Baby Bandito is a project we started in 2015. We wanted to work with vineyards that deliver wines that can be drunk young yet still “over deliver” in quality one would expect from our most affordable wine. There was a heavy influence from street artists (the good ones, not just your drunk student defacing someone’s wall, unless it was good) in the labels and the idea of a “series” using different and bright colours. The names of the wines come from expressions that we use as if giving encouragement to a child. Chin Up is the most recent addition. The photograph was taken by my brother Mark (with permission) whilst on holiday in Vietnam.
NAME OF ESTATE/DOMAINE: TESTALONGA
NAME OF VIGNERON: Craig Hawkins
CELLAR LOCATION: Bandits Kloof, Eendekuil, Piketberg, Swartland
TERROIR: Decomposed Granite, East facing, 220m above sea level
Planted in 1981, bush vine (un-trellised and dryland), farmed organically. This is a 3ha block on the farm of Rick Mcgrindle. It yields very large delicate grapes with thin skins of a pale complexion. In 2019 we didn’t harvest a grape due to high disease pressure, but 2022 offered us a good healthy harvest.
GRAPE: 100% Cinsaut
Hand harvested and 100% Destemmed into open 2000L fermenters. Fermented on the skins for 6 days before being pressed off into a 3300L old oak Foudre. No yeast (or other) inoculation or additives apart from a small amount of SO2 shortly before bottling. Ambient fermentation (the juice/ wine is not cooled). 100% malolactic fermentation. A light clarifying filtration was carried out, but no fining.