Five reasons the Swartland is South Africa’s most fun wine region

Written by Clifford Roberts; Photographer: Johan Viljoen

Swartland is all about the feels and is arguably the most fun wine region in the Cape. Yes, it’s a serious wine country too, but the expressions produced and the renowned spirit of its wineries clearly make it first on the list of places to visit for a good time.

  • The Swartland is big

Size matters and we agree. If you’re a wine-lover out for a great excursion, the bigger the area to explore, the bigger the potential for a good time. Swartland is huge. Just take a look at the map and the many towns along the way.

  • The Swartland is wild

Some say the further from the city you go, the wilder it gets. In our opinion, not necessarily. Swartland is a relatively short drive from Cape Town, but there are few regions with the diversity of wineries and styles of the Swartland. From orange to organic wines, big to miniscule wineries, strange winemakers to less strange winemakers – it’s all here.

  • The Swartland is for everyone

Farm life is family life and the Swartland has it in spades. But, if the two of you are inclined to go off by yourself, there are all kinds of quiet places of solitude. Just ask and we’ll point them out.

  • The Swartland is year-round

The Swartland doesn’t roll up the tar when everyone goes home. Come rain or shine, winter or summer, there’s something going on, which brings us to the final point…

  • The Swartland loves a party

Just this week, the annual Swartland Street Party was held. The event features local wineries and the opportunity to taste wines that are not always easily available. Take a look at the pictures. It says it all, doesn’t it? Swartland just has to be the most fun wine region in South Africa.

Argentine-born engineer Billy Hughes founded his eponymous winery to embrace a passion of his. His daughter Kiki handles the sales and marketing, but disappeared for a few hours to put the finishing touches to her Masters thesis in genetics.
Flying high after launching Riebeek Valley Wine Co’s new Pieter Cruythoff bubbly, winemaker Jacques Theron doled out samples of this and other expressions from the range.
It was a record turnout for this year’s Swartland Street Party, which sees a private alley closed off for a day and winemakers presenting their wines.
Donovan Rall’s wines are always popular, which explained the steady stream to his barrel.
Johan Meyer of Mother Rock Wines was happy to share his wines at the party, although all are sold on consignment. His orange wine in particular is a top-seller, he says.
The Wightman family showed wines from Môrelig, the farm on the Paardeberg where the family settled in 2011.
Spicing up the day was Gerald Clark and a band of top musicians. Also part of the ticket price, food and drinks were served by local restaurants including The Alchemist, Au Bouchon Rouge, The Barn and the Royal Hotel.
There was no wandering about for Swerwer winemaker Jasper Wickens who was happy to share with the passing crowds.
Posing for a photograph was just impossible for Andrea Mullineux, whose wines expectedly drew a crowd, so an action shot had to suffice.
Christa von Chevallerie is a boutique producer of the Swartland, and a passionate one at that. Things got so busy, she confided at one point that she could do with a whisky!
Always one for humour, renowned Swartland winemaker Eben Sadie said he was happy for the occasion for the mere fact that he could also get to taste the latest bottlings of his wines!
The Swartland is all about chill, as these photographs will attest

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