Making wine from grapes – the Testalonga approach to natural wine

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Jan 17, 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

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Jan 3, 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

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Dec 29, 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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Swartland Bubbly to toast in the New Year

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Dec 22, 2019 |

The Summer holidays are in full swing and as we approach New Year Eve it is time to start considering your selection of bubbly to serve for a party to toast in the New Year. In the Swartland, we boast with a vast selection – from Sparkling Wine to Méthode Ancestrale (Petillant-Naturel) to Methode Cap…

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By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Dec 17, 2019 |

The festive season is in full swing and the Swartland is welcoming visitors from near and far. As a guide – and to make things a little bit easier – we’ve collated a list of our members who are open in the festive period, so you can plan your road trip to the land of…

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Riebeek Valley Wine Company – A story of tenacity against the odds

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Dec 8, 2019 |

Riebeek Cellars in the heart of the Swartland recently enjoyed a complete reimagining and re-entered the market as the newly minted Riebeek Valley Wine Co., boasting the captivating tagline ‘Guardians of the Swartland, Custodians of Quality’. We caught up with Alecia Boshoff (head winemaker and head of production) and Kara van Zyl (international marketing and…

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Rall Wines: For the love of the spellbinding Swartland soil & the protection of vulnerable vineyards

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Dec 1, 2019 |
Rall Wines Swartland

Donovan Rall is a man of the soil. He speaks about the Swartland soils the same way that some guys would talk about muscle cars or fine cigars – each one is equally appreciated and revered for the unique characteristics it brings to the table. We recently caught up with him to find out more…

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Marras Wines: On the singular art of digging wine & unlearning the fact that you are the centre of the universe

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Nov 24, 2019 |

Martin ‘Marras’ Lamprecht really digs wine. Yes, he loves it. But he also digs it. There is a difference. Love is sonnets and black-tie shindigs with tuxedos and silk gloves; digging, on the other hand, is something that brings to mind secret snogs on the front seat of a bakkie, and skinny-dipping in a farm…

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Hofstraat Cellar: The petite garagiste winery with a big heart

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Nov 17, 2019 |
HOFSTRAAT CELLAR Renosterbos Swartland Wine Route

Wim Smit is not a winemaker. He’s a guy that makes wine. Or, at least, that’s what he says. We beg to differ. Once you’ve had a glass of Renosterbos Nebbiolo you won’t have any lingering doubts about this professional builder’s exceptional prowess around the barrel, no matter how low-key his operation may be.  We…

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Small berries, big taste: Swartland Winery & the parable of the bush vine

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Nov 8, 2019 |

Swartland Winery is a true-blue South African stalwart that has stood the test of time. Originally established in 1948 by 15 members as the Swartland Co-operative in order to gain independence from KWV and ensure that they could deliver and press their own grapes, the winery has since evolved into a respected private wine company…

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