From the farm with love

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.

Stay safe.

Harvest 2020

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.

Back from left to right; Tom (not Badenhorst), Tol, Hanneke, Adi. In front; Cage and Ray

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.

As always, be sure to follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook to see what we get up to.

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.

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!

February on the farm

Exciting times:

Our friends Jon came to take areal shots of the farm with is drone – that’s my home!

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99% of the grapes are in for harvest 2016.

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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. IMG_0183IMG_0192IMG_0196

Caperitif also received some great publicity – keep an eye on its website for more!

Die oes skop af

The second week of January had just kicked off, most of us had barely unpacked our holiday bags and the first Syrah grapes were ready to be picked. No easing into this year, it is all systems go and harvest 2015 is here.

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on Monday the heat (and drought, hardly any rain since September) got too much, even for a die hard no-irrigation-prophet like Adi, and all the farm’s water got redirected to the vineyard. Meanwhile the temperatures rise and the pool is empty. Priorities.. 10393849_882913958409894_7596585208665548182_n

On Tuesday Samuel, Ana and their cousins Richard, Hardy and Jan Hendrik (from Stellenbosch!) stomped the first Syrah.

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That concludes our first harvest update for 2015. Now for some featured fun.

Adi’s mom’s 70th, hosted on Kalmoesfontein late last year, is in the February issue of House and Garden Gourmet

IMG_4469while the 2014 Swartland Revolution occupies 8 pages in the Food and Home from the same month. Included amongst the feedback on the weekend, recipes of some of the delicious food and mentions of the world class wines, THREE CAPERITIF COCKTAILS!

Now we just need the go ahead to get the stuff moving…

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The end is near…

As the end of the 2014 harvest starts to come into our sights, here are some pictures from the last few weeks.

late night pasta.

late night pasta.

Cellar innovation!

Cellar innovation!

A Swartland style siesta...

A Swartland style siesta…

Pressing Koffieklip Shiraz!

Pressing Koffieklip Shiraz!

pressing 1985 Steen (Chenin Blanc) after a two year sabbatical. Small berries big taste hey...

pressing 1985 Steen (Chenin Blanc) after a two year sabbatical. Small berries big taste hey…

a cellar of steel!

a cellar of steel!

Samuel's tank, 2014 Vintage.

Samuel’s tank, 2014 Vintage.