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Swartland Guru - Eben Sadie

As a young man Eben Sadie spent his years traversing the globe, making wine in South Africa in the first half of the year, then travelling to Europe to make wine in Germany, France and Spain. His fledgling winery project launched in 2000, when he'd made wines but could not afford to bottle them. A tasting with a prominent UK importer led to the asking of the vital question, 'How much do you need to get them into bottle?'. The funds were provided immediately and Eben's journey in the Swartland was under way.

Over the intervening decade he has gone through a spiritual change. Where once he would travel relentlessly, he now chooses to stay in Swartland as much as possible so that he can make wines that are truly African. A visit with Eben at the winery is not only rare, but an incredible experience - as he talks the journey behind and before him his conveyed as a stream of consciousness over several hours. The wines are spellbinding. In the past decade the Swartland has blossomed, a magnet of innovation for young winemakers all over the Cape, and its easy to see how Eben has prophetically nurtured the minds of many of them.

His wines tell wonderful stories of their own. Working closely with old vine custodian, Rosa Kruger, Eben has unlocked some of the most fascinating, abandoned vineyards in South Africa and is making compelling, thoughtful and utterly delicious wines. He farms all of them organically and takes a very light hand in the winery. He would be considered a natural winemaker but uses a little sulphur dioxide at bottling, knowing that his wines must survive the journey to all corners of the world.

Today Eben is at the top of his game, he understands his vines and in the new release he has been delivered a stunning crop of 2015 wines in the Old Vine Series. These are now the most sought after wines from South Africa and we are very lucky to have a tiny allocation. These wines are now impossible to find in their home country so take the opportunity to grab a small price of South African greatness and winemaking history.

Enjoy.

Justin Knock MW

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