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.

Swartland Heritage II

Last year the Swartland Independent Producers (or SIP) of which we are a proud member, hosted the first instalment of the Swartland Heritage Festival at the Paternoster Fish Market. Click here for some pictures from last year. 

Tickets are now on sale for version two, coming to you on the first weekend of November. Book tickets by emailing RSVP@studio-h.co.za.

Hope to see you there!

New stock [images]

 

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Last week we had our friend Maree and her camera on the farm to shoot some library images for us (it had been five years since we last did it, and a LOT changes on Kalmoesfontein in five years…)

Here is just a sneak peak for your enjoyment. It is nice to see the evolution through the lens of a proper camera (and not an #iphone with #instagram filters!)


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We also shot some photos for new fact sheets for the Badenhorst, Secateurs and single vineyard ranges. Watch this space, we’ll upload them to the site when ready and if you are in the trade, lekker things are on their way – for you and your customers to get a sense of where our wines come from.

Photos: Maree Louw.

Friday things

Never a dull moment on the Partyberg. It is Friday and there are lots of things happening on Kalmoesfontein.

The flowers are in bloom,

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new wines are going into bottle,

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and we’re prepping for a trade tasting (and lunch) tomorrow.

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Meanwhile Greg Sherwood (MW!) posted nice things about the 2015 Raaigras Grenache, and I quote:
“This must be one of South Africa’s best Grenache reds. Coming from old vines planted on Adi Badenhorst’s farm on the decomposed granite hills of the Paardeberg, Swartland in 1951, this wine shows such Grenache purity, power and authenticity.”

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and our Chenin is included in a tasting line up, in Stellenbosch (of all places).

Happy Friday indeed! Cheers.

Good report cards

The Tim Atkin SA Report 2017 is out and we got a table of wines on the 90+ list!

Say’s Tim: “Both at home and overseas, there is a growing awareness of the winemaking and viticultural revolution that is unfolding in the Cape. Consumers worldwide are becoming increasingly passionate about South African wines. And not before time! My annual report is, I hope, a part of that success.”

It sure is Tim!

Our school report reads as follows:

Tim Atkin Report 2017

Not too shabby hey Nige.

Label of love part 1.

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).

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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:

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.

IMG_3726On 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…

Swartland Heritage Celebration

It is true, come November there will once again be a unique regional wine experience to attend. Like at the very successful Swartland Revolution of the past the Swartland Independent Producers want to share the good food, stunning scenery and diverse (award winning) wine of the region with fans and friends. This time in the scenic West Coast town of Paternoster!

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That’s right. International speakers, masterclasses, talks, tastings and music. And what the poster doesn’t tell you is that renowned local chef Bertus Basson has been confirmed as the weekend’s chef. Snacks, dinner, lunch…

For more info on the event and to buy tickets head over the the SIP website.

For more info on Bertus and his ventures, click here.

Please order tickets by emailing RSVP@studio-h.co.za – Book now, you will not be disappointed.

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!