Tripping through the Swartland with Eben Sadie, Babylons Peak and Lammershoek

The Western Cape has seen a severe drought over the few years, and the Swartland area is one of the harshest affected. Many of the wine producers in the area have seen a massive decline in their yields, and so it was interesting to come across the legendary Eben Sadie on a recent media trip through the Swartland.  He was tending his unusual variety bushvine Alicante Bouschet, which he has planted with much more space between vines than most people plant.  This gives the vines all the help that they can to find the right nutrients and water.  Do watch the video we have of him, passionately speaking about his approach to farming, and choosing the Ninja Bomber variety to farm with!

Lammershoek, just behind The Sadie Family farm, was recently bought by soccer star Franz Beckenbauer, communications specialist Andreas Abold and sport promotor Fedor Radmann. On our visit, we were taken on a tour by Cellar Worker/ Pedro Hendricks, who I have met before, as he is passionate about learning and has completed SKOP 3 - which means he participated in the WineTech Study Group sessions.  He is keen to do SKOP 4 which means he needs Matric Maths to qualify. He left school in Grade 10 but he is determined to get there so he is continuing to further his education.  We were so impressed by him as a German couple arrived from Paarl to visit Lammershoek and Kevin Kidson (from showed them around the cellar while our media gang were having our tasting, and Pedro eagerly jumped in and proudly told them all about the farm and the cellar.  

There is so much variety in the winelands, and in one afternoon we experienced Eben Sadie, an icon who walks the walk, living off the grid and ensuring that his vineyards are sustainable, to Lammershoek - a foreign owned farm with the oldest block of Chardonnay in South Africa planted in 1981, to a 3rd generation farm owned by the Basson family, viz Babylons Peak.  Stephan and his wife are carefully building a brand, and taking care of their farm and workers, quietly making exceptional wines.

Thanks to the Swartland Olive and Wine Route for hosting us on this roadtrip - See more of our journey and the Swartland Producers Street Party HERE!