The Curator range is made by Adi Badenhorst, a talented winemaker based in Swartland, South Africa - now his family home after many years spent at Rustenberg in Stellenbosch.
For Adi, winemaking runs in the family, but not in this appellation: both his father and grandfather were winegrowers further south in the tiny Constantia region. His father worked at Buitenverwachting, a popular label for Society members, and it was here that the winemaker let Adi make his first wine at the age of just 13.
Having grown up stealing grapes in the vineyards, it was not surprising that Adi wanted to pursue his own winemaking career. He studied at Elsenburg, then did various stints with the likes of Château Angélus, Alain Graillot in the northern Rhône and Wither Hills in New Zealand, before gaining more local experience at neighbouring wineries.
Then, in 2008, he and his cousin Hein bought a winery in Swartland that hadn't been used since the 1930s, and vowed to produce wines in a traditional way, using minimum intervention and biologically friendly processes. The vines were planted in the 1950s and 60s, so the various vineyard parcels had distinct and complex character. Comprising chenin blanc, cinsault and grenache, they are farmed without irrigaton, and the north, east and south-facing exposures provide a wonderful diversity of character.
The granite soil here is a mixture of three distinct types: lammershoek, lemoenfontein, and paardeberg, plus some clay and shale for even greater complexity. Adi and Hein also purchase other grape varieties from local sites to give the blends further complexity.
Grapes are hand picked and transported to the winery, where they undergo whole-bunch pressing. Only the free-run juice is used: this is fermented in concrete tanks, as well as old casks for the whites and open wooden barrels for the reds. Some of the wines are then aged in casks and foudres for added depth of character.
Grower profile: updated 22/10/2013