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Tinta Amarela. 0.1ha vineyard. Light-touch. Medium bodied. Rich and aromatic. Black fruit and dried herbs. And charm for daaaaays. One of my favourites of the lineup.
Note from Craig: “We came across this vineyard (0.1ha) through good friend Rick Mcgrindle, a farmer from Abbotsdale/Paardeberg region. Thought to be Tempranillo when planted but turning out to be Tinta Amarela, which is a grape I personally love from my experiences of working in Portugal. The Label is a photo taken by one of our friends Bryan short brother (Kevin Short) during his time spent at Burning Man in the USA. I adapted the photo to portray a perception of a “Love/Hate” relationship between the Queen of Spades and the Queen of Hearts.”
Testalonga - Swartland, South Africa
Testalonga was born in 2008 when husband and wife super-duo Carla and Craig Hawkins bought some vineyards and a winery at a location in Swartland called Bandits Kloof.
Out of Bandits Kloof came the El Bandito's including the legendary wine, Skin. Which, when they first macerated Chenin Blanc and released it onto the market in 2008 was THE very first modern skin-contact wine released in South Africa. The El Bandito line of wines are all single-vineyard, single varietal, world-conquering masterpieces nurtured to existence by Craig, who leads the winemaking, and draws from his experience learning the craft in Portugal and South-West France (among other places). Craig is renowned for his ability to carve out wines of great finesse and balance. And this is most typified in the El Bandito line.
Later came the Baby Banditos which make their ever sought after wines that bit more accessible, thankfully! They are easy drinking in style but carry that hallmark minimal intervention approach. Allowing the variety and terroir of Swartland really shine through.
We say this a lot... But, we are super proud to have these wines to share with you. And really mean it. We know the love that gets poured into every drop and cherish them all. Just as many the world over does. Hence why some are in very limited quantity and are only available through our store directly (so that we can share them fairly!).
If you appreciate, our want to learn to appreciate, minimal intervention winemaking of the world at its very best. And wan to understand more about the varietal and terroir expressions of South Africa. Then please do yourselves a favour and try some of these wines.