Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Swartland Wine Route
The Swartland, an area synonymous with wheat and sheep farming, is just 40 minutes’ drive north of Cape Town.
Where? The Swartland Region, Western Cape
When? See individual wine estates for their opening times
When? Telephone +27 (0)22 487-1133
Meaning ‘black country’ and named after the indigenous Renosterbos, which turns a dark colour at a certain time of the year, the Swartland wine route extends from Darling on the west coast down to the Oliphants Mountain at Porterville in the east and includes Malmesbury, Riebeek Valley and Piketberg in the north.
The vineyards lie along the banks of the Berg River and in the foothills of a number of imposing mountain ranges that lie in the Swartland, producing a constant blue and black backdrop to the beauty of the vineyards.
Initially the Swartland was renowned for its full-bodied red and fortified wines but the area has recently produced some top-table white wines and continues to produce top port-style wines.
Most of the vines are grown under dryland conditions, although some of them are irrigated towards the end of the dry and very long summers. Because the vines are not irrigated they are favoured as a blend with wines produced from irrigated vineyards due to their excellent quality and flavour.
For additional information about the Wartland Region, attractions, things to do and events and festivals see Swartland Information & Attractions or, to view the individual wine estates of the Swartland Wine Route, see Swartland Wine Estates.