The Dark Side
SYRAH - 2016
SWARTLAND, SOUTH AFRICA
Otherwordly, almost old-world Syrah (not Shiraz), with black fruit compote, a medicinal taughtness through-out and lovely savoury spice.
Craig Hawkins is located in South Africa’s Swartland. Here he has planted a small vineyard with his wife on schist in the area’s northern-most mountains. In addition to traditional varieties like Grenache, he is pioneering Maccabeu and Vermentino. He also sources grapes from the legendary Observatory Vineyard and Lammershoek Vineyard. He farms using a handful of biodynamic practices but is not actively seeking certification. Strong arguments are made for dry farming, stating that appropriate varieties and biotypes can survive and thrive in Swartland without irrigation.
Before starting his own project, Craig worked with Eben Sadie, Dirk Niepoort, and (perhaps most influential on his style) at Domaine Matassa. He began Testalonga in 2008 while making wine for Lammershoek.