South Africa Wine Tour – we meet wine families and some of their animals

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Thursday took us back towards Wellington and Paarl and close to Swartland border.

Having experienced history and lots of old Dutch Cape architecture on Wednesday it was time to visit some newer players on the block.

Our first stop was the Kalmoesfontein farm of AA Badenhorst. Adi Badenhorst has become a bit of a legend in South African wine making circles and certainly possesses a maverick, laissez-faire attitude when you meet him. The farm is a wonderful 1930’s sprawling hotch potch of outhouses, barns, herb gardens and a huge traditional old kitchen.

Adi hosted a tasting of a broad selection of his wines but the real star of the morning was his mother Judy. She launched the Old Cape Farmstall back in the 70’s and was a pioneer in selling deli style food. She is also a renowned restauranteur and a fabulous cook.

After the tasting Judy put on a delicious lunch of grilled chicken, amazing salads, focaccia and then the most sublime pavlovas.

From Badenhorst it was a 30 minute hop to Blackpearl wines.

Mary-Lou Nash is a Cape Wine Master, co-owner and winemaker of the estate which is perhaps one of the smallest in South Africa. Production is measured in just a few hundred cases but the quality is sublimely high. Mary-Lou has been shortlisted for South African wine maker of the year several times and her passion and joy in what she does was great to see.

We sat under the awning of their patio and Mary-Lou and her father entertained us with some wonderful family stories as we tasted their four wines. These were easily the best value and some of the highest quality wines so far.

Just to cap it all, they had two gorgeous dogs and a large herd of pigs who roam the estate causing regular mayhem!