All the grapes are in and things are starting to slow down (a little bit) in the cellar.

Harvest 2018 was late, tough, fast and small. But the fruit looks good and the juice is tasty.


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Some interesting notes and figures I spotted in the “grape intake book” include:

15 tons of Muscat de Frontignan (for Caperitif)

on 23 Feb an interesting combination of red grapes came in with a note “Port 2018″…

3,4tons of Raaigras Grenache (pictured above) and

431 kissies of Ramnasgras Cinsault…


Harvest Lunch

In the past we’ve been very serious about the “no nothing during harvest” rule. You may have even been on the receiving end of a “no-sorry/are-you-mad? never-in-harvest!” mail…

But that was back in the day when the team was tight and the person doing the tasting would have also been the person braaiing the meat and switching on the pump.

Now we are growing up fast. Early this year Adi’s brother Charl and his lovely wife Semma joined us in the Swartland, and with their wealth of experience in client relations and playing host they have added a new dimension to what we can offer.

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So, this February we hosted a few lunches for international groups. Adi’s mom Judy cooks, Semma and Charl hosts and helps prepare food, Cornelia makes everything look amazing and I just have to put out tasting glasses and spittoons while Adi only has to make a quick appearance, tell a joke and pour some wine.


Basically what this post is saying is: You don’t have to be scared to ask us to host a group of people in harvest time any more!

Mail Semma on aabadenhorst.stay@gmail.com and you might just be in luck.

Groups of 10 – 30 preferred. aalunch3


It has been a very hot, dry and BUSY start to the year on Kalmoesfontein.

Not only has the usual chaos of harvest ensued, but we’ve been hacking at agave, cooking piña and making mezcal while setting up and hosting Convivium 2018.

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What an honour to once again be the venue for this fantastic event. A celebration of conscious people making a real difference in the food and drinks industry in South Africa.

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From top chefs to wheat farmers, barmen and baristas, Convivium is at the forefront of a new (and important) movement in food.

Elle Deco did a nice review after the event (read it here) and there are SO MANY pretty pictures on Instagram (check out #convivium2018 or @conviviumtable) that we hardly need to say anything.

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We would just like to thank Andy Fenner and Wesley Randles (and the Studio_H team) for still entrusting us with hosting this inspirational event and for pushing us into the dry riverbeds and old farm cottages and beyond.

We hope you enjoyed the hot Swartland summer sun as much as we revelled in having you here.

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Next stop: harvest 2018

And so we’re starting to pack for the summer holidays again. The exodus from the Swartland to the sea starts tomorrow and I thought it a nice idea to ask Adi and Jasper what wines, drinks and cocktail ingredients they will be packing in their cooler boxes this year.

While Jasper’s first reaction was that he “is on a detox” and will be having only tonic water (Swaan, I’m sure) and the occasional gulp of sea water he did come to his senses and send through a modest list (all he can afford apparently, setting up cellar isn’t cheap…)

His first mention is a firm favourite with the Kalmoesfontein clan – White port and Swaan tonic water. On ice. Simple, delicious.

And he’ll also be drinking his own wines, mostly the Chenin Blanc under the Swerwer label, the last of the 2016 vintage!


Adi on the other hand is quick to list the “wines he is lus for this Christmas”:

Eben Sadie’s Skurfberg, Joostenberg’s Agteros and Glenelly Chardonnay while he mentions experiments with Mont Blois Pomphuis and “natural pet nat stuff along with a few medicinal twigs as my summer drink by the caravan”…


I’m looking forward to many Gin, Caperitifs and Tonics on the stoep at Kalmoesfontein where we’ll be ‘farm sitting’ (een se huis is n ander se vakansie, of so iets) and to celebrating a few memorable moments with Christa’s Filia.


Here’s to hoping you have a festive silly season with good wine (and drinks, and food) to share with people that are precious to you.

Thanks for another year of support (heck if you’ve read this far on the last blog of the year, cheers to you!).

Convivium is coming (back).

If you haven’t heard (then you don’t pay enough attention to our social media pages)

Convivium will be back for a third instalment on Kalmoesfontein early next year. This popular food event, the brain child of Andy Fenner (of Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants) and Wesley Randles (The Shortmarket Club) was first hosted on the farm in 2015.

This morning I took Wes and Louis (Project Manager from Studio_H) on a site visit to scout out a few locations. Exciting things are coming!

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For more info, read this article on EatOut.

For tickets, head over to Quicket.

Hope to see you here in the heat of Feb…

TV dinner


Last week we hosted the star and crew of Neil Anthony private chef – the tv series – on Kalmoesfontein.

Neil and his team spent the day exploring the garden and kept busy in the kitchen while we put on our best collared shirts and some make up to have Caperitif cocktails and Chevallerie Bubbles as the sun set.

We sat down for a lovely (if somewhat adventurous – you’ll understand when you see the show) three course meal paired with lekker wine and good neighbours for company.


Ana even recited a few poems and Samuel played sommelier.


We’re not sure when the episode will air but we’ll keep you posted.


Flattering scorelines

I did not watch the game this morning, but getting this message from Adi still made me cringe/smile.
Says Adi: “The springboks score today looked like my last CWG rating from Miguel Chan! The review reads like the match report  – bitter, unstable in the set-phases, flat on defence, lean on attack, no style, scoreline flattering.”
Here is Chan’s review of the 2013 vintage of the Geel Kapel.
Sweet (actually a dry wine)
AA Badenhorst Family Wines CWG Adi Badenhorst ‘Geel-Kapel” Swartland Muscat de Frontignan 2013
Since I was tasting the line up blind, it was obvious this advance color offering with it’s hazy and cloudy gold hue was an unstable and not clean wine.
Oxidative, stemmy with beer yeast note, kind of IPA style craft beer, notes of orange peel, floral, rose buds, musk, high alcohol evident, lean, yeasty and nutty on texture, tannic, phenolic, flat, individual style, this is a highly controversial wine, IMHO, not worthy being on the auction, considering the very high standards of sound winemaking that have generally prevails over the last 3 decades.
By offering a wine like this the CWG have potentially open a back door, for possible mediocrity in the future!  Simply put, cloudy and unstable wine, does not have it’s place at that level of precision.
I have looked at every possible angle, I just can’t place this wine anywhere, there is simply no benchmark anywhere in the world that it can relate to.
I am all for naturalness in wine, more especially from a viticultural perspective but when one is paying an average price of R 352 per bottle over the last 11 years, this is a gamble, not worthy of investing in!
This kind of offering is dangerous and does not do justice to Swartland as a region, guys have to be careful, not to cast doubt in consumer’s mind.
Generous 79 for those who thinks it’s acceptable to drink funky wine, but a solid 59 points for its unstable faulty conditions.
360 bottles produced | 59 / 79 Points MC
The Boks lost to the All Blacks by 57 points to 0 in The Rugby Championship…
Recent reviews of Adi’s entry for this year’s Guild Auction and his collaboration with Duncan Savage on their Loveboat wines, suggests he has improved much over the years, and maybe there is hope for die bokke too… maybe.
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Statistics say…

40% of wine fundis asked to pick a value for money white wine will go with our Secateurs Chenin Blanc.

Fair Lady wine promo - Augst 2017

Featured in the August issue of Fair Lady magazine, both Gina Neilson (co-owner of 9th Avenue Bistro and Boiler Room Cafe) and John Maytham (Cape Talk Radio) opted for a Secateurs.

Not a bad way to start the weekend – especially since this is how we started our Friday: