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The warm and welcoming Swartland area of the Western Cape encompasses a uniquely diverse geographic region, from the undulating hills of the Paardeberg in the south to the rolling waters of the Berg River in the north.

Here lie the charming historic towns of Malmesbury, Piketberg and Porterville, and the twin villages of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West, nestled on the slopes of the Kasteelberg.

Sweeping wheat fields – golden in summer, mint-green in winter – are punctuated by azure dams on working farms, and sheep and cattle dot the landscape. Huge swathes of natural vegetation burst with indigenous fynbos and the rich resident birdlife is complemented in spring by migrants, with buzzards and kites common along roadside fenceposts.

In this little Mediterranean corner of the world, fruit orchards abound, vineyards carpet the slopes and olive groves nestle around unexpected corners.

This quietly charming world of abundance and colour welcomes visitors – to be cosseted in guesthouses BnBs, to feast on fresh and deliciously prepared local produce and, above all, to sample a wide range of palate-pleasuring wines.


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 Santam Swartland Wine & Olive Route offers guests a uniquely different experience.


The Swartland is famous for its festivals, which cover everything from food and wine to art and music, and take place throughout the year.


Making wine from grapes – the Testalonga approach to natural wine

17th Jan 2020

Craig Hawkins and his wife Carla are one of the South African wine world’s most interesting enigmas. They operate completely under the radar (try and find them online, we double-dare you!), they’re unassuming and approachable, and yet they’re making some of the most interesting natural wines South Africa has ever seen under their label Testalonga. …

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Eat, drink, stay and be merry at Nieuwedrift in the Swartland

3rd Jan 2020

The Mostert family of Nieuwedrift Wine Estate in the Swartland has the hospitality gene. As soon as you drive through the gates of their well-tended farm en route to Piketberg from Malmesbury, you feel the most incredible sense of welcome, and that’s before you’ve even sit down at a table with a glass of bubbly…

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Porseleinberg: The tough hilltop farm in the Swartland that yields South Africa’s most epic Syrah

29th Dec 2019

Callie Louw is not a guy for the limelight. He is at his happiest with his hands in the soil and the sun on his face, and yet, this stoere boer makes one of the most sought-after Syrah wines in South Africa. Porseleinberg has been described as our country’s highest-rate Syrah, and still Callie continues…

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