El Bandito 'The Dark Side' 2020
A Wine That
is what you're looking for if you're a Northern Rhône pepper-lover like us. It's not easy to get hold of, so we're very excited to have some bottles for you. This might be from a warmer climate than its French counterpart, but it's equally fresh and mouthwatering — think blackcurrants and that glorious smell of rain on hot earth with a generous sprinkling of black pepper.
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- Delivery: Delivery and gift wrapping options available at checkout.
- Winemaker: Testalonga
Where & How
This comes from organically farmed unirrigated bush-vine Syrah in the Swartland, South Africa, planted on the decomposed granite the region is famous for.
The wine is macerated with whole bunches, very gently, being pressed after just a few days to not over-extract. It then ferments naturally and ages in 3000L old French oak casks. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and with the tiniest dash of sulphites.
Craig grew up in East South Africa, near Durban, in an area where there are very few vineyards. His childhood dream was to become a game ranger and to work in conservation. It was only after school that he was introduced to the notion of viticulture, through his brother Neil. At school, the only subject Craig had got straight As in was art - whereas the sciences lingered at Bs - so he was sold on the idea of being able to work with nature, transforming that into a liquid, and to sell that liquid via a label designed himself.
Today, you can find Craig and Carla Hawkins in the true Swartland wilderness – 100km north of the hub of the Paadeberg, in an area called Piketberg. This is true rural Africa; not many human beings are here, but rather wildlife in abundance. Together with 84 other farms, they are working on a project with the Cape Leopard trust, to track the movement of leopards and to investigate their interaction with farm animals. Thus, Craig has unwittingly fulfilled his childhood dream synonymously with farming vines and making wine.