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.
On Sunday we hosted Convivium2015 on Kalmoesfontein. Before the event I reported the manifesto of what Andy Fenner and Wesley Randles, in conjunction with Badenhorst Family Wines, numerous (famous) chefs and local winemakers wanted to achieve, and by golly did we all feel like over-achievers by Sunday night…
I think it is safe to say the event was a roaring success and that only bigger and better things can come from this. If Sunday was the pilot, we are all in for a few Emmys in the future.
If the aim was indeed to, as Andy said “strip out the frills and unnecessary bullshit that sterile cooking environments can lead to, provide a stage for real collaboration, real inspiration and real connection.” and as Wes added “we want to create a feeling of camaraderie amongst local chefs. This is a stage to share ideas and to share the common love of our craft.” then the mission was completed on Sunday.
Real passion, real collaboration, real good results. Enough said.
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.
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..
On Tuesday Samuel, Ana and their cousins Richard, Hardy and Jan Hendrik (from Stellenbosch!) stomped the first Syrah.
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
while 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…
Samuel and Preston made the front page of this month’s Weg Platteland, summer swimming Swartland style (just yesterday I confessed my obsession with alliteration, see, I was not lying!)
Shot by Maree Louw, this cover makes us feel very ready for summer holidays.
While visiting the editors tried our new Caperitif and Swaan tonic water, I guess they approved as it features a few pages into the magazine.
Meanwhile, in the cellar we installed some new (well, Eben Sadie’s old is our new…) concrete Nomblot tanks – ou goed is hou goed. Exciting stuff, or as Jasper says “looks like a lot of work, they can’t exactly stay empty…”
On Friday Woolworths kidnapped their creative agencies and brought them out to the farm for a day of getting in touch with their food, fabrics and drinks.
Employees of Woolworths’ advertising and other agencies were invited to an Agency Strategy Day at a hotel in town, upon arrival they were told to grab their padkos and board a bus.
Once on the farm they received gumboots and dungarees and Kalmoesfontein and other Swartland locals engaged the 120 guests at four different stations:
Cousin Louw got 47 of them to take off their shoes and pick waterblommetjies in the little pond.
Local sheep shearers showed them how to sheer and shared interesting facts about wool.
Assistant Winemaker Jasper put them to work pruning vines in the vineyards
And ‘drinkologist’ Kyle talked them through a tasting of the different components of our latest product, a Caperitif.
Before they sat down to a delicious lunch with catered for by Gusto who experimented with pit cooking making Lamb Kleftico – or ‘stolen lamb’ – Salt Baked Trout, their trademark Calcots with romesco and herbed ‘taters.