The Sadie Family strives for wines that are fresh, flavorsome and refined, harmonious and balanced; which offers a sense of the place of its origin; which provides drinking pleasure at the highest level of quality, at any stage of its life: the wine-drinker’s eagerness for a further glass is their measure of achievement!

Their two wines, Columella and Palladius, originate in the soils in the Swartland region, which stretches north of Cape Town, between Durbanville and Piketberg, inland from the Atlantic Ocean, centered on the town of Malmesbury.  Importantly, the area has a remarkably stable climate, allowing achievement of a consistent level of quality each year, in subtly different vintage conditions.

Grapes for these wines are grown on many of the different soil-types of the Malmesbury area, including the three most important soil structures associated with the region:

  1. decomposed slate
  2. decomposed granite
  3. Table Mountain sandstone and slate /clay mixture

Initially identifying fine vineyards may be the most difficult element of the wine-producing process. To achieve this demands commitment to the notion of terroir – the unity of all the natural components that influence the vine and, ultimately, the grape itself: soil, geology, landscape and climate.  Coming to understand the complex interactions of all the myriad components – as well as the crucial effect of human intervention – is essential in liberating great wine.



 What is most important to remember in vinification is that nothing of essential value can be introduced — but a great deal can be lost. The 'winemaker' cannot, in fact, create: we have to understand the soils and what they produce, and learn the best means of preserving what we receive from nature's vineyards and delivering its potential as fine wine. Eben Sadie is responsible for the vinification of Columella and Palladius.

Fermentation in open-top wooden fermenters of 2500 liters occurs naturally, with native yeasts, and therefore tends to be slow, taking up to three to four weeks to complete. Fermentation temperature is controlled, usually at 24—26°C, depending on which vineyard's grapes we are dealing with. As fermentation progresses, the skins are repeatedly punched down ('pigeage') in the age-old tradition.



“The most excellent wine is one which has given pleasure by its own natural qualities.  Nothing must be mixed with it which might obscure its natural taste,” observed Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella.  This timelessly valid judgment appeared over two millennia ago, in Columella’s treatise on farming, De re Rustica (‘On Country Matters’), the most comprehensive account of Roman viticulture.  It is a fitting definition of a wine named to honor Columella, a wine carefully nurtured to express its origins in the soils of South Africa’s Swartland region, first made from the 2000 vintage.

Why an ancient Roman in modern Swartland?  Columella, as mentioned earlier, was one of the most important writers on viticulture and vinification in early Rome. Through his work and direction, many grapes made their way up the Rhone — on whose steep northerly banks Syrah is now produced in its purest form.  “And as syrah forms the basis of our wine”, says Eben Sadie, “and as I am fascinated by Columella and admire his work and his understanding of viticulture — well, why not?”

Columella’s  treatise on farming De re Rustica is one of the most comprehensive accounts of Roman viticulture, and his successor, Palladius, continued writing.  And as the red wine produced by 
The Sadie Family is called Columella, it is only fitting that the white wine produced is named after Palladius, the successor of Columella.