What a weekend!

We are sharing some of our favourite things to do in and around the Swartland again, since some of the businesses and restaurants originally suggested have sadly closed down.

Spending a weekend (or any few days) in the region can really relieve you of the stresses of the city. There is no traffic (unless you encounter a herd of sheep crossing a dirt road), 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 stay in our accommodation (or others in the area) 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 our 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.

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 cocktails and Asain inspired food try The Alchemist, definitely buy wine at The Wine Kollective (the only wineshop in the world that stocks alllll the Swartland gems) and check out art at the various galleries.

In Malmesbury you should get your coffee at Koffie (and see what the owner baked that morning) and grab some lunch in the garden at Granny Jeans. Peaberry Cafe and Cherry Lane are also both nice stops for light meals, coffee and local baked goods.

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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.

After harvest we hope to once again set aside a few dates for tasting days on the farm so try coming out on those weekends! And we have started to put together a sort of “menu of experiences” that friends and neighbours can offer so ask Semma about that when you book and get the most out of a weekend in die platteland.

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And if you want to visit some local nurseries, both the Malmesbury Kwekery (on Reservoir street) and the Riebeek Valley Garden Center in Riebeek West come highly recommended.

Enjoy your visit to the Swartland!

Revolution already on the way

Yes, this weekend past was the third annual Swartland Revolution. A weekend of great wines (from France, Germany, Portugal and naturally, the Swartland), fabulous food and lots of Swartland gees. Like one happy revolutionary observed: the right level of geeky/nerd/fun!! 

Maree Louw, revolutionary wife, once again took some amazing pictures, and we gladly share them with you here.

Hiiii Eben

The first tasting, Quality First was presented by father and son team, Alain and Maxime Graillot who each showed three of their wines from France.

Adi showing Samuel some tricks of the trade.

Friday night BBQ at Bazaar, by Moerby Kultuur.

Die Baardskeerdersbos Orkes had everyone dancing. “Klein bietjie wyn, klein bietjie wyn” (lies, all lies!)

Adi and Callie in good spirits (especially considering it is 9am on THE Saturday)

Beer and worsrol break between Saturday morning tastings.

Lunch, by “the revolutionary moms” led by Adi’s mom Judy, was a huge success.

The Moms! (take a bow!)

And then there was the Swartland Independent Street Party, with 18 members pouring their wines in Short Street Square.

Including Jasper’s new venture, made on Kalmoesfontein – Muskeljaatkat!

And then it was over. Another great success, with attendees already asking “can I book for next year…”

Um, no, give us a chance to recover, celebrate summer, harvest and then once we’ve started planning, we can talk about another revolution.

Thanks for sharing in the experience!

More pics on Maree’s blog.

Swartland All Stars!

Anton Espost – owner of The Wine Kollective in Riebeek Kasteel’s Short Street Square is also a keen writer and has recently published “Swartland Grapeheart 2011′.


We love:
1. The tattoo inspired All Stars cover.

2.   The clever quirky diagrams we found in there:
2.1 The Swartland Brain:

2.2 The Wine Regions of SA:

2.3 And the percentage of Landcruisers with designer dogs:



The Wine Kollective was started with the brilliant idea:

Start your own shop, call it ‘The Wine Kollective’, convince the best wineries to join the cause and viola!’

The Blue Building
Short Street
Riebeek Kasteel
t. 022 448-1008
e. espost@telkomsa.net 


Free tastings on weekends!!