Stay Brave Chenin Testalonga Baby Bandito (Orange Wine) 2023

Stay Brave Chenin Testalonga
Please note: The image may not show the actual vintage available. Please check the product details for the actual vintage.

Perfect for:

All occasions

Looks, Smells, Tastes like:

Orange, Rustic, Easy

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Stay Brave Chenin Testalonga Baby Bandito, skin contact fresh and unfined orange wine. – fermented on the skins for 11 days before being pressed off into old oak Foudre and barrels. No yeast or other additives apart from a small amount of SO2 shortly before bottling. Ambient fermentation and 100% malolactic fermentation. Unfined and only lightly filtered

‘Planted in 1981, bush vine (un-trellised), farmed organically. This is a 1.5ha block which was abandoned in 2014, we approached the farmer Rick Mcgrindle and asked if we could try and revive it. The first vintage in 2016 resulted in no grapes but in 2017 showed tremendous growth and yielded nicely. ‘

Craig says: ‘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. Stay Brave is our “Baby” skin contact Chenin.’

Is Vegan? Yes
Bottle Size 750ml
Production Method Natural, Organic
Producer Craig Hawkins Testalonga
Country South Africa
Region Swartland, SA
Vintage 2023
Wine Type Orange Wine
Wine Style Medium bodied
Grape Chenin Blanc
Terroir Granite
Alcohol 12.5% abv
Maturation 11 days on skin, Carbonic maceration and then into a Foudre
Total Sulphur 26 mg/l
Annual Production 0 - 5,000 bottles
Ageing Potential Drink within 3 years of the vintage
Food Matching Light Dishes and Salads, Poultry, Spicy Foods

Craig Hawkins is a young winemaker based in the Swartland, South Africa, where he makes delicious natural wines at his farm called Banditskloof.

Having travelled extensively throughout Europe, and then worked as wine maker for Lammershoek, he now makes makes a huge variety of different wines under his own Testalonga label and has his own vines at the beautifully named 'Banditsskloof' farm in Swartland.  These are beautiful, natural hand-crafted wines from low yielding organic vines.  Craig only uses wild ferments and nothing is added except a little SO2 at bottling in some but not all the wines and vintages.

Over the years, Craig has expanded his repertoire and now makes some 15 different Cuvee including some delicious Pet Nat sparklers.  His wines continue to promote natural freshness, balance and quality and increasingly, a more precise and refined style.  The superb El Bandito Skin Contact Chenin Blanc is a very different wine from 12 years ago when we first tasted it and much more elegant and easy drinking.



Based on 2 reviews

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  • 1 0
  1. Terri


    I absolutely adore this wine. It has a lovely depth of flavour and is extremely drinkable, perfect for a summer’s day.

  2. Oliver (verified owner)


    Me and my wife loved this wine. It is slightly dry with hints of citrus, a perfect orange wine for a reasonable price. We enjoyed sipping it sitting in the sunshine we have recently enjoyed. So much so that we have ordered another bottle!

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The Natural Wine Lexicon

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Natural Yeast Fermentation
  • Nothing Removed, Nothing Added
  • Hand Harvest
  • Unfined
  • Unfilitered
  • Low Sulphur
  • No Added Sulphur
Natural wine explained. Read more

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Stay Brave Chenin Testalonga Baby Bandito (Orange Wine) 2023