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TESTALONGA Bandits Kloof ‘Daisy’s Pond’ 2021


100% Grenache Blanc

Craig Hawkins:
“We brought the property (Bandits Kloof) in 2015. This was a virgin property with no electricity but a fresh supply of water from the mountain on which is sits. We started planting vineyards in 2018, these being Grenache blanc and Grenache noir.

The whole idea behind Bandits Kloof is to make the best wine we can from the property, if this mean that it is a single vineyard wine or a blend of all the grapes then so be it. The same rings true if we feel the vintage is not good enough, we will not bottle it. This is the first vintage and wine off our new property.

2021 – an exceptional year we feel for making wine. the acidity’s were naturally high and the pHs low across all the wines. We had good winter rainfalls the year preceding and the summer was not excessively warm. This led to well-balanced vineyards in all respects.

Decomposed Sandstone and Koue Bokkeveld Shale, 380m above sea level, East facing.

Organically farmed, head Pruned (high bush vine) vineyards planted 2.5m x 2.5m apart. Being on virgin soils with quite a high soil potential, there was never going to be a problem with vigour. We dropped all bunches except for maybe 3 to 4 bunches per vine to maintain quality and vineyard balance. Hand harvested in the early morning of late January; the bunches went straight into the press.

The grapes were whole bunch pressed directly into 2 x 400L old (10 year) French barrels. The wine took a long time (12 months) to complete full malo lactic fermentation, this we feel added another layer to the wine. the wine was left on its gross lees for 21 months, before being racked for the first time the day before bottling into tank. From there it went directly into bottle. No additives added at any stage to the wine. Unfined, Unfiltered.”

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The wines of TESTALONGA defy convention in a lot of ways. Craig has never been accused of being “a follower” and these wines represent the avant-garde of South African wine. The fruit is farmed by Craig and his team using organic and biodynamic methods. Craig is proud of making natural wines, thus early picking, a lack of additions (minute amounts of SO2 are infrequently used) with no fining or filtration are all hallmarks of his approach. They have bought a farm in the Piketberg area in northern Swartland, and have started to plant vines as of 2018.







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