Of Craig Hawkins, Lammershoek, and Testalonga

They order things differently in Swartland


Lammershoek is situated in the Aprilskloof Valley of the Paardeberg

The soil is decomposed granite, very sandy in places

They have 60 head of cattle to make manure for the vineyards

Although this is hot area the vineyards are dry-farmed and comprise low-yielding bush vines

The winery has a plot of  Hárslevelü!

Craig also makes a Zinfandel!!


No recipes – Each vineyard is picked on taste with the final wine in mind, based on what the vineyard is capable of giving.  And each year each vineyard will give us something slightly different to play with, something that Craig chooses to embrace and reflect in the wine.

Craig makes a rosé from Pinotage called Sink The Pink

Pinotage is normally the first grape to be harvested in their pantheon of varieties


Craig plays music in the winery. Rock and roll is the Swartland revolution.

He has just bottled a skin contact Muscat with zero sulphur called Sweet Cheeks.

Said cheeks have nothing to do with the derrière of a comely maiden.

The Testalonga El Bandito Skin Contact Chenin has seen maceration periods varying between 5 weeks to 2 years. 5 weeks is now the preferred length of time

The King of Grapes 2013 Grenache is only 11.7% and the Testalonga El Bandito Cortez Chenin is 10.5%.

There are stencil outlines of cute Banksy graffiti throughout the winery


No new barrels, just used barriques, concrete tanks and big foudres

Some of the Chenin bush vines yield only one bunch per vine

Craig farms the old Observatory vineyard in his spare time

Cellarfoot Underwater Wine is aged in eight old 225l French oak barrels underwater in a concrete fermentation tank for 12 months. It is a blend of Pinotage, Grenache, Carignan, and Mourvedre. There was no loss of wine through evaporation or oxygen exchange through the wood. We did not need to top the barrels at all. Purity of fruit would correctly sum up this wine – it dominates the nose and the palate with tannins that are literally non-existent. The wine is pure drinking pleasure.


When Craig says “I’m happy with that wine”, he’s very happy.

It’s all about freshness, texture and natural acidity.

Wild ferment – wines and ideas!

Leave a Reply