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Visiting some of our South African Producers

Posted on 19th April 2018 by JN Wine

Visiting some of our South African Producers

Taryn, the newest member of our Retail team was in South Africa over Easter and got to visit Stellenbosch and the Swartland to catch up with two of our very popular wine producers, Journeys End and AA Badenhorst.

Journey’s End is a producer that operates close to the ground, has a deep understanding of the land and prides itself in producing wine that is a true reflection of its terroir. Rather than producing a large range to satisfy all tastes, Journey’s End has wisely focussed on the few varietals that thrive on the farm’s windy, sea facing slopes. Their chardonnays – from the Cellar Range Haystack, to the depth of the oaky Icon Estate Destination Chardonnay, showcase winemaker Leon Esterhuizen’s expertise with this varietal. The Huntsman, another Cellar Range favourite is a fresh and smooth Shiraz, Mourvèdre Viognier blend, named after the first ever hunt in the Western Cape (amazingly the hound’s original kennels is where the new cellar now stands). The premium range is clearly where Leon’s passion lies; taking a minimal intervention approach with the farm’s very best blocks, and his creative use of methods such as Carbonic Maceration for his Griffin Syrah.

With heavy investment in expanding the vineyard and cellar, Journey’s End has great vision, so keep an eye open for their new releases.

Visiting AA Badenhorst Family Wines in the height of the worst drought the Western Cape has seen in over a century, was a unique experience. Kalmoensfontein was hot and very dry, but the ancient bush vines that this farm has built itself on luckily thrive in these conditions. Adi Badenhorst’s winemaking is an unconventional take on traditional methods. He uses huge old casks or custom made concrete tanks for fermentation and ageing his single vineyard range. He keeps extensive chalked notes on these barrels, and art work adorns others. The vinyl reggae tunes keep the barrels company, and no doubt influence the feel of the place (and perhaps even the taste the wines).

Secateurs Chenin and Red Blend are well loved and known and are very accessible wines. But it’s his rare and single vineyard range that are worth trying because they are sourced from special vineyards high up in the hills. Tasting new vintage single varietal Dassiekop Steen (Chenin Blanc) straight from the barrel was a highlight. The authenticity and romance of the winemaking make it something truly unique.

AA Badenhorst make wines with immense character, and given the skill and energy of the wine maker behind it all it’s not one bit surprising.

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