Beyond wine, discover SWARTLAND CULTURE – where you're free to kick off your shoes.

Rugged and raw, the region is deep-rooted, untamed and unapologetic of spirit. Its wide horizon stretches ocean-to-mountain across extreme diversity.

The Swartland is an ever-changing land of contrast. Characterised by an austere name - directly translated from Afrikaans as 'blackland' – the region is seasonally transformed most memorably to magnificent undulating hills of green. The landscape is dominated by sprawling fields of grain, thriving orchards and vineyards dotted with islands of wilderness and quaint farm villages.

Here is the invitation to discover back-roads that echo through the climate and geography as much in its produce as the tenacity of its communities. Here is the opportunity for the visitor to be immersed in neighbourhoods that may be down-to-earth, but are renowned for their uncompromising expression through wine and food, art, language and way of life.

This is the soul of the Swartland: a sincere, independent people in unique country.

Be enchanted by a place that's home to some of the country's oldest vines; where off-the-beaten-tracks reveal prized wine and olive farms; where it's not uncommon to be welcomed at first greeting by farm owners themselves, who work the land too.

In the Swartland, simplicity and honesty are hallmarks, along with enticement to explore. And there are many experiences to be had, whether you seek sophisticated fine dining or a remote, no-frills hiking trail; to race a bike along a farm track or explore a quiet art gallery; to swim in a farm dam or strike out to meet the winemakers behind cutting-edge brands.

Less than an hour's drive from Cape Town, the region offers authenticity and space to breathe. It's not a place you choose, but a place of tranquillity that chooses you.

The Swartland Wine & Olive Route is more than just a map; it is a laid-back state of mind that will reset your compass. No shoes required.


The Swartland has become known internationally as the South African wine region with a difference. It could be argued that some of the most innovative wines are produced here.


In this little Mediterranean corner of the world, orchards and vineyards carpet the slopes and olive groves nestle around unexpected corners. Some of the finest olive oils in South Africa are produced in the Swartland.


It’s close enough to get to, yet it’s a perfect place to get away from it all. Each producer on the Swartland Wine & Olive Route offers guests a uniquely different experience.

Visit the picturesque, rugged Swartland where backroad wineries echo the terroir, with communities pursuing individual expression through wine, food, word and art.

- Jolene Janse van Rensburg. Manager, Swartland Wine & Olive Route


Swartland wheat fields with Tabel Mountain in the background

Swartland is wheat country

Author Clifford Roberts; Photographer Johan Viljoen There’s plenty of modern-day evidence of the Swartland’s long history in wine grape farming. While some of oldest examples of locally farmed cultivars exist in the region, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that grape production rose to its current status as significant agricultural crop. Grain farming on the other …

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Riebeek Valley Wine Co replanting after crisis

Riebeek Valley Wine Co: Re-planting, Re-building and Opening Doors

Over the past 79 years of winemaking in the Swartland region, ‘tenacity against the odds’ and ‘a boer maak ‘n plan’ attitude have rung true for Riebeek Valley Wine Co through war and peace, drought and flood and certainly during the COVID-19 pandemic. For Riebeek Valley Wine Co 2020 has been the year for re-evaluating, …

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Swartland legacy bush vines

Swartland: old vines and ancient legacy

23 September 2020 Author: Clifford Roberts; Photography: Johan Viljoen The Swartland is a champion of South Africa’s old vineyards. Local winemakers were among the first to recognise the importance of preserving them. From a visitor’s perspective, that’s just one of the more unusual ways to get to know the history of the region. Fascinating traces …

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