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A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines are made in the Paardeberg area in Swartland district of South Africa. Owned by cousins Hein and Adi Badenhorst restored the cellar on the farm that was last used in the 1930's to make natural wines in the traditional manner. The vineyards are made up of very old bush-vines planted with Chenin Blanc (average 40 year old vines) among others. The vines are not irrigated and farmed as biologically as possible. The vineyards are planted on East, North and South facing slopes bringing tremendous variety to the fruit. Yields are generally quite low averaging 3-4 tons/ha for Chenin Blanc.
Three distinct types of granites are found here, namely the Paardeberg-, Lammershoek- and Lemoenfontein-type plus different sub-surface geology including clay, weathered granite and some serious shale.
The grapes are hand picked with great care and chilled overnight in a cold room. The following day they are whole bunch pressed to a settling tank. These vineyards were picked over a period of 12 days and each day fresh juice was added to the already fermenting tanks. This extended the alcoholic fermentation by about 20 days but was also very important in the complete integration of the wine as all the various vineyards or components were fermented together. Some of the juice is also fermented in older French oak casks.
The Chenin Blanc grapes are mostly from our farm, Kalmoesfontein situated on the northern side of the Paardeberg mountain. Our neighbour also supplies us with some exceptional old vine fruit, making us the world's smallest co-op! We maintain that high quality fruit comes from old un-irrigated bushvines grown on a variety of granite soils that are naturally low yielding. Most of our Chenin vines were planted the 1960's and tend to yield around 4 tons/hectare.
The 2011 spent time on its lees in concrete tanks and this important part of the maturation of the wine shows in the incredible texture and palate weight of this wine. The aromas are flinty with honey, orange blossom and white stone fruit notes.--Winemakers Note
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