A few days ago, we featured the brand new releases from Testalonga. This exciting range is produced by the brilliant mind of Craig Hawkin, together with his wife Carla. Their recent acquisition of a farm in the northern mountains of the Swartland has allowed them to create wines that personify them. Not only are we blown away by the quality, complexity and ingenuity in the wine, our attention was caught by the bright, unusual labeling and innovative names. We thought we would dig a little deeper into the naming of these wines and see why each has been named something unique!
This is absolutely as the name suggests. It is named after the winemaking process of a skin contact Chenin and is the first original wine that he has made.
Despite not being a Dave Matthews fan, one of Criag’s favourite live songs is “Cortez the
Killer” by the artist. Being his second wine, the song brings memories of his time in Portugal flooding back and he named this wine in honour of this time.
One of Craig’s many mentors is the Frenchman, Remy Pedreino. One of his sayings to Craig was the Grenache is the King of Grapes; so when creating this wine, this was the obvious name of choice!
After an emotional and difficult 2014, this one off wine received its name, together with the image of a raging bull label to signify the challenges of the year. 2015 however sees the change in both label and name as it is changed to Dark Side.
An endearing namesake to the neighbouring children; these grapes proved to be a firm favourite to the children who loved to pick and eat the grapes during harvest. Their bulging, grape filled cheeks invoked the name Sweet Cheeks.
El Bandito Mangaliza
Craig loves an animal called a Mangalitsa which is a pig which looks like a sheep from Hungary. When he began growing the grape, the Harslevelü, which is also originally from Hungary, he thought it would be the perfect name for the wine.
This exclusive wine is made specifically for South Africa, with a few bottles going to Japan. The label is a picture of the donkeys posing “lord-like” on their newly bought farm. Due to the farm being new and rough around the edges, they named it Dogtown after the famous movie. The name Lords of Dogtown seemed an obvious description to add to the label which suited the wine.
El Bandito I Want to be a Ninja
This is Craig’s favourite name for his wines. While capping and bottling this wine, he mentioned in passing to his wife Carla and Matthias Warnung that he wishes he was a Ninja. It just seemed to them like the perfect fit for the wine.
His love for street art inspired Craig with the next three labels. Each label has a plaster on the finger which is a different colour. All three of the series are words of encouragement and something you would tell a child in life. “Follow your Dreams” is a saying that Bansky made famous while Keep on Punching was a friend’s favourite saying. “Keep on punching, the head will fall” stayed with Craig as he developed the farm, together with “Stay Brave” which was the backbone of creating skin contact wine from the beginning of his career.