What a weekend!

We thought it would be nice to share some of our favourite things to do in and around the Swartland. Spending a weekend (or any few days) in the region can really relieve you of the stresses of the city. I mean there is no traffic, the few taxis in the towns are driven by polite law abiding citizens, the ratio of shining retail window display to real things made by locals are in your favour and the landscapes are wide open and unobstructed.

So, if you are planning to spend a few days in our (or any other local) accommodation (note, ours is the most instagram worthy and my gosh that linen!) here are a few of the things we like to do within 30mins drive of the farm.

Hiking:

So many options; you can start on the farm and walk into the Paardeberg (ask Semma); drive to the Riebeek Mountain and take the newly reopened route from Pulpit Rock or take a super easy walk up the granite hill outside Malmesbury (see slideshow below).

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Alternatively drive through Wellington and into Bain’s Kloof Pass (gorgeous views of everything the light touches) and stop off to sit next to the river (ask Helena for tips). For all of these we can provide guides on request and at a small fee.

Most of these routes are also mountain bike friendly!

Shopping and eating like a local:

On your way to Bain’s Kloof you will pass my favourite leather shop. Redemption Leather is a local factory / shop where you can buy hand made shoes, bags, belts and so much more. Worth a visit. I should go back but the boots I bought in 2016 are still going strong!

For farm fresh food you have plenty of options… as you should in the country side.

In Riebeek you can get great produce at The Biggest Little Market (previously Crisp) opposite Beans about Coffee (yes, another coffee is a great idea!) and something to braai straight from Delico Meat, a farmstyle family butchery.

The Biggest Little Market produce

For meals we always recommend Mama Cucina (great specials on the blackboards but the Sophia Loren pizza never fails) and make sure to look into King Olaf Furniture across the road. We also like drinking cocktails at The Alchemist, buying wine at The Wine Kollective and checking out art at the various galleries.

In Malmesbury you should stop at The Swartland Street Market where the Bill&Co Deli and Wine Shop stock all things local and Marvel Bistro and Bakery prepare good food daily. There is also a lovely urban food garden, created by Buurtvrug, and lots of space for city kids to stretch their legs. They have monthly winetasting dinners, market days and more.

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Wine (and other) tastings:

Most small producers are only open by appointment (like us) so make sure to enquire in advance.  Check out the Swartland Wine and Olive Route’s site or that of Riebeek Valley Tourism for details on cellars that have open doors and active tasting rooms.

We’ve set aside a few dates for tasting days on the farm (click click) so try coming out on those weekends!

wineclub2

Ok, this post is getting long. I will do a follow up story with nurseries, horse riding, local festivals and other things, soon.

spring

A few words from a man of many words. Adi gives some feedback on our spring day brunch / “Secateurs launch”

“Was a moerse lekker kuier on Saturday, I think we had more fun than the guests!
There was enough wine and food to go around. Some people left their cars in Malmesbury with broken gear boxes and still made it to the farm in time and then pitched in to make delicious salads to go with the late afternoon chicken and rabbit pies!

Harry helped plant tomatoes and beans – he will be back in 90 days to collect the harvest – much like he did with the Secateurs (Harry spent a few days on the farm harvesting in February and then came to drink as much as he could of the new release on Saturday!)
Roland from wine cellar even bought a bottle of wine in case ours was not up to scratch! Thanks for the Drouhin Roland!
Melissas staff brought lovely flowers and we now have a very cool collection of Melissas hand-me-down cafe chairs in and around the old house.

In general it was a fantastic bunch of people gathered together on a beautiful Swartland day.”

So there you have it, thanks for all the support and look forward to seeing you all at the next one!

Some photos with love and thanks to Maree Louw, I am sure she snapped pictures while husband Callie braaiied the chickens?

 

See more photos on Maree’s naturallight photography Facebook album.

working weekends

On Saturday our financial manager Gerrie got out of his office chair, put on some shorts and left the aircon behind to come help harvest on Kalmoesfontein. He brought his cute kids to lend another two pairs of hands (we are all for child labour here in the Swartland).

Gerrie with Alexander and Lenae.
Cheer up buddy, one day you can also drink wine! 

The “karookop shiraz” was everywhere.

Jasper sustained some minor injuries, but nothing worth writing home blogging about.

Treasurrrrre hunt

Adi, forever the pirate at heart / parrot lover, recently saved these beautiful parrots from the ‘vibacrete’ jungle of Malmesbury.

We welcomed them to Kalmoesfontein where they can whistle and tweet (no, they don’t run our twitter account) with the extended bird family of Kalmoesfontein as well as the local Paardeberg birds. 



In the spirit of good old piracy, we give you a (treasure hunt?) challenge:
The first person to identify the 3 rare species pictured here will win a mixed case of our wine! Just in time for the festive season!
Just comment below, on our Facebook page or tweet us the answers… 

Cottage life…

We told you a while ago that you can now come stay in the cottage on Kalmoesfontein by booking through Perfect Hideaways. This weekend we had our first guests; Lisa Fullstone and her family spent the weekend on the farm and sent us some lovely pictures.

In her e-mail, subjected “Kalmoesfontein – a boy, a dog, a farm” Lisa wrote:

“We had a lovely weekend, we really enjoyed the farm and the dogs! Our 5 year old Sam fell in love with the dogs and spent hours playing with them, he also got to meet Badenhorst 5 year old Samuel and they played really nicely together. 
 
We loved the farm, the dogs, the garden, Fortuin, the birdlife and mostly the peace and quiet.. and the VIEW!!! did I mention the view! and the Swartland heat, and the wines…”

Sound good? Then book your weekend and come enjoy it for yourself…

Plaas living

You can now come stay in the cottage on Kalmoesfontein! The cottage, that sleeps four people (one double room and another room with two single beds) has two en-suite bathrooms, a lovely open plan kitchen / living room with a massive fireplace and views of the Swartland from the Paardeberg.

There are also hiking trails, horses, cellars, veggie gardens and more to explore!

Kalmoesfontein is located in the Paardeberg and within bike riding distance from Paarl, Wellington and Riebeek Kasteel.

Read more, see pictures and booking details by clicking here~

Hats off to a new Côte

The Yorkshire Post has published a lovely article on the Swartland. With focus on last year’s revolution – and particularly the tasting by Stephane Ogier of the Northern Rhone, Christine Austin tells the story of a wine region that is fast becoming world class.


The reason for Stéphane’s presence in South Africa that day is because Swartland shares many of the characteristics that create some of the Rhône’s finest wines. The soil is complex with granite, clay, slate and river shale creating individual pockets for different varieties; the climate is hot during the day but a cooling breeze spreads over the region in the afternoon; and there is enough distance between the Swartland and the manicured vineyards of Stellenbosch to feel that this is the pioneering, Wild West of wine growing.”


She also focusses on Eben and Adi’s journeys to the Swartland and rates some of their wines, including our “fresh-tasting complex, pepper and aniseed Badenhorst Family Red 2007, which is on its way to becoming one of South Africa’s great wines.”

Read the full article here

Revving up for another Revolution…

We are once again in full swing planning the Swartland Revolution. After the overwhelming success of the inaugural Revolution, this year promises to be bigger and better.


With 250 tickets available there will not only be more guests, but more tastings and more goodies and fun entertainment awaits you, come 11/11/11.


This year’s tastings (three, compared to two last year) includes a Friday afternoon tasting by Olivier Clape presenting six of his world class French wines. On Saturday there will be a tasting of eight wines from the local Mullineux Cellar as well as a tasting with wine journalist Jamie Goode (all the way from London) and Michael Fridjhon, a revolution favourite. They will treat us to four of their favourite wines each.


As they say, dont fix it if it aint broken; so celeb chef Reuben Riffel will once again be in charge of the braai tongs on Friday night while local hero Mynardt Joubert and the team at Bar Bar Black Sheep will have to pull out all the stops to top their Festival Feast from 2010 for lunch on Saturday.


And finally, a new poster has arrived… 



For the entire programme of events, click here!


Hope to see you in the Swartland in November!