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Franz Beckenbauer Libero No 5 2015

Swartland property Lammershoek was sold to a trio of German investors in 2014 leading to the replacement of the maverick Craig Hawkins as winemaker by Schalk Opperman, previously of Holden Manz in Franschhoek. The first wines under the new regime have now been released, the Franz Beckenbauer Libero No 5 2015 sitting at the top […]

March 14, 2016
by Christian
with 2 Comments

Tim James: Lammershoek looking good under new management

When I first found out, a few years back, that the famous footballer of the 1960s and 70s, Franz Beckenbauer, had joined the German consortium owning Lammershoek, I was asked to keep quiet about it. Well, that discretion is one of many things that have changed at Lammershoek in the past year or two, as […]

February 29, 2016
by Tim James
with 0 Comments

Testalonga Baby Bandito Follow Your Dreams 2015

Craig Hawkins, the maverick winemaker behind the Testalonga label, detests having his wines scored and in the case of his two new “Baby Bandito” wines, it’s easy to sympathise because while they are not necessarily the most complex out there, their vitality and sheer refreshment value are enchanting. Tasting notes AND scores below because they […]

February 12, 2016
by Christian
with 0 Comments

Testalonga El Bandito King of Grapes 2015

Can Craig and Carla Hawkins be contained? Subsequent to their departure from Lammershoek, the Testalonga range of wines has grown to 11 and they remain some of the most rock ‘n roll stuff around. The 2015 vintage of King of Grapes (Wine Cellar price: R230 a bottle) is exquisite. From Grenache, it shows red fruit, spice […]

December 23, 2015
by Christian
with 0 Comments

David Cope: Interview with Craig Hawkins

Craig Hawkins has made a name for himself as the biggest advocate of natural wine in South Africa. Together with significant other Carla Kretzel, he’s recently left Swartland winery Lammershoek to pursue his Testalonga brand of wines full time. Here’s a quick catch-up with the man behind some of the most interesting wines made in […]

February 13, 2015
by David Cope
with 0 Comments

Tim James: On wine additives

Craig Hawkins has a great (and often quirky) sense of humour, but when he chose “Made from grapes” as the motto of his Testalonga wine-brand, he wasn’t joking. What he really means is “…and ONLY grapes” – though, bringing a touch of pragmatism to his idealism, he will add a judicious touch of preserving sulphur […]

December 16, 2014
by Tim James
with 3 Comments

Testalonga El Bandito 2014

Craig Hawkins pretty much eschews the label “natural wines” for the stuff he makes under the Testalonga El Bandito label as he feels that the term is too mired in controversy but he’s South Africa’s leading proponent of the “nothing added, nothing taken away” approach to winemaking and the results are compelling. “I want my […]

December 4, 2014
by Christian Eedes
with 3 Comments

Testalonga El Bandito Cortez 2013

If you’re going to embrace “natural wine”, then it does involve some recalibration of the palate to accept smells and tastes that previously you might have been rejected. Lammershoek winemaker Craig Hawkins who makes natural wines under his own Testalonga label is adamant that he doesn’t want them scored on the basis that they sit […]

August 13, 2014
by Christian
with 1 Comment
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Wine magazine was published from October 1993 until September 2011 and now lives on in digital form as Winemag.co.za. We cover everything to do with South African wine.
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