.
The horseshoe is probably one of the most well-known good luck symbols of the Western world and has a long history as a protective symbol.
The symbol is quite common in Egyptian iconography. It is a very auspicious symbol, a charm used to protect against any form of evil and bring good luck. Read more here.
On Kalmoesfontein you’ll find a few horses and plenty of horseshoes above cellar and other doors.
Keep an eye out for these symbols on our products and on this blog for more fascinating facts…
After a few weeks of quiet cellar preparations the first grapes have arrived.
And the winner is:
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:
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.)
Here’s to a five-star 2017!
Last year we hosted the first ever Convivium with great success. Now we are very happy to announce that this world class local is lekker foodie event is on its way BACK>
Head over to the event’s brand new website to check it out. This year there will be two events, a Saturday full of information and experience for industry insiders and a Sunday lunch much like 2015.
Our friends Jon came to take areal shots of the farm with is drone – that’s my home!
99% of the grapes are in for harvest 2016.
We hosted the International Food and Wine Society for a “mini revolution” complete with Adi, Andrea, Callie and Eben, Where is Callie placemats, a harvest buffet by Judy Badenhorst and an informal SIP tasting.
Caperitif also received some great publicity – keep an eye on its website for more!
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.”
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:
“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!
On Sunday we hosted Convivium2015 on Kalmoesfontein. Before the event I reported the manifesto of what Andy Fenner and Wesley Randles, in conjunction with Badenhorst Family Wines, numerous (famous) chefs and local winemakers wanted to achieve, and by golly did we all feel like over-achievers by Sunday night…
I think it is safe to say the event was a roaring success and that only bigger and better things can come from this. If Sunday was the pilot, we are all in for a few Emmys in the future.
If the aim was indeed to, as Andy said “strip out the frills and unnecessary bullshit that sterile cooking environments can lead to, provide a stage for real collaboration, real inspiration and real connection.” and as Wes added “we want to create a feeling of camaraderie amongst local chefs. This is a stage to share ideas and to share the common love of our craft.” then the mission was completed on Sunday.
Real passion, real collaboration, real good results. Enough said.
We are proud to be hosting this event on our farm next weekend!
The 1st of February sees the inaugural Convivium festival being hosted in South Africa. Drawing on inspiration from MAD Symposium, Cook It Raw, Terra Madre etc. The event is conceptualized by Wesley Randles (head chef at The Pot Luck Club) and Andy Fenner (owner of Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants), the event aims to showcase food, chefs and producers in the most primal way possible.
“The way to do this is to close the gap between the end product (a meal) and the starting point (the earth and the animal),” explains Fenner. Together with Randles, the pair have hooked in some of the most celebrated chefs in the country. Luke Dale-Roberts, PJ Vadas, Markus Farbinger, Liam Tomlin and George Jardine are some of the high profile names you can expect to see cooking on the day. But the entire experience is about more than a good meal. Fenner explains that “by stripping out the frills and unnecessary bullshit that sterile cooking environments can lead to, this is a stage for real collaboration, real inspiration and real connection.” Randles adds “we want to create a feeling of camaraderie amongst local chefs. This is a stage to share ideas and to share the common love of our craft.”
The main theme of the event is to shine light on producers and to get attendees interacting with each other and the participating chefs. The chosen chefs have been curated because of strong, clearly identifiable food philosophies. Being a good chef is not what this day is about. Well…it’s not only what this day is about. This day is about a movement. It is about getting back in touch with what cooking actually means. Common problems and concurs of the industry will be addressed in discussions throughout the day. Along with the participating chefs and producers, Fenner and Randles want to explore various topics in the form of informal interactions. Topics include:
What are we doing to the earth and ourselves? We cannot continue to over-consume the way we are. Serious issues need to be looked at like nutrition, overfishing, battery farming etc. but there is also a creative energy that comes from being outside, in touch with nature and ingredients. Experts need to champion sustainable local ingredients, with a big focus on edible plants and herbs. Wastage and over consumption can be addressed too.
Continuing the idea of exploring fynbos and herbs, we need to explore various techniques on how to best utilise them. By looking backwards we can look forwards and develop as chefs and producers. There are various ingredients, meat prep techniques and cuts that have been forgotten that need to be re-introduced. We need to celebrate South African produce and culture by drawing a clear line in the sand of how we want to prepare food. And how we want to serve and eat it.
There are no airs and graces at Convivium. This is a day for chefs to share knowledge, as much as they share food. And wine. Kitchens have a way of becoming isolated environments, working as closed entities. But we need to look around. We need to feed off each other’s ideas sometimes. Chefs who say they aren’t bothered with what other chefs are cooking are a dying breed. There is nothing wrong with learning from one another and taking ideas TO MAKE THEM YOUR OWN. Inspiration is everywhere if you know where to look – this day just makes it that much easier to see.
Let’s not overlook this. The day promises to be a whole lot of fun. This is a time to open a great bottle of wine and raise a glass to each other. This day builds the community by bringing farmers, butchers, fishermen, chefs, winemakers, brewers and bakers together. This can be a brutal industry, but we have all chosen it. And we have all done that because we love it. Let’s recognise each other’s efforts. By first recognising each other.
The day’s events include:
8.00: Pick up from Franky Fenner Meat Merchants, Church Street, Cape Town
9.15: Arrival at Badenhorst Family Wines, Kalmoesfontein
9.30: Meet & Greet
Coffee & pastries from Jasons, Espresso Lab and Rosetta
Cured meats from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants
10.30: Jorgensen’s Distillery gin tasting
12.00: Spending time interacting with chefs and producers while they prepare for the banquette
14.00: Chefs, producers & guests sit down together to enjoy the feast – with Swartland wines!
17.30: Pick up from Kalmoesfontein
18.45: Return to Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants
Luke Dale-Roberts, George Jardine, Franck Dangereux, Liam Tomlin. These chefs will oversee a lot of the cooking and will cook dishes to compliment pre-planned courses. These are dishes created off the cuff, and will be done by arriving and drawing inspiration from the “pantry”. Tables of herbs, baskets of fruit, Adi’s vegetable garden, a side of pork, a whole forequarter, sausage casings and grinders, fresh oysters, edible plants etc. to be displayed for chefs to make use of.
Vanessa Marx & Kobus Van Der Merwe. Team one.
Markus Farbinger, Liezie Mulder & PJ Vadas. Team two.
Jason Lilley & Ivor Jones. Team 3.
Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants
Buffalo Ridge Mozzarella
Swartland Independent Wine Producers
Werner Karg (farmer at Oak Valley)
The day, including transport (optional), food and drinks is R1500 per head
Please RSVP and send proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday the 21st of January in order to secure your place. There are only 7 seats still available.
The second week of January had just kicked off, most of us had barely unpacked our holiday bags and the first Syrah grapes were ready to be picked. No easing into this year, it is all systems go and harvest 2015 is here.
on Monday the heat (and drought, hardly any rain since September) got too much, even for a die hard no-irrigation-prophet like Adi, and all the farm’s water got redirected to the vineyard. Meanwhile the temperatures rise and the pool is empty. Priorities..
On Tuesday Samuel, Ana and their cousins Richard, Hardy and Jan Hendrik (from Stellenbosch!) stomped the first Syrah.
That concludes our first harvest update for 2015. Now for some featured fun.
Adi’s mom’s 70th, hosted on Kalmoesfontein late last year, is in the February issue of House and Garden Gourmet
while the 2014 Swartland Revolution occupies 8 pages in the Food and Home from the same month. Included amongst the feedback on the weekend, recipes of some of the delicious food and mentions of the world class wines, THREE CAPERITIF COCKTAILS!
Now we just need the go ahead to get the stuff moving…
We love this story from the latest issue of Wine Enthusiast. Written by Lauren Buzzeo, photographed by Maree Louw (on Kalmoesfontein) and styled by Cornelia Badenhorst, the article is a beautiful feature of the original revolutionaries – Eben Sadie ‘The Virtuoso’, Callie Louw ‘The Farmer’, Chris and Andrea Mullineux ‘The Dynamic Duo’ and Adi ‘The Personality’.
To read the full story online, click here.
For more about The Swartland Revolution, visit our website.