Meet Testalonga!

Say hello the makers of Testalonga and discover the secrets behind Craig and Carla Hawkins' legendary South African natural wine, explore Swartland, and learn the art of unconventional labels.


El Bandito

Craig and Carla Hawkins founded Testalonga in 2008, after having traveled the world making wine. They started making wine under the label ‘Testalonga’ at Lammershoek Winery, with their very first wine being a four week skin contact chenin. It wasn’t until 2014 that they found Bandits Kloof, their farm and new home at the bottom of Olifantsberg mountain, Swartland, South Africa. Focusing on a variety of Mediterranean grapes, the first vineyards were planted here in 2018.


Rebel At Heart

Testalonga El Bandito? This intriguing name was inspired by a rebellious Italian winemaker, known as Testalonga, who defied convention by vinify-ing his red wines in a manner typically reserved for whites—a move that shocked his neighbors. Inspired by this maverick's tenacity, Craig Hawkins sought permission to adopt his name for his own labels, a request that was gladly granted. 

While Craig is considered to be a brilliant and innovative winemaker (especially in the Natural Wine Community), his love for experimentation and unwavering nature has also attracted criticism. But hey, when you're pushing boundaries and charting new territories, there's bound to be a mix of supporters and skeptics. Craig takes it all in his stride, confident in his unique approach. 

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The Natural Way

Craig and Carla Hawkins have one goal: to make wine from grapes, and only grapes— and this means growing them without the use of any chemicals. They only farm their own vines, or buy them from organic, dry farmed sites. They also power their winery and home with solar energy in order to support a sustainable lifestyle. Isn’t that amazing?!

They never fine or filter their wines, make sure to use only indigenous yeast, and keep the amount of S02 as low as possible before bottling, resulting in a fine collection of natural wines that will definitely blow you away. This is because they want the wines to tell the world who they are, and express themselves without any manipulation.


Exclusive Labels?

If you’ve seen a Testalonga bottle, the first thing you’ll remember is the crazy labels. Craig makes all of the labels himself, with the same goal of wanting the wine to express themselves. He takes inspiration from things around him, like pictures that are taken by friends and family and are each carefully picked. He hopes to put a smile on the face of anyone who sees their bottle. So remember this the next time you pick up a Testalonga, and ask yourself; “What is the story behind this picture?”.



Where can I find Testalonga?

If you’re in Malaysia, you won’t have to look past this page to find both the Baby Bandito and El Bandito series at

From battling convention to introducing South Africa’s first skin contact wine (orange wine), Craig and Carla Hawkins are set out to redefine the wine world, one bandito at a time.