Andre Adriaan Badenhorst's grandfather was the general manager at Groot Constantia wine estate for 46 years. His father was born there and farmed on neighboring Buitenverwachting and Constantia Uitsig for many years. 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, vinifying in old foudres and cement vats.
Most of the grapes come from the Swartland, a pioneering community north of Stellenbosch populated by ambitious young winemakers, and the feisty character of the region shines through in this wine. It freewheels across the palate with happy-go-lucky flavours of rich, ripe bramble fruits, lifted by perfumed top notes of spice, hillside herbs, cracked black pepper and wood smoke. It has an immediate drinkability factor but will also develop wonderfully over the next couple of years. Allow it to open up in the glass for a few minutes before you drink it.