AA Badenhorst Family Wines, Swartland
AA Badenhorst Family Wines are grown, made and matured on Kalmoesfontein farm in the Swartland appellation of South Africa, about 120km NNE of Cape Town. The 28ha of old bushvines grow in the Siebritskloof part of the Paardeberg mountain.
The property is owned by the dynamic and good looking cousins Hein and Adi Badenhorst.
They are originally from Constantia where 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 fewer 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. 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.
On Kalmoesfontein it is back to basics, using traditional winemaking equipment and old cement kuipe. “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, founding member of the Swartland Revolution and Swartland Independent, proud dad to Samuel Sunnyskies & Ana Kalander and ever-evolving Vigneron.