Andre Adriaan Badenhorst grew up between the vineyards of Constantia and spent his time picking (stealing) grapes. “It all started when Jean Daneel, then winemaker at Buitenverwachting, let me make my first wine when I was thirteen,” Adi recalls. After completing his studies at Elsenburg, Adi worked a few harvests at Chateau Angelus, Alain Graillot in the north Rhone, France and Wither Hills in New Zealand and did stints at local cellars Simonsig, Steenberg, Groote Post and nine years as winemaker at the esteemed Stellenbosch estate, Rustenberg.
In 2008 he packed it all in and bought a 60-hectare piece of land in the Paardeberg with his cousin Hein. They now proudly farm together, practice biological farming and make natural wines in the traditional manner.
On Kalmoesfontein it is back to basics, using traditional winemaking equipment and old cement kuipe. “We make wines with immense character. We’re using what we can afford. We are making the best wines we can. And we are having great experiences. I want to make something, involving interaction from my family.”
Today Adi Badenhorst is a much talked about winemaker, member of the Cape Winemakers Guild, founding member of the Swartland Revolution and Swartland Independent, proud dad to Samuel Sunnyskies & Ana Kalander and ever evolving Vigneron, amongst other things (like parrot farmer, LP collector, egg poaching pro, tea connoisseur, Land Cruiser driver, ponytail wearer and local legend…)