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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Swartland Street Party and Springboks for the WIN!

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Nov 5, 2019 |

There are moments that will forever echo in the collective mind of a nation, and Saturday the 2nd of November 2019 has officially earned a place among honour the days that have defined South Africa as a country. The moment that camera showed the engraver putting our name on the Web Ellis trophy, it was…

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Brands, basket presses & bold new benchmarks – a beautiful beginning for the Swartland Wine & Olive Route

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Nov 2, 2019 |

There are exciting things afoot in the Swartland. If you’ve been keeping your ear to the ground and your eye on recent wine awards, you’d probably have noticed that the Swartland has slowly but surely been gaining a rather substantial foothold in local and international markets, and we’re happy to say that things are only…

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Winkelshoek Cellar & Schenkfontein Wines: A multi-generational Swartland story with plenty of twists in the tale

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Oct 28, 2019 |

Winkelshoek Cellar near Piketberg in the Swartland is one of those intricately wrought family businesses that took many challenging decades to build and speaks to the tenacity and innovation of overlapping generations that challenge each other to take bold leaps of faith and create opportunities from thin air. We recently caught up with brothers Hendrik…

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The Leeuwenkuil legacy: ‘Skrik vorentoe’ and love the land

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Oct 4, 2019 |

Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards is a Swartland institution. The estate on which it is situated was one of the earliest wine farms in the region – it has been around since 1693, when it was known as Schinderkuijl, and was noted as having 8000 vines. The Dreyer family took ownership of the farm in 1851 after…

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Making art from science & wine from sunshine – the Franki’s Vineyards story

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Sep 30, 2019 |

Just when you think you’ve got a handle on all the interesting folks out here in the Swartland, you head out to a farm outside Darling one sunny day, and find yourself face to face with an organic chemist who left behind the laboratory to get her hands dirty and turn winemaker on a solar…

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Wildehurst Wines: The garden vineyard in the backyard of the Swartland that started an MCC revolution

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Sep 24, 2019 |

The story of how Wildehurst Wines came to be is one of those tales that should come with a warning – CAUTION: may inspire the notion of throwing caution to the wind and following your dreams to a place where magic still happens. We recently caught up with winemaker Sheree Nothnagel to find out more…

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10 Interesting bits of Swartland heritage to brighten your day

By Jolene Janse van Rensburg | Sep 24, 2019 |

Happy Heritage Day everyone! In the spirit of celebrating the unique cultures and customs that make up the rich and varied tapestry of the Rainbow Nation, we thought we’d share a few interesting bits of Swartland heritage that we have rustled up over the course of our interviews and interactions with the fascinating producers that…

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