Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Revolution is over, long live the Revolution...

We love it when a plan comes together.

The founding members of the Swartland Revolution have decided that there will not be another Swartland Revolution event. It was a difficult but unanimous decision and we had to console ourselves with Callie's birthday cake and some great wines.

"We now want to focus our time and energy on the next phase, the evolution perhaps, of great things in this great region and country of ours."

We believe that last weekend’s event brought things full circle. The three tastings beautifully represented the past, the present and the future of what we started here in 2010. The Swartland Revolution was a stone cast into the ocean that is the South African wine industry and we are all satisfied with the ripples and waves it has caused.

We want to give a high five to everyone who has made these six celebrations possible. It has been pleasure getting to know the consumers and lovers of our wines. It has been a privilege to share the good food, heat waves, views and gees of our valley with you.

Hopefully you will find plenty of reasons to keep returning to the region – for Coenie and Johan’s food, for new craft beers, for G&Ts at the Royal (happy hour between 5-6pm daily) and for wine, oh, always for wine.

There will not be an event in Riebeek early November 2016, but we urge you to keep an eye on SIP, The Swartland Independent Producers… exciting times, they are a-changing and we promise the future will be anything but dull. 

Thank you for being part of the Revolution, we couldn't have done it without you,
Adi, Andrea, Chris, Callie and Eben

Thursday, November 12, 2015

#SR2015 the year it all came together

It seems to me (based on personal observations and opinions expressed by numerous participants this weekend) that the 6th annual Swartland Revolution was the one where we overcame all previous hiccups and kind of nailed it!

As long as you didn’t see or feel the behind the scenes stress caused by overloaded generators, broken glasses and chip fryers that repeatedly tripped the power of a whole town block – you can say we took it in our stride.

The three tastings this year were all well received and on point: 
Starting with Quality first – where Chris brought us full circle – from a bunch of South Africans at Hospice du Rhone to a bit of Hospice du Rhone in the Swartland.
With a Californian who threw away all the gimmicks, “and that was the day I became a winemaker’. And next to me, at some point during the seminar Adi whispers ‘”see, parallel universes”.

Swartland Secrets Stories got introduced by Tim James saying, “when newness becomes less important, excellence becomes more important.” And he got us thinking about history – where we have come from and how we are living and writing future history. And the revolutionaries are planting, experimenting and investing in the future with consideration not for money or awards but for what is sustainable and right.
“Don’t plant what sells, plant what belongs,” chirped Eben Sadie, just a few hours (and many bottles of wine) after Pax had told us how banks in the US base the outcome of your application for funding on the varieties you plan to plant.

Expert Opinions – or this year possibly also aptly named ‘Experienced Opinions’. On Monday on the west coast Andrea describes it as a ripple that left the Swartland and is starting to come back.  While I recall someone saying “I could have had these wines at Publik” you will never again drink them accompanied by the insight of John Platter with open questions to the winemakers that made them, scattered about the room.

But the revolution is not JUST about wine. There was plenty of good food and other things to drink and enjoy. From quite possibly the best steak I have ever had, tannie Ena se ongelooflike poffertjie toring and not forgetting that spinach, green olive and caper berry dip – to good old babelas burgers, wraps prepared with love and a lunch that had even Eben speechless, while the smoked chickens just kept coming out of Callie’s contraption.

Personally I am a big fan of MC the auctioneer, was like totally like ROFL at the air guitar incidents and really enjoyed Basson Laubser and his friends having fun on stage.

I love the long afternoons in the sun on dunnage bags (how much fun are those?...until someone breaks an arm) and do enjoy watching slightly intoxicated men (and a certain lady) sticking their heads in ice water to see who can stand it the longest.

The picnic, to the soundtrack of every song Die Baardskeerdersbos has ever performed, is the perfect way to ease out the afternoon and in general the vibe is extremely generous and gesellig.

I wonder if you caught the details in amongst it all. The poems Andrea wrote about the two wines (literally) on tap all weekend. The ‘with love, the moms’ tag on your wrap. There were limited edition labels on some beers and have you even spotted Yoda and BA in ‘Where’s Callie’? Hopefully you also came across a Caperitif cocktail or two at some point…

In the end it is just a bunch of friends, doing what they love
Side by side and all over the world.
Same same but different.

Did Adi’s voice saying ‘parallel universes’ just pop into your head too?
Yes! But parallels are never supposed to meet – and there it was, happening right in front of our eyes...

Thank you for coming and contributing to the general gees of the weekend. It is exhausting stuff planning and hosting a revolution – but in the end it is so very worth it.  Our wish for you is to take the insight and inspiration of #SR2015 with you to where ever you go in future and to go write history!

Mooi loop tot 'n volgende keer,

on behalf of all the other Swartlanders. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Our kind of book.

John Platter will be launching his new book, 'My Kind of Wine', at this year's Revolution on November 7th. Come get a copy as he will be there in person to sign them!

a revolution with a few rules...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Not long now...

As the #SR2015 starts to creep up on us (only 16 days now), here are a few updates of nice things people have said about the region and its fantastic people recently.

1. Lonely planet rates the Swartland as one of the top 10 intriguing wine regions in the world.
"Swartland, especially, is home to a band of cutting-edge vintners with small, manageable estates, many of whom are experimenting with biodynamic production."
Read more here.

2. Tim Atkins attended the very successful New Wave South Africa tasting in London (Adi, Callie and Chris were there) and makes it clear that this here is currently the most exciting wine producing country in the world. 

Says Atkins, "Without Eben Sadie of Sadie Family Wines, based in the Swartland but sourcing grapes from small parcels all over the Cape, the country’s wine industry would not have moved as quickly as it has..."
Read the article here.

3. Jane Broughton visited the revolutionaries for American Travel and Leisure magazine and reports that "It’s worth visiting the Swartland to witness the winemakers’ unconventional, purist methods firsthand—and to experience their uniquely flavorful wines at the source."
Read more here.

That is it for now, see you soon! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sold out!

Tickets to this year's Revolution sold out in 2 minutes. Two minutes! That is a record, even for us.

If you were one of the unlucky 89 emails we received after the 400 tickets were claimed, you will get a mail today detailing waiting list information. Don't worry, a few tickets always become available closer to the time. 

If you were successful, you will receive an invoice from Monday and will have 48hours to pay.

Met d(r)ank
The Swartland Revolution team.  

Monday, June 1, 2015

We love it when a plan comes together...

Quality First the 2015 edition

We've been to France and last year we ventured to Lebanon, but this year we take it a little bit further west and bring you Pax Mahle, one of the leading lights of the new California movement.

Not unlike the revolutionaries in the Swartland, California also has a group of innovative producers rewriting the rules of contemporary winemaking and aiming above all for an expression of California's unique terroir.

Pax is a self trained winemaker who hails from wine retail originally. He started making wine in 2000 under the Pax label and his powerful, intense wines quickly garnered rave reviews and a cult following. 

In 2008 he started a new label called Wind Gap focusing on minimal intervention and fresher wines from marginal vineyards. Wind Gap also very quickly received rave reviews and an equally loyal following.

We look forward to sharing stories and insights with you and Pax.


Tickets to the 2015 Swartland Revolution will go on sale at 8am on July 1st (and not a moment earlier).
There is no waiting list, no special exceptions and no emails will be considered before 8am on 1 July.
Tickets are R2950 each. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Food (from the revolution) at Home

The 2014 Swartland Revolution features in the February issue of Food and Home magazine.
Read all about the wines, parties and meals and get the recipes for some of the best dishes served during the weekend.

On sale now.