Born to be Great: The Swartland Sadies

A winemaker’s confidence comes effortlessly if it is earned. During a recent presentation of the new vintages from David & Nadia, the ease David Sadie showed in his own skin bordered on the edge of audaciousness for such a young man and relative newcomer to the South African wine scene. Firm, steady voice seamlessly jumping between English and Afrikaans. A no-nonsense and pared-down description of the vineyards and earth from which he and wife Nadia make their wines, and how they make it. Not a moment’s hesitation shown during question time, steering curve-balls to fine-leg and without an iota of doubt in his answers.

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Portugal Meets the Black Land of Great Whites

I was looking at a stuffed wild cat when the morning’s first sip of vermouth was taken. Like the cat, the vermouth was Adi Badenhorst’s, he of the big hair and short, stocky Swartland swagger. The sun was bright, and a few white spring flowers had appeared in the view from Adi’s Kalmoesfontein spread of farmland, which was broad and wide and green. No “swart” (black) in this land, unless you include beaming faces of the smiling workers ambling past.

Adi Badenhorst
Adi Badenhorst

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Pleasures of Being Savage


I was chasing salted squid, eating baby pigs and talking to jaded fado songstresses when I missed the party. Well, one of them.

The one I was sorry to have slipped-up on was the maiden launch of two wines in the solo portfolio of Duncan Savage, also known as Cape Point Duncan. You know the dude I am referring to: the eternally boyish winemaker, he of the disarming smile and manicured facial hair who single-handedly turned Cape Point Vineyards into a South African icon winery in less than a decade.

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Cape Wine 2012 in a Rush


Uma Thurman shows that a Merlot tasting can get messy.

The Bride had just sliced the head off her second masked Yakuza gangster when it hit me: what had really just happened over the past few days? Here I was, sprawled on the futon watching Kill Bill Volume 1, lulled by a warm comatose feeling of exhaustion and satisfied post-hectic workweek euphoria.

What a week, I thought looking at the screen as The Bride, aka Uma Thurman, drove a nail through the head of a Japanese schoolgirl.

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On the Blacklands’ Tracks of Nature

I have been not unwilling, but reluctant, to add my penny to the fortune of riches amassed by the Swartland region over the past few years. The area holds a dear place in my weary heart, as the family farm called Swartboskraal is situated in the Swartland’s sandveld soul. To me the Swartland is a desolate and mysterious place, filled with tales of hardship told by people to whom the term “salt of the earth” does not do justice.