This beautiful video, by online retailer Port2Port is pure magic. It captures Adi and our extended family’s philosophy (if that’s not too ‘wanky’ to say, Adi) and mission very nicely.
Another week has come and gone, our local Covid19 strategy has evolved from a complete lockdown to a stage 4 (but figuring out exactly what that means feels like tricky algebra and we just know we cannot sell or export wine yet).
On the farm we are keeping busy though. Last week there was much excitement (and the most likes ever on a photo on our Instagram page) when we set up some cameras in the kloof and captured a Cape Leopard visit.
The whole family’s teenagers are currently locked down on the farm – after (huge) breakfasts they work on the farm (whatever is on the daily agenda) until (a massive) lunch and then it is homeschool time. When homework is done they usually venture into the kloof to work on and play in their ‘den’. In the past they had also spent a few nights camping there.
But last week brother-in-law Mark had a hunch to set up a camera at a porcupine hole and what do you know, we caught a glimpse of a leopard having a go at two porcupines!
Very exciting (if you are not sleeping 30 meters away!).
This week we’ve checked into a few vineyards which might interest you.
The last grapes harvested for 2020 comes from the oldest Bukettraube vineyard in SA (and the world??). Planted in 1978 – a time when Swartland Bukettraube could be found in every bottle store in the country.
I remember my Oupa talking about “boeke vol trouble” (books full of trouble) and although we are not looking for trouble, Adi does mention that he is trying to “make the Swartland great again…”. …
And then, on the other end of the scale, this is a young Grenache Noir vineyard planted in 2018 and doing very lekker.
Oh we hope we can show you around the farm in real life, soon soon.
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.
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.
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 read about the 2019 harvest, here.
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.
Our friends Jon came to take areal shots of the farm with is drone – that’s my home!
99% of the grapes are in for harvest 2016.
We hosted the International Food and Wine Society for a “mini revolution” complete with Adi, Andrea, Callie and Eben, Where is Callie placemats, a harvest buffet by Judy Badenhorst and an informal SIP tasting.
Caperitif also received some great publicity – keep an eye on its website for more!
I went travelling and neglected the blog a bit, so here is an update from the last two months. A few nice things people said about our products, some love for Adi and new record prices…
The Drinks Business reports on the first release of South African Barbarossa. A nice story of neighbours, farmers and winemakers working together to do something unique. Click here for the full story.
Meanwhile, at the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction, Adi’s 2015 auction wine, the AA Badenhorst Family Wines Graniet-Berg 2013 set a new auction record for a white wine at R7‚000 for a case of six. This news was apparently so big, even my 92 year old Gran told me about it when I returned… “Adi se wyn was op die tv-nuus.”
According to Business Day Live “Among the white wines, four beat last year’s record, including Ataraxia Under the Gavel Chardonnay 2014 at R6‚400‚ the AA Badenhorst Family Wines “Geel-Kapel” Muscat de Frontignan 2013 at R6‚000‚ and Jordan Chardonnay Auction Selection 2014 at R5‚800.”
Neil Pendock wrote this about the Geel-Kapel shortly before the auction:
In July we hosted a writer for American Travel and Leisure magazine in the cottage and she wrote a nice article about the four founding members of The Swartland Revolution (the 2015 edition being just over two weeks away!).
While Tim Atkin (MW) wrote a story after the New Wave South Africa tasting in London last month, noting that “here is proof that South Africa is currently the most exciting wine-producing country on the planet…” (we’ll take that!) and Lonely Planet named the Swartland one of the top 10 Most Intriguing wine regions in the world. Let’s hope we don’t get wandering backpackers showing up for tastings… By appointment only hippies!
The Swartland is heating up (literally) while we have still had only about 45% of the rainfall we needed to get this winter and like I said, the Revolution is around the corner…
See you there?
For news about Caperitif and Swaan Tonic Water, please visit our other site www.caperitif.com.
You may (or may not) have noticed that things slowed down a bit on our blog and social media feeds over the last two months. That is because every April and May ‘the cousin who does the marketing and web stuff’ heads off into the middle of nowhere, in the Tankwa Karoo, to run the crew that build up and break down AfrikaBurn. This year was no exception.
But, now I am back from the dust, Adi is back from his tour of Scandanavia and London, Cornelia has returned from Holland and we are ready to roll with winter on the farm.
Here is a rather blurry picture of Adi, spotted at the London Wine Fair last week. Seems apt.
Meanwhile, we hosted a wedding in April – a Dutch affair. More pictures here.
Last night Adi casually mentioned the wine advocate ratings in conversation. Today I went to take a look at the latest scores and, while Adi will never ‘gooi’ them into a tasting or mention them at a trade show, I have to brag.
With a high score of 93 and the lowest score at 87 we score a whopping 90.8% average, something none of us can claim to ever have achieved in high school…
Below is a summery of the scores. Not to shabby hey Nige…