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2012 A. A. Badenhorst Family White Blend, Swartland
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Andre Adriaan Badenhorst’s grandfather was the general manager at Groot Constantia wine estate for 46 years. His father was born there and farmed on neighboring Buitenverwachting and Constantia Uitsig for many years. Adi grew up between the vineyards 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, vinifying in old foudres and cement vats.
On Kalmoesfontein it is back to basics, using traditional winemaking equipment and old cement vats.. “We make wines with immense character. We’re using what we can afford. We are making the best wines we can. And we are having great experiences. I want to make something, involving interaction from my family.”
Today Adi Badenhorst is an award winning winemaker, member of the Cape Winemakers Guild, and one of the growers who is really putting the Swartland region on the map as a source of fine wine.
There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.
After Stellenbosch, t, the west coast district of Swartland (25 miles due north of Cape Town, between the towns of Malmesbury and Piketberg) now ranks as the Cape's most exciting wine-producing district.Settled initially by nomadic Khoikhoi from Namibia, the Dutch brought trade, vines and unrest to the region in the 17th century.
The British then transformed the area into the Cape's bread basket, viticulture being developed only more recently. This contrasts with an ancient geology which has brought a mix of shale, arenite sandstone and granite soils air-conditioned by the Atlantic Ocean nearby.