Driving miss Daisy (and the Swartland Independent Revolution)

Driving to Cederberg.

My trip around the winelands of South Africa is a real treat. First of all, this is a truly magnificent country – extremely beautiful. Secondly – the people are more welcoming than you could ever imagine.

Even when I show up a day early at a remote vineyard (Cederberg) or come for a booked tasting so late it has to be dinner and an overnight stay (AA Badenhorst) they don’t even raise an eyebrow but smile and take me in. Great people.

Craig Hawkins, winemaker at Lammershoek with one of their cows. For fertilizing the vines and feeding the farm.

And the real eye-opener is the wines of these independent producers. Especially in Swartland, the Swartland Independent Producers are a really cool group who might have a good profile but who I discovered because of their wines. AA Badenhorst, Lammershoek, Mollineux, Badenhoustkloof (and Porseleinberg), Eben Sadie… All excellent, excellent producers with wines with personality and a sense of place. The chenin blancs produced here are exceptionally interesting white wines. and the Chenin Blanc from Lammershoek and the white blends from Mollineux and AA Badenhorst are ones to chase down.

On a separate note, the long drive to Cederberg is well worth the time (and the bumpy dirt road). The views are breathtaking, and I almost felt like I was back in Utah with the rocky landscape. Would have liked to stay and hike around the area. Next time. The conservancy was cool too with baboons, birds, a little mouse baby I tried to save as it had fallen out of the nest…

Now I’m off to Cape Town for the next round of discoveries. Very excited. (Oh, and for those who care, I HAVE found good coffee. David at Cederberg makes great stuff in a fancy machine he got as a 40th birthday present.)

I crashed Adi Badenhorst’s place at 6.30 PM so he was kind and invited me for dinner and to spend the night in the guest house. Cool winery, sweet family, nice wines. Glad I went.

Adi Badenhorst’s daughter and nephew – being a kid in a winery looks like fun!

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