Thursday, 10 Februray in Swartland. - James Nicholson

I spent a busy morning travelling from Cape Town to the rustic landscape of Swartland to visit Adi Badenhorst. Adi bought the farm a couple of years ago and with the minimum of wine making equipment and is producing super Chenin Blanc from 40 year old vines and a red blend with a mixture of Cinsault, Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre. No stainless steel in sight - just concrete and wooden foudres. Swartland is an area to watch with many of the serious players buying there, Mark Kent has just bought a mountain!

With the temperature reaching 37 and harvest in full flight, it’s necessary to get the Chenin Blanc under refrigeration immediately. The 2011 looks good, plenty of sweet fruit showing on the first press; the reds will be another week and a little rain would help.

We made a visit in the late morning to Adi's great friend, Eben Sadie, king of Swartland and winery of the year in South Africa 2011. His Columella and Palladius are some of the most sought after blends in the whole of SA. Also a great chance to see the vintage in full swing and the sorting baskets in action.

The Badenhorst Family

Lunch with Adi his wife Cornelia and his latest addition Anna rounds off the afternoon on a high note. No fancy gismos here quite an inspiration! It just shows what you can achieve with skill, a sharp mind and an understanding and a pathos for the earth you inherit.

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