All grapes are hand-picked, chilled overnight and then crushed into open concrete tanks for natural primary fermentation which lasts around two weeks. The tanks are foot stomped, twice daily during this time. The finished wine is run off into old casks and concrete tanks The blended wine was left on its gross lees in casks, foudres and concrete tanks for 7 months before being bottled. Lightly filtered but not fined. Far from the confeceted and jammy Shiraz you might think, this is elegant and spicy and again cracking value for money.
Notes on the producer
AA Badenhorst Family Wines are grown, made and matured on Kalmoesfontein farm in the Swartland appellation of South Africa. 180ha of old bushvines grow in the Siebritskloof part of the Paardeberg mountain.
The property is owned by the dynamic cousins Hein and Adi Badenhorst. They are originally from Constantia. Their grandfather was the farm manager of Groot Constantia for 46 years. Their fathers were born there and farmed together in Constantia, during the days when people still ate fresh vegetables and Hanepoot grapes, drank Cinsault and there were a lot less traffic lights and hippies still had a presence. Together these two have restored a neglected cellar on the farm that was last used in the 1930′s to make natural wines in the traditional manner.
Andre Adriaan Badenhorst grew up between the vineyards of Constantia and spent his time picking (stealing) grapes. “It all started when Jean Daneel, then winemaker at Buitenverwachting, let me make my first wine when I was thirteen,” Adi recalls.
After completing his studies at Elsenburg, Adi worked a few harvests at Chateau Angelus, Alain Graillot in the north Rhone, France and Wither Hills in New Zealand and did stints at local cellars Simonsig, Steenberg, Groote Post and nine years as winemaker at the esteemed Stellenbosch estate, Rustenberg.
In 2008 he packed it all in and bought a 60-hectare piece of land in the Paardeberg with his cousin Hein. They now proudly farm together, practice biological farming and make natural wines in the traditional manner. There are few young winemakers in South Africa that haven’t benefitted from his mentorship.