A.A. Badenhorst

Around 70km northwest of Cape Town in South Africa’s Swartland, Adi Badenhorst has made a name for himself with one of the coolest wineries in the region. On a pre-Covid trip, we asked a local sommelier at one of the region’s finest restaurants to show us the region’s “one wine” not to be missed. And this is how we discovered A.A. Badenhorst.

Growing up in the 1970s, Badenhorst’s father was a fine wine collector and at 10 years old, his first wine experience was a 1978 Pétrus and Calon-Ségur. The experience sparked something in the young boy, setting into motion a life devoted to creating equally soulful and transporting wines. Badenhorst made his first wine with the famous Jean Daneel when he was just 13 years old. He went on to study at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, apprentice at prominent wineries such as Château Angelus and Alain Graillot in France, and then spent nine years as a winemaker at the esteemed Stellenbosch estate in Rustenberg.

Robert Parker listed Clos des Papes as one of the Top 155 Producers in the World.

Today, Badenhorst and his family manage 100 hectares of biodiverse land including 45 hectares of vines planted between the 1950-70. In a neglected cellar lovingly restored by the family, they now make minimal-intervention wines using traditional methods. On the granitic hills that roll up to 1000 feet above sea level, old bush vine Chenin, Grenache and Cinsault grow on unirrigated soils. Complementing these signature varieties are Grenache Blanc and Gris, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Tinta Barroca as well as some small plots of Palomino.

These are wines with great personality, “proper farmers’ wines” according to Badenhorst. They also represent the great potential of South African wines, and it’s our extreme pleasure to be able to exclusively offer A.A. Badenhorst’s very rare, single-vineyard range.

"It boasts a cool, fresh nose of strawberries, cola and tree bark, yet it's full-bodied and tannic on the palate."

WA96 by Joe Czerwinski

2017 Clos des Papes • Chateauneuf du Pape

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A.A. Badenhorst

A.A. Badenhorst

A.A. Badenhorst