On the other hand…

The global phenomenon of Lockdown reached us in the Swartland too. We are however super fortunate to live on a farm where ‘not leaving your property’ and keeping our staff safe at home means we have more than enough to keep busy.

The South African Government has put a halt to all liquor sales (insert debate here) which also means we have been taking a closer look at the other things we juggle on the property.

As you can see on our Sidelines page on this website, we do not only produce wine… pretty sure that if you are a fan of the wines you know about Caperitif, probably Swaan Tonic too and likely The 4th Rabbit… but taking heed from our president, lets put a cork in that and look at the other little projects and produce.

Caper berries:

About five years ago Adi started looking for a local producer of capers and well, found none. So in true Adi style he decided to do something about it himself. Up on the east facing slopes of the Paardeberg, where no vineyards grew and some invasive trees had recently been eradicated, we planted Capparis spinosa in between the rows of local trees that we had established.

Year on year the plants have produced more and more berries, this year our crop is standing at 900kgs – and the bushes are still flowering.

The work is labour intensive ( and on a good day one person harvests about 900grams) and the process intense (especially as it is go season over Christmas and New Year) but it provides a few local ladies with steady work and income.

Breads:

The internet is all the rage with sourdough starters at the moment as people, locked inside their houses and avoiding the shops, are trying to bake their own bread.

Charl has been ahead of the trend for a while – but bread baking has a starter on the farm years before he joined the team. First Xoliswa then Molla baked fresh farm white bread for the cellar crew during harvest time (everyone fighting for the crust) and a few years later we started baking those breads to put in the cottage so that a fresh bread smell would welcome guests checking in.

When Charl (the younger Badenhorst brother) and his wife moved to the mountain they brought to the team a new set of skills and passions. So Charl cooks (with his mother’s guidance and recipes) for lunches and small events on the farm and during the winter of 2019 him and his team got schooled in sourdough.

Apart from the bread basket, Charl has also become the pizza oven master and these are a firm farm favourite. 

(Spot the capers!)

Eggs:

With many chickens come many eggs. Used mostly on the farm – again for feeding hungry crew (and kids), stocking the cottages and as an ingredient in Judy’s recipes. Hannes (that’s Cornelia’s brother who joined the team about two years ago as a general Mr Fix-It, but more on the family-team in another post) started keeping track of the hens’ laying track record, showed up with big trays and started selling them off.

Rooibos:

In an attempt to establish a Caperitif garden, to grow as many of the 45 ingredients here on the property, we planted some Rooibos in September last year. A few weeks ago we harvested 500kgs from the 0.5ha plantation. Read more about it on the Caperitif blog (click click).

Swaan:

And then lastly, for now, Swaan, our Cape Dry Tonic Water. We started making this one shortly after the Caperitif project took off, as craft tonic was still scarce back then. See, can’t find what you are looking for, make it…

Like a binge dieter Swaan has had many shapes and sizes but now comes in very cute 200ml bottles, with cans coming soon.

It simple: Persian limes, kai appels; cardamom; mint; water from Voor-Paardeberg; citric acid and quinine. Net so.

So yes, we keep busy. You can listen to Adi chatting about some of this and more on a recent podcast on Ex Amino Wine Company’s Sound Cloud (click here) and keep an eye on our Instagram or Facebook Page to see what we’re keeping busy with in isolation.

Stay well, stay safe.

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).

IMG_3749

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…

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:

mail

“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!

gin&swaan

New family members

Die Kaapse Dief en die Swaan.
Two products we lovingly nurtured since early 2014.

Today we finally have pack shots for them, and well, they do not only taste great, they are quite pretty too!

For more information on these exciting products, click here.

For orders and deliveries (in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban) mail Sam at wineadmin dot co dot za…

Capertif_KaapseDief_HIGH JPEG Swaan Tonic_Large JPEG