Officially authentic

We are proud to share that we are now an award-winning authentic South African experience!

Charl, Mina and the team were honoured by The Wine and Food Tourism Conference with the honour of The VINPRO Authentic South African Experience Award 2020.

“This award acknowledges original initiatives that create authentic South African experiences in which individuals can fully immerse themselves, and at the same time promote our cultural heritage through food and wine.”

To find out more about booking a food and wine experience on the farm, click here.

Live, love, like…

Occasionally we like to remind followers of (and visitors to) our blog to also follow and like our other online pages. We are much more active on the likes of Instagram and Facebook with going-ons, like

features from afar | Adi’s birthday | Swartland mixed cases & online tastings

adventurous and or – | romantic – farm visits | our weekly farm fresh box

About The Kalmoesfontein Box:

From the rusk recipe that Yoliswa started baking with when we first arrived on the farm and Judy’s long beloved marmalades to Charl’s ice-cream successes and the butter Hanneke started churning during lockdown – we’ve always been baking and making, preserving and preparing things grown on the farm in order to elevate meals served from the kitchen.

So, since it seems boxes are the new baskets and we now make enough products of origin Kalmoesfontein, we’ve put together OUR OWN BOX.

delivered to your door*.

The specific weekly box combo gets sent out on (most**) Tuesdays – let me know on aabadenhorstwine@gmail.com if you want to be on the mailing list.

*Swartland, Cape Town and in between only.

**Subject to availability…

Also, coming soon, daily opportunities to lunch with the team. But, more on that via one or all of our platforms, just now…

Harvest 2020

2020 is a leap year, although we didn’t even really need the extra day in February- the grapes are 99% picked and pressed.

Down to just over 250 tons from about 280ish tons in 2019, this year’s harvest came in fast. Vineyards put their hands up to say ‘pick me now’ from early in January; there were a few crazy days in early February when temperatures peaked in the low 40s (that’s degrees Celsius) and it seemed the cold room would never be empty again.

But the vinyl kept playing; the crew kept gooiing kussies; the pomp kept klapping and the team are all smiles.

This year we once again had Keiji (aka Cage) all the way from Japan and Raynard (all the way from Malmesbury…) with new (very) local addition Tol (his father being our much featured long time employee Fortuin); first half impact player Tom (a Badenhorst) and Tom (not a Badenhorst, who has already departed to do it all again in Argentina). With Hanneke keeping on top of all the details and Adi guarding over the bigger picture, the cogs kept on turning – some days from 4am till long after the sun set, only grinding to a halt for the occasional visit from The Loadshedding Demon.

Back from left to right; Tom (not Badenhorst), Tol, Hanneke, Adi. In front; Cage and Ray

Obviously there were a few sunrise braais, many cups of good coffee and, according to the team ‘never the same lunch twice’.

In between Charl and Semma (and Judy and Mina and the team) hosted numerous lunches (and breakfasts and pizza oven experiences) and we put on another edition of Bradstock.

Bradstock, as it is known amongst fans, originated last year as a combined 40th/50th for Belinda and Andy – the jol was such a hit that they decided to do it again this year, making it a mini festival for their group of friends. Hosted over 24 hours and with two meals, three dance floors, eight musical acts, numerous outfit changes and thirty Glamping tents on the terraces – this was a party to remember (and repeat!).

Just a friendly reminder that Kalmoesfontein is not only the home of some of your favourite wines, we also provides a unique venue and location to bring your celebrations to life.

As always, be sure to follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook to see what we get up to.

Another opportunity to visit us!

Our next monthly tasting lunch will take place on 24 August – your chance to see the lush winter landscape of the Swartland and explore all that Kalmoesfontein offers.

The day includes a tour of the cellar, a wine tasting, an introduction to our Agave Spirit, Caperitif and Swaan Cape Tonic as well as a 3 course farm lunch.

We start at 11:30 and it costs R500pp.

This takes place the day before Ayama (just on the south side of the Paardeberg) hosts their annual Artichoke Festival,

and on Friday night we’re playing some vinyls while making some of the famous Kalmoesfontein pizzas in our wood fire oven (2pizzas + a bottle of superlative vintage Secateurs for R300 limited to 30pax)… so why not make a weekend of it and come see what the platteland has to offer.

Unfortunately our accommodation is already fully booked, but to book for Friday or Saturday’s offerings contact Semma@aabadenhorst.com.

What a weekend!

We thought it would be nice to share some of our favourite things to do in and around the Swartland. Spending a weekend (or any few days) in the region can really relieve you of the stresses of the city. I mean there is no traffic, the few taxis in the towns are driven by polite law abiding citizens, the ratio of shining retail window display to real things made by locals are in your favour and the landscapes are wide open and unobstructed.

So, if you are planning to spend a few days in our (or any other local) accommodation (note, ours is the most instagram worthy and my gosh that linen!) here are a few of the things we like to do within 30mins drive of the farm.

Hiking:

So many options; you can start on the farm and walk into the Paardeberg (ask Semma); drive to the Riebeek Mountain and take the newly reopened route from Pulpit Rock or take a super easy walk up the granite hill outside Malmesbury (see slideshow below).

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Alternatively drive through Wellington and into Bain’s Kloof Pass (gorgeous views of everything the light touches) and stop off to sit next to the river (ask Helena for tips). For all of these we can provide guides on request and at a small fee.

Most of these routes are also mountain bike friendly!

Shopping and eating like a local:

On your way to Bain’s Kloof you will pass my favourite leather shop. Redemption Leather is a local factory / shop where you can buy hand made shoes, bags, belts and so much more. Worth a visit. I should go back but the boots I bought in 2016 are still going strong!

For farm fresh food you have plenty of options… as you should in the country side.

In Riebeek you can get great produce at The Biggest Little Market (previously Crisp) opposite Beans about Coffee (yes, another coffee is a great idea!) and something to braai straight from Delico Meat, a farmstyle family butchery.

The Biggest Little Market produce

For meals we always recommend Mama Cucina (great specials on the blackboards but the Sophia Loren pizza never fails) and make sure to look into King Olaf Furniture across the road. We also like drinking cocktails at The Alchemist, buying wine at The Wine Kollective and checking out art at the various galleries.

In Malmesbury you should stop at The Swartland Street Market where the Bill&Co Deli and Wine Shop stock all things local and Marvel Bistro and Bakery prepare good food daily. There is also a lovely urban food garden, created by Buurtvrug, and lots of space for city kids to stretch their legs. They have monthly winetasting dinners, market days and more.

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Wine (and other) tastings:

Most small producers are only open by appointment (like us) so make sure to enquire in advance.  Check out the Swartland Wine and Olive Route’s site or that of Riebeek Valley Tourism for details on cellars that have open doors and active tasting rooms.

We’ve set aside a few dates for tasting days on the farm (click click) so try coming out on those weekends! And we have started to put together a sort of “menu of experiences” that friends and neighbours can offer so ask Semma about that when you book and get the most out of a weekend in die platteland.

wineclub2

Ok, this post is getting long. I will do a follow up story with nurseries, horse riding, local festivals and other things, soon.

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.

Grafting

This week we started grafting some shoots.

Grafting or graftage (just sounds like the kind of word that needs to be in italics) is a horticultural technique whereby tissues of plants are joined so as to continue their growth together. We have joined Chenin Blanc, Palomino and Ugni Blanc scions onto an old Red Globe root systems. These grapes will in future be used for brandy wine production…

Ugni Blanc? At first my phone corrected it to Agri Blanc – so I had to read up more.

And no surprise I hadn’t heard of the varietal also known as Trebbiano before; Wikipedia (that wonderful deep well of knowledge) lists synonyms for it as “Albano, Albana secco, Biancone, Blanc Auba, Blanc De Cadillac, Blancoun, Bobiano, Bonebeou, Branquinha, Brocanico, Bubbiano, Buriano, Buzzetto, Cadillac, Cadillate, Castelli, Castelli Romani, Castillone, Chator, Clairette D’Afrique, Clairette De Vence, Clairette Ronde, Engana Rapazes, Espadeiro branco, Falanchina, Greco, Gredelin, Hermitage White, Juni Blan, Lugana, Malvasia Fina, Muscadet Aigre, Padeiro branco, Perugino, Procanico, Procanico Dell Isola D Elba, Procanico Portoferraio, Queue De Renard, Romani, Rossan De Nice, Rossetto, Rossola, Rossula, Roussan, Roussea, Rusciola, Saint Emilion, Saint Emilion Des Charentes, Santoro, Shiraz White, Spoletino, Talia, Trebbianello, Trebbiano, Trebbiano Della Fiamma, Trebbiano Di Cesene, Trebbiano Di Empoli, Trebbiano Di Lucca, Trebbiano Di Tortona, Trebbiano Fiorentino, Trebbiano Toscano, Trebbianone, Tribbiano, Tribbiano Forte, Turbiano, Ugni blanc, Bouan, Beau, Thalia, Trebbiano di Soave, Trebbiano Romagnolo, Trebbiano Gallo and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo.

Trebbiano shares at least three synonyms with the Spanish wine grape Viura including Queue de Renard, Rossan, Ugni blanc and the similarly spelled Gredelín/Gredelin.”

Yup! In short – it is an Italian wine grape, one of the most widely planted grape varieties in the world. It gives good yields, but tends to yield undistinguished wine. Its high acidity makes it important in Cognac productions. En van daar die brannewyn planne.

And so, hopefully, you learn something new every day! Stay tuned for more informative updates, we’re excited to watch this develop.

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.

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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.