Unlike the manicured vineyards of Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, the Swartland is wild, rugged country. Stark mountain peaks and rocky outcrops give way to rolling wheat fields and orchards dotted with Renosterbos (rhinoceros bush), their colour giving the Swartland its name: black land. This is not an easy place to grow vines. The Swartland is a place of extremes with summer heatwaves and cold winters. Yet, it’s the heat and lack of water that has made these bush vines hardy and drought-resistant, creating small and concentrated grapes with deeply layered flavours and rich colours. The result? Wines with an intensity of fruit, grainy tannins, and depth. While Chenin Blanc and Syrah reign supreme, the Swartland has an abundance of old vineyards and producers are known to experiment with hardier cultivars and lesser-known varietals, such as Lledoner Pelut and Alicante Bouschet.
The Swartland is a rags to riches story. Not even twenty years ago, it was viewed as a bulk wine player, more known for its wheat and table grapes than anything resembling fine wine. It took a few renegade winemakers to start a revolution, such as the likes of Eben Sadie, Andrea and Chris Mullineux and Adie Badenhorst, but today, the Swartland is considered one of the most dynamic and creative wine regions in the southern hemisphere, home to some of the country’s top producers. It is a place of down to earth camaraderie and an infectious shared sense of endeavour.
We urge you to join us in bringing this rugged place with a reputation for breaking the rules to you and discover its essence of “Swartlandness”.