Single Vineyards 2018 Release

Our Single Vineyard wines are made and bottled with the express intent to respect the truth of the site. Most of these vineyards are on our farm or other slopes and valleys of the Paardeberg. We’ve been working with some for almost 9 years now and each year these vineyards show a consistansy and uniqueness that we seek out.

As Adi says “these are wines without eye-shadow…”

The one everyone is talking about (well, Tim Atkin named it his red wine discovery of the year in his 2019 South African Report… and described it as ‘delicate, ethereal and graceful’, saying, ‘it’s one of the best Cinsaults I’ve ever tasted.’) is the new kid on the block the Ringmuur Cinsault.

It’s rarer than we like our fillet, sold out from our side and most retailers, make sure to grab it if you see it anywhere.

Others returning to the line up include

– the famous Raaigras “oldest Grenache vineyard in the land” from 12 rows / 1268 vines which yields about 3 tons in a good year.

-Chenin Blancs from Dassiekop, according to Adi the “finest Chenin Blanc vineyard in South Africa”; The Golden Slopes, named after the deep yellow coloured granite in the site; Piet Bok se Steen so called after an old vigneron who lived in a tiny cottage besides the block and Klipkop – a tiny parcel planted on top of a granite outcrop in 1966.

– and just to make things a bit harder for our international agents, wines named Sk’Windjiesvlei (a Tinta Barocca planted in 1962) and Sout van die Aarde (Palomino from the West Coast just north of Dwarskersbos…)

Christian Eedes reported on (and scored) all the wines from the 2018 vintage single vineyards recently. You can read his thoughts and tasting notes here (click click).

You can buy some here.

You can read about the 2019 harvest, here.

Single vineyards vintage 2019

A visual representation of when the single vineyards on and around the farm were harvested this year.

Everything came in in the span of 27 days, starting with the cellar block on 31 Jan and ending with the Ramnasgras Cinsault (planted in 1966!) on the 27th of Feb.

The Golden Slopes (since 1968) and Klipkop (1966) Chenin Blanc vineyards are neighbors and were ripe and ready within 24hours of each other.

There was not enough Tinta Barocca (from the mysteriously names Sk’Windjiesvlei) for a SV wine this year so it went into the Family Red.

Other single vineyard wines, from a little further afield, includes:

Geelkapel White Muskadel from a vineyard in the Moutonshoek farm behind Piketberg, planted in 1984 and harvested on 18 January this year.

Sout van die aarde (Salt of the earth) Palomino is a vineyard on the west coast, just north of Dwarskersbos. The vineyard, planted in 1961, is planted in sheer limestone soil and was ready to harvest on 24 January.

And the baby of the Single Vineyards, the Bokveld Pinot Noir planted in 2006 in the Koue Bokkeveld on the Ceres Plateau, was harvested on the 19th of February.

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.

End the year, our way!

As you might know by now, more Badenhorsts have joined us on the Paardeberg. This time in the form of brother Charl and his wife Semma – this power couple moved to the berg in January to help manage the farm, with Semma focussing on accommodation and events.

Which means we get to throw parties during harvest time and make more brides happy and now, add new additions to our repertoire. Like end of year shindings…

Yup, the end of the year is approaching, flippin fast! We suspect that you (and your staff) aren’t blown away by the idea of another end-of-year event at some city bar (or worse, the boardroom in your office…)

That’s why we, the AA Badenhorst family team, have decided to put on our thinking caps and combine our years of diverse event experience and party planning – to come up with something special for your team!

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I mean – between us we’ve styled, hosted, planned and conceptualised things on five continents. We’ve been curating our little piece of the Paardeberg for the last decade, but our roots in the Swartland go back generations. We’ve worked with the likes of Visi, Afrikaburn, Elle, Sanctuary Retreats, Sense of Africa, Burning Man (and lots of wonderful things in between) and can create, design and flawlessly execute gatherings of all shapes and sizes.

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On our working wine farm, at the end of a dusty road on the slopes of the Paardeberg, we are known for unique experiences. And the bonus is, within an hour from Cape Town’s CBD you will feel like you are in a different country!

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We can offer wine /vermouth /tonic /port /mezcal tastings; cellar tours; banquets; hikes; throw-downs under the maypole; live music / DJs; outdoor screenings; glamping and more. As with any event we do, this will be customised as an individual package, according to company needs and with complete exclusivity guaranteed.

If you are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary finale this year you have found it. Start with a e-mail to semma@aabadenhorst.com and we’ll take it from there.

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(all images from #agencydayout on instagram)

Vineyard internships

If Samuel and Ana thought their holiday internships with the family business was over now that they are back on the farm, they would not have appreciated this morning’s wake up call.

Following the recent rains (hip hip hooray) and with the soils nice and wet, we are planting some new vineyards. Yesterday we started with Grenache and today the kids got their hands and boots dirty to help out.

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Seems Ana is the only one who didn’t get the “working man’s blue” dress code memo. Rebel that one.

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Like Adi says, “they are planting vines for their kids, no pressure…”

Once this vineyard is ticked off the list, in the next week or two we will also plant Cinsault, Palomino and some rootstock in-between, for later grafting.

Supplementing the old with the new. Cause one day what is new and young now will be old too…

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!