A spiritual journey for SA wines

Matthew Jukes, considered by many to be the most influential wine writer in the UK, turns his attention to South African wine after confessing “Are you, like me, one of those people who doesn’t really get South African wine? … Well, it is time to think again because this mindset is completely and utterly outdated. “

He visited the Cape winelands, and the Swartland, in June and give a very insightful report on the current and future state of SA wine industry.

As he explains: “There is a very strong identity building in South Africa right now surrounding what other countries term ‘Young Guns’.  Young Guns are, by way of explanation, not necessarily young people, but they have a fresh, international view, and often a wide skill-set, which is rare in the wine business.  They also happen to be the people with their names or brands on the label.  They usually operate out of smaller wineries, often having quit large corporate wine companies, and they almost always enjoy instant, mini-cult status on release of their own wines, assuming that they stack up.  South Africa hasn’t had many YGs until recently.” 

He then goes on to claim:
Adi Badenhorst’s departure from Rustenberg signalled a spiritual downsizing for ambitious dudes to do their own thing.  This is happening in droves and I would venture to say that this movement is very close to becoming the single most important defining factor when it comes to South Africa’s vinous image abroad.”

He mentions more of our Swartland neighbours and fellow Revolutionaries, you know, Sadie, the Mullineuxs, Lammershoek and more. 

We would recommend you Read more here as the article is very well written and insightful.

He also rates our AA Badenhorst, Secateurs White, Swartland, 2010 17/20 4 stars 13.5%
“One of a trio of marvellous entry level wines, Adi’s white is a wickedly priced and spankingly attractive wine.  With Chenin Blanc core it loads more complexity than any other rival at this price.  Watch out for a 2010 red and 2011 rosé coming soon.  Drink now – 2012 £9.95 Swig”

Friendly Family Farm wedding

Last weekend we hosted a big family (ours, the bride Rouxlene is Cornelia’s cousin, sister to “the cousin who does the PR and marketing”) wedding on Kalmoesfontein. Although the wind blew us (and the bride’s veil) away during the ceremony and into the night it was a very cosy, love filled, fun affair. 

 “The Chapel” in front of the cellar. 
 “The cousin who does the PR and marketing, plans weddings and plays bridesmaid” with the proud father and blushing bride and 9 of the 10 blond kids who preceded them down the isle. Samuel and Ana also made the cut along with their cousins Richard, Jan-Hendrik and Hardy (who is the missing 1).

 The makeshift wind shelter – Swartland style. 
 The first dance.
Ouma Joey, the only grandparent in attendance, made all of the flags from old telephone books, to fit with the recycled, eco-friendly theme. 
 Simple, not so windproof, table settings of white and glass. 

 Every seat had a unique quote on love and marriage (in the glasses cause the original plan was even less windproof) 

The dance floor might have just been the parking lot in front of Adi’s office, but that didn’t stop the guests (everyone, from the vet bride’s farming friends to the professional MMA fighter groom’s cage fighting buddies) from busting a move and dancing into the night. We think we have Secateurs (and Oom Jan’s Paradyskloof wines) to thank for that. Remember the Secateurs warrior!?

We hope Rouxlene and Paul will have a long and loving life together and we thank them for sharing their special day with us.

Photography: Maree Louw (Natural light Photography – click for more images
Make Up & Hair: Marti Bester (marti.bester@gmail.com / 0724594154)
Dress: Zani Lombard (0799269833)
Bouquet & wreaths: Cousin Marica Louw (marica@houseofarums.co.za / 0832655216)
Set up & decor: sister Helena Sheridan & cousin Cornelia Badenhorst (De Liefde)

Venue: Kalmoesfontein

Forests, Harrods and other stories from the North…

Some news from the United Kingdom and Europe.

One of our loyal customers in the UK, Mark Bedford, sent us a picture of him enjoying our Secateurs Red Blend in the forest after foraging for some mushrooms.

He writes:
“Here is the picture of me on a day’s wild forage – leaves, berries, wood pigeon, a few fungi – in a big forest in Oxfordshire, just last Saturday. Your wine went very well with seared wood pigeon breasts gently poached in a hawthorn, sloe and rosehip syrup, all from berries picked an hour earlier. Outstanding tucker and great wine match – though I had to share my bottle with other foragers who had not done the same detailed forward planning since ‘bottle of red wine’ was not in their kit list!”

Proof that our wine even tastes great from a plastic cup:

 In other parts of the Northern Hemisphere we are very proud to have our Family Wines and Secateurs on prominent display in Harrods in London and Berlin:

 As for us back home, we are excitedly counting down the days (11) till The Swartland Revolution. Bring on 11.11.11! 

Best red for under R100 – setting records!

Roland Peens at the Wine Cellar reckons our Secateurs Red blend 2010 vintage is the best SA red you can buy for under R100.

They are currently running a special on this wine (buy per case) and 2 days into the sale he says it is selling so fast that he predicts record sales!

“Adi has hit a complete home run here, and Neal Martin’s latest Wine Advocate review is in agreement. The 90/100 rating is in line with many wines 3 or 4 times its price. Buy this wine by the case load, it’s delicious.”

He also mentions our Secateurs Chenin on his list of top wines under R100 along with other Swartland gems like Lammershoek LAM and Mullineux Kloof Street Red.

chasing snakes – and cooking lunch!

Samuel and his cousin Jan-Hendrik recently helped clear a patch of land to plant artichokes and they had fun catching (non poisonous) snakes! 

We hope to treat you with lots of home grown goodness at our first open day:

Lunch of origin Swartland
We would like to invite all food and wine lovers  to our first ever OPEN DAY – a Sunday lunch on Kalmoesfontein farm, home of AA Badenhorst Family Wines.
SUNDAY LUNCH, 2 October 2011, for friends, family and even children. Ja, they can come too – we will provide a little muddy dam for them to frolic in after chasing the farm chickens. Mud is easier to clean off car seats than ice cream…
We plan to put on a most amazing lunch – my mother Judy and I will do the cooking – you just have to eat and drink and make merry (and try to keep the conversation interesting and intelligent, if you want, but the other extreme is also ok.)
The Swartland will look incredible then and from where you will sit the vistas of ripening wheat fields and budding vines is unsurpassed.
Most of the ingredients will be sourced from our farm and our neighbouring farms. These friends grow wonderful chickens, ducks, lamb and vegetables. The tastes will be fresh and alive.
The menu will be something like this (depending on available ingredients)
Salad green – baby butter lettuce with salsa verde dressing (the anchovies are not from here though)
Quiches – the way quiches should really look and taste! Vegetarian delight!
Homemade bread – from locally grown and ground flour
Pickles galore – from my mom, a woman who pickles everything in sight
Big juicy free range chickens – served whole on fresh roasted vegetables and potatoes/patats.
(So we need carvers, we will provide the right tools all you have to do is cut and share.)
 Desserts will be homemade ice cream and rhubarb from the garden.
Leaf tea and coffee from our cellar espresso maching for those that want otherwise some very special sweet wine or sherry.
The wines to pair will include- the Secateurs Rose, Chenin Blanc and Red Blend and the AA Badenhorst White and Red Blends plus some other cellar-only specials (we will dig into Cornelia’s drinking stock while she’s not looking…)
The 5Ws & H:
Who: Your Host, Andre Adriaan (Adi) Badenhorst [Family Wines]
What: Farm Fresh Sunday Roast
When: Sunday October 2nd, 2011 – 12.30 for 13.00
Where: Kalmoesfontein, Paardeberg, Swartland (map to be supplied)
Why: Cause we want to share the goodness of the Swartland with you!
How: If you are interested, mail us (aabadenhorstwine@gmail.com) and we will send you banking and booking details.
The cost will be R250/person and R50/child and we will have a farm stall style shop where you can buy wonderful produce from the area (so bring some cash and a basket).

Photos from the farm

Jasper Wickens, assistant wine maker and (un)official Paardeberg party planner sent me a few pictures from the farm. 

Above & below: Filling up the new Sherry Cellar!

Above & below: Pruning time in the vineyards

Below: Gotcha! the Muskeljaatkat that has been caught after weeks of ‘population control’ among our chickens!

News and updates

While Adi is in the USA life continues on Kalmoesfontein.

I finally received (two!) images from the Swartland Oesaf Party (harvest festival) that was held on Kalmoesfontein on April 1st. The venue and the Rosé at the venue… Hopefully someone will send more pics soon!

Other news is that we bottled some Secateurs Red blend 2010 last week (more info and notes on this wine soon) and this week it is time to bottle some Rosé…

And Adi gets mentioned in a post about South Africa’s wine of origin on the Montreal Gazette…

 This is the new frontier in South African wines. Winemakers like Eben Sadie (Sadie Family Wines), Craig Hawkins (Lammershoek) and Adi Badenhorst (Badenhorst Family Wines), all love their chenin blanc, and for the most part eschew technological winemaking and concentrate on grape growing. As Sadie preached, “We are on the 33rd parallel. Why are we trying to grow grapes that are best on the 44th (Bordeaux)?”

So this the place for the syrah, mourvèdre and other heat-loving vines.”

Take note of Swartland. he says… well IN-DEED…

Bokkoms-on-toast with a glass of Chenin

Kobus van der Merwe cooks up an unconventional Bokkoms-on-toast in his restaurant in Paternoster. 

Apple and gooseberries are the perfect slightly acidic counterpoints to the maasbanker, with seekoraal providing crunch, and orange beurre blanc and soft egg adding richness. The lettuce adds a bite of sea freshness. And in my opinion, Adi Badenhorst’s easy-drinking Secateur Chenin Blanc is its perfect wine partner.” 

Read more about his Wild West Coast cooking on his blog on Food24.  or follow him on Twitter @SardineToast. 

quote: the most exciting winemaker in South Africa – unquote

Our UK agents at Swig Wine recommended our wines to their loyal customers this week. Says the report on www.swig.co.uk: “There are rumours that say he was grown from stem cells on Elvis’s sideburns, but all we know is that Adi Badenhorst is the most exciting winemaker in South Africa”

There is also a lovely collection of reviews for our Family Estate wines and Secateurs Range, and with these amazing deals you will wish you were a loyal Swig buyer… 

He’s like one of those eastern gurus who lets you see that the answer was in front of you all the time, you only had to change your focus to see it.”