Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Drink, don't drive

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. info@franfuntours.com 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blending with syrah

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 invaluable Wine Cellar in 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."

The article also appeared in Mail & Guardian, 28 September-4 October 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Quality Cape Wine

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)
 The Sadie Family Palladius 2010, Swartland
Tokara’ Director’s Reserve(white) 2011, Stellenbosch
 Oldenburg Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Stellenbosch
Cartology 2011 (92% chenin blanc; 8% semillon), Western Cape
The Sadie Family Pofadder Cinsaut 2011, Swartland
Lady May Glenelly 2009, Stellenbosch
Mullineux Syrah 2010, Swartland
Vergelegen G.V.B. 2005, Stellenbosch
Miko Chardonnay 2009, Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek
Porseleinberg Shiraz 2010, Swartland

Adi with Australian wine writer Mike Bennie

From the 1st Revolution, still going strong.

Adi Badenhorst, Eben Sadie and David (not related) Sadie. pictures with thanks to spit or swallow.

We saw a few excited revolutionaries and this event has geared us for SR2012, bring on November 9th...