The Badenhorst Ramnasgras is made and matured on the Kalmoesfontein farm in the Swartland appellation of South Africa. The 28 ha of old bush vines grow in the Siebritskloof part of the Paardeberg mountain. The property is owned by the baie dynamic and some cousins; Hein and Adi Badenhorst. They are originally from Constantia. Their grandfather was the farm manager of Groot Constantia for 46 years. Their fathers were born there and farmed together in Constantia, during the days when people still ate fresh vegetables and Hanepoot grapes, drank Cinsault and there were a lot fewer traffic lights and hippies still had a presence. Together these two have restored a neglected cellar on the farm that was last used in the 1930′s to make natural wines in the traditional manner.
On Kalmoesfontein it is back to basics, using traditional winemaking equipment and old cement kuipe. “We make wines with immense character. We’re using what we can afford. We are making the best wines we can, and we are having great experiences. I want to make something, involving interaction with my family.” Today Adi Badenhorst is a much talked about the winemaker, member of the Cape Winemakers Guild, a founding member of the Swartland Revolution and Swartland Independent, proud dad to Samuel Sunny skies & Ana Kalander and ever-evolving Vigneron. Amongst other things (like parrot farmer, LP collector, egg poaching pro, tea connoisseur, Land Cruiser driver, ponytail wearer and local legend…).
The Badenhorst Ramnasgras fruit, red and white, is whole bunch-handled so no crushing or destemming takes place. The whites are transferred directly to old casks or into concrete tanks for fermentation and ageing. The red grapes are fermented in concrete tanks and open wooden kuipe. The post-fermentation maceration is lengthy – up to 4 months -where after the wines are put to cask or 4000L foudres. No additions are done to the grapes other than sulfur before and after fermentation.
Consistently among my favourite examples of this increasingly fashionable grape, Ramnasgras comes from a 1964 block on Adi Badenhorst’s farm. Zesty, aromatic and fine, with some whole bunch spice, a touch of pepper and sweet red cherry fruit. 2017-21′. – Tim Atkin report 2017