Kalmoesfontein might be best known as the home of AA Badenhorst Family Wines’ diverse range of liquor, but we just launched a new website focussing on the farm as a venue, location and accommodation getaway so today we’re talking werf.
When Adi and his cousin Hein bought the property in 2008 the cellar was a makeshift mechanic workshop; the old house close to a ruin and the main residence (very!) far from the beacon of style that Cornelia would inevitably whip it into. Over the past 12 years a tremendous amount of well thought out work has gone into the property. Renovations and elevations, clearing and curating, planting and painting – all ongoing themes on this farm.
Located on an east facing slope of the Paardeberg, Kalmoesfontein looks out over stunning Swartland landscapes where sunrises reward early birds. Here seasons are very distinct and there is always something new to look at: winter is a patchwork of green wheat and golden canola fields; wild flowers pop up everywhere in spring; autumn colours the vineyards and trees and everything is a little bit dustier and Mediteranean-like in summer.
As a home it is sanctuary to a community of family households. Well camouflaged up on the rocks lives alchemist Adi & creative Cornelia (with teenagers Samuel, Ana and often friends) and new neighbours boeta/handy Hannes & animal whisperer Yvette. Since harvest (and still due to border lockdowns) they have Japanese restaurateur/seasonal winemaker Keiji as housemate.
Matriarch Judy and her youngest son/baker/creator Charl & hospitality hustler Semma (with Cuan and Dylan) live down the dirt road. And over there by the Caperitif Cellar, next to the mezcal cooking pit, with the loud turkeys – a winemaker and friend rents die ou rietdak huis.
It is also home to a long list of animals – from big dogs, pigs and chickens to a pony who is besties with a Percheron; a gang of muscovies and exotic parrot breeding pairs (to name very few).
As a farm it operates as a (wine / Caperitif / mezcal / brandy / sherry and soon rum) cellar. Besides grapes there grows capers, kai apples, various vegetable gardens with ALL the herbs, pomegranates, lemons and moerbeie. Pepper trees (although harvested more for pretty flower installations at weddings than their pink produce), quinces (Charl makes it into amazing chutney!) lemons, curry leaves and rooibos all can be found about. And most of the unique fynbos and medicinal herbs used in our Cape Aperitif are showcased in a special Caperitif Garden.
As a venue it like, literally wows guests – whether they are there for a dressed up wedding, a stroll through the cellar followed by lazy lunch or to dance around the maypole in Die Bos. It hosts outdoor movie nights, food conventions, corporate team buildings and kiddies foam parties onder andere.
The creative crew of locals and extended family all bring diverse skills to the mix – expect customized events and small festivals, sustainable decorations, and hand made everything. The team can take care of your logistics and your laundry, help you plan your itinerary and overall exceed your expectations (references available on request…)
And the Old House’s farm kitchen cooks, bakes, preserves, curns, extracts and cures – a tasty and tasteful blend of traditional basics and modern influences from travels around the world. Harvest table custom menus feature family recipes, using home grown and local ingredients, fire baked breads and pizzas and slow smoked meats.
As a destination it features old buildings revamped into bespoke yet cosy self–catering accommodation. There is an old winemaker’s cottage beautifully restored with spectacular views and a huge farm pool. The original horse stables has been turned into a two bedroom-two bathroom retreat with unique design features and a private veggie garden. And an old grain silo is the perfect overnight (aka Honeymoon) suite – with uninterrupted views of the horizon. And upon arrival you can expect to be treated to farm produce like fresh eggs, bread, butter, rusks or the produce of the week. (Top tip: ask about Charl’s ice cream, every flavour is great!)
The mix of well travelled people (who value quality in quantity), with roots firmly planted in a stunning piece of earth, makes this a location that’s literally world renowned for its authentisity (in everything it does). It’s a place where strangers become friends and it should be on your ‘must-visit-when-we-can-get-out-again’ list.
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