We are still trying to deal with the fact that the 2012 Swartland Revolution is over... but, while we wait for the official pictures from Maree, we would like to just say a quick thank you for everyone who joined us in making it yet another success. So much gees and so much fun was had.
A reliable shuttle company has made their service available so that you can have your share of Swartland wine and not have to drive back to your accommodation! UNFORTUNATELY they have only had two bookings and it will therefor not be viable for them to come to Riebeek! The small town of Riebeek Kasteel cannot host all the revolutionaries, so for those staying outside walking distance from the action, THIS IS A VERY GOOD IDEA. Contact Fran Fun Tours in masses NOW in order to have a mini bus available for Friday night. You can contact them to arrange pick up (in time for registration) and drop off (after the BBQ) at your guesthouse. They will also both run return trips from Cape Town to The Swartland Independent Street Party on Saturday. For info contact: Fran Fun Tours - Fran on c. 082 923 5952 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wine writer Tim James and Wine Cellar recently had a blind tasting of French vs Swartland Shiraz-based blends. James reports: "Shiraz-based blends, not too complicated ones but fresh and delicious, are my own “house red”. If they were eatable, then something between comfort food and an infallible quick-and easy dish; for when a challenge to tired tastebuds or tired spirits is not wanted. Modest wines - in the best sense of a word that is too seldom appropriate in a world of wannabes, of over-oaked, over-ripe, over-everythinged wines. And not too expensive. So it was not only with the aim of learning something to pass on to others that I asked Roland Peens of the invaluableWine Cellarin Cape Town to arrange a small comparative tasting of such wines. Half imported by him from the south of France, others from the Swartland – the region which has most assiduously promoted the style locally (including some grand versions but they were not what this tasting was about)." He concludes that "Coming second by arithmetic, but first for me, was Badenhorst Secateurs 2011 – beautifully just what I wanted: plenty of flavour, but not sweetly fruity, harmoniously balanced with structure - a firm but gentle “grip” so the wine doesn’t flop around in your mouth!
There are in the Swartland many tiny but ambitious winemakers – diminutive in terms of production, that is. Some work for established producers, who let them make a few barrels of their own. Bryan MacRobert is one such, who has been for a few years in the cellars of Eben Sadie, one of the Swartland’s biggest names. He’s learnt plenty from the boss, but reveals a winemaking intelligence and aesthetic all his own. His marketing skills being inversely proportioned to his winemaking ones, I wonder if Bryan’s Tobias label can become as successful as it deserves. He makes highly distinctive and interesting wines, a white and a red."
Last week the Swartlanders headed into the big city of Cape Town to show the wines of the Swartland Independent members at the 2012 edition of Cape Wine. Held at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC for much shorter) this bi-annual event, organised by Wines of South Africa (or WOSA for short) has been praised by visitors from near and far as an excellent showcase of South African wine.
2012 was the show's most
successful expo to date with producer exhibitors up 15% and visitors reaching a
record at just under 1500. This year had seen the
highest turnout from countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. Johann Krige, WOSA chairman, said Cape Wine was now
ranked globally as the most successful international wine business show in the
Southern Hemisphere. Read more interesting facts here. The Swartland Independent stand proved to be very popular, with wine enthusiasts crowding the space constantly for three days.
Carla and Jurgen (Lammershoek) with Eben (Sadie Family Wines) sharing philosophy no doubt.
Adi (Badenhorst Family Wines) and Callie (Porseleinberg) in the funky SI stall. Picture with thanks to John Ford, who captioned it "In the Swartland
corner, it was exciting and very busy, especially with Adi Badenhorst there to
make things happen."
Emile on Winegoggle simply says: "Dig the Swartland Grand Funk stand. Mohammed
Ali poster and other non-vino artefacts. Cool dudes. I order some chickens from
Callie Louw, Porseleinberg. Talk boxing with a chick from the Sandveld, goes by
the name of Katrien."
Rebecca Gibb says on her blog, "The Swartland has also been turning heads in the past five years and quality of the wines can’t be denied. The Rhone-like blends produced from old bush vines in this Mediterranean climate are original and interesting."
She also selected her top 10 from the event and FOUR Swartland wines made it onto the list.
Her top 10 wines of Cape Wine 2012 (in no particular order)
This week the winemakers and marketers of the Cape took over the CTICC for Cape Wine 2012.
Organised by WOSA (Wines of South Africa) the aim of the event is to showcase the best of SA's wines to journalists and buyers from all over the world.
The Swartland Independent took over the back corner of the exhibition hall in true Swartland style and were very well received.
On Thursday morning there was a tasting entitled "tomorrow's stars" and it features two Swartland Independent members - Callie Louw from Porseleinberg and Craig Hawkins from Lammershoek.
Harry Haddon made these videos about the respective farms as an introduction and I think they give a very good view of the lovely Swartland from two different hills.
We hope this little check in on the region will make it easier to count down the next 42 days to the Revolution...
Please note tickets are not yet available and the current list of email address (mostly revolutionaries from previous years) will be THE FIRST to know when they DO go on sale. Our next meeting is on May 18th at which point I will be able to give some more information on ticket sales.
For now, we have confirmed a few key aspects of the programme, while others will be announced in the build up.
What we can tell you, to make sure you will want a ticket, is this:
Friday afternoon’s Quality First Tasting will feature wines by legendary father and son team Alain and Maxime Graillot– another inspiring Rhȏne tasting to look forward to.
There will once again be a BBQ extravaganza on Friday night with more meat than you can eat, LOTS of wine (this year specially produced for the braai), music to get you dancing and some unique Swartland gees!
After a beer break we will once again have Expert Opinion, where three kenners will each share two inspiring wines.
Lunch this year will be prepared and hosted by a team of Revolutionary Moms – headed by Adi’s mom Judy Badenhorst (who needs no introduction to the gourmet Cape food scene) and harvesting the talents of Ena Louw (who regularly caters for the greater Freestate region with hearty meals that leave you physically and mentally satisfied); Mrs Sadie Snr (who is Vredenburg’s most respected Tuisnywerheid Tannie) and Anita Rock – Chris’s mom - (who officially makes The Best Lemon Meringue Pie in Gauteng!)
There will also be another auction and as always the ever growing Swartland Independent Street Party (there will be more space to lift your drinking arm this year, we promise!)
More updates will be added as they get confirmed. watch this space!