Winter wedding vibes

This weekend we hosted a lovely wet winter wedding.

Congratulations to Neil and Nadine, we are so happy that you had such a blast.

The couple got married in front of the cellar, ate and celebrated on the stoep (made cost by curtains and heaters) and danced the night away under the tent covered dance floor.

To find out more about our venue or to enquire about hosting your event n the farm, contact semma@aabadenhorst.com

What a weekend!

We thought it would be nice to share some of our favourite things to do in and around the Swartland. Spending a weekend (or any few days) in the region can really relieve you of the stresses of the city. I mean there is no traffic, the few taxis in the towns are driven by polite law abiding citizens, the ratio of shining retail window display to real things made by locals are in your favour and the landscapes are wide open and unobstructed.

So, if you are planning to spend a few days in our (or any other local) accommodation (note, ours is the most instagram worthy and my gosh that linen!) here are a few of the things we like to do within 30mins drive of the farm.

Hiking:

So many options; you can start on the farm and walk into the Paardeberg (ask Semma); drive to the Riebeek Mountain and take the newly reopened route from Pulpit Rock or take a super easy walk up the granite hill outside Malmesbury (see slideshow below).

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Alternatively drive through Wellington and into Bain’s Kloof Pass (gorgeous views of everything the light touches) and stop off to sit next to the river (ask Helena for tips). For all of these we can provide guides on request and at a small fee.

Most of these routes are also mountain bike friendly!

Shopping and eating like a local:

On your way to Bain’s Kloof you will pass my favourite leather shop. Redemption Leather is a local factory / shop where you can buy hand made shoes, bags, belts and so much more. Worth a visit. I should go back but the boots I bought in 2016 are still going strong!

For farm fresh food you have plenty of options… as you should in the country side.

In Riebeek you can get great produce at The Biggest Little Market (previously Crisp) opposite Beans about Coffee (yes, another coffee is a great idea!) and something to braai straight from Delico Meat, a farmstyle family butchery.

The Biggest Little Market produce

For meals we always recommend Mama Cucina (great specials on the blackboards but the Sophia Loren pizza never fails) and make sure to look into King Olaf Furniture across the road. We also like drinking cocktails at The Alchemist, buying wine at The Wine Kollective and checking out art at the various galleries.

In Malmesbury you should stop at The Swartland Street Market where the Bill&Co Deli and Wine Shop stock all things local and Marvel Bistro and Bakery prepare good food daily. There is also a lovely urban food garden, created by Buurtvrug, and lots of space for city kids to stretch their legs. They have monthly winetasting dinners, market days and more.

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Wine (and other) tastings:

Most small producers are only open by appointment (like us) so make sure to enquire in advance.  Check out the Swartland Wine and Olive Route’s site or that of Riebeek Valley Tourism for details on cellars that have open doors and active tasting rooms.

We’ve set aside a few dates for tasting days on the farm (click click) so try coming out on those weekends! And we have started to put together a sort of “menu of experiences” that friends and neighbours can offer so ask Semma about that when you book and get the most out of a weekend in die platteland.

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Ok, this post is getting long. I will do a follow up story with nurseries, horse riding, local festivals and other things, soon.

Staying Stable

We recently turned the old stables on the farm into accommodation.

This two bedroom cottage (each room with an en-suite bathroom) has an open plan kitchen and living room, two outside chill areas and a private splash pool.

The furnishings are luxurious but laid back, the bedding proper, the bathrooms unique and there will be fresh farm eggs and bread baked right here.

We are now taking bookings for March and April – head over to our accommodation page or contact semma@aabadenhorst.com.

Proper pics coming soon.

Movie night: a love story

Last night we celebrated Valentines Day with a beautiful outdoor movie screening.

With pink Caperitif welcome drinks, pizza, wine, popcorn and the famous Badenhorst Family Ice Cream paired with a feel good local love story under the stars – it was truly a night to remember.

We plan on doing a few of these throughout the year so be sure not to miss the next one. Send me a mail on aabadenhorstwine@gmail.com to be on our events mailing list.

Irish love

Adi’s brother’s wife’s brother got married on the farm in January… it’s our extended Irish family!

A lovely intimate throw down.

 

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Venue: Kalmoesfontein, AA Badenhorst Family Wines.

Coördinators, decor and DJ: Helena and Ray – Kick Bang! Omnific.

Flowers: Michelle Smith Florals.

Flower installation / center piece: a Kick Bang! Omnific and Michelle Smith Colab.

Food: Slippery Spoon.

Photographer: Lelani Badenhorst (no relation…)

We want to spend the most romantic evening of the year with you!

Imagine the setting – pretty picnic spots under the Swartland skies.

What: An outdoor movie screening, pizza from our wood fired oven, very local wine, popcorn and our family recipe ice cream. This is classic date night stuff!

When: Thursday 14 February, from 7pm (movie screening at 8).
Where: the lawns of Kalmoesfontein, Paardeberg, Swartland, South Africa.
Why: cause we can like to be romantic too. 
Costs: R450pp, but ideally you come in pairs…

To book, email semma@aabadenhorst.com – only 12 couple spots left.
You can order extra (Badenhorst) wine of your choice too and there are accommodation options available for the night.
We are still debating which movie, so that will be a surprise…
ps. I would go JUST for that ice cream!

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.

#convivium2018

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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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…