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.

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

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.

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.

Friday things

Never a dull moment on the Partyberg. It is Friday and there are lots of things happening on Kalmoesfontein.

The flowers are in bloom,

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new wines are going into bottle,

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and we’re prepping for a trade tasting (and lunch) tomorrow.

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Meanwhile Greg Sherwood (MW!) posted nice things about the 2015 Raaigras Grenache, and I quote:
“This must be one of South Africa’s best Grenache reds. Coming from old vines planted on Adi Badenhorst’s farm on the decomposed granite hills of the Paardeberg, Swartland in 1951, this wine shows such Grenache purity, power and authenticity.”

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and our Chenin is included in a tasting line up, in Stellenbosch (of all places).

Happy Friday indeed! Cheers.

The CWG Auction is coming.

The annual Cape Winemaker’s Guild auction is around the corner. Adi was recently filmed talking about his entry, the AA Badenhorst Family Wines Chase The Spice Swartland Shiraz 2014.

And, in the spirit of collaboration, he has also entered two wines which he made side by side with good friend Duncan Savage. This is the first ever collaborative wine between two members of the guild and we suspect these wines are going to sell quicker than you can say “bromance”.

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Blog update: Christian Eedes gave the Red Loveboat 95 points, read more HERE> and Cathy Marston reckons it is as fine a wine as she’s had in a long time (click here for more).

The 2017 CWG Auction:

Date:  Saturday, September 30, 2017
Start Time:  09:00 (Collection of bidder’s paddles from 08:00)
Venue:  Spier Conference Centre, Stellenbosch

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!