Heather in the Swartland at Allesverloren Wine Estate

8 Magical Moments in the Swartland

I visited the Swartland — a wine region about an hour northwest of Cape Town — almost two months ago. My visit was mostly about wine, which I wrote about already, but I have all these other cool pictures and memories from the trip that I wasn’t able to share in that post.

Here are some of the best:

Swartland Moment #1: Lambs at Vleidam Guest Farm

Newborn lambs at Vleidam Guest Farm in the Swartland, Koringberg.
On my first night in the Swartland we stayed in a quaint little cottage at the Vleidam Guest Farm in Koringberg. It was lambing season on the farm. There were so many adorable newborn lambs running around and I nearly died from cuteness overload. I loved this farm and would go back in a second.

Swartland Moment #2: Allesverloren

Heather on a mountain above the Allesverloren Wine Estate.
Allesverloren Wine Estate is one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa, established in 1704 outside the historic town of Riebeek Kasteel. We took a ride up into the fields above the estate and discovered this classic Swartland vista. Photo by Dee Lourens.

Swartland Moment #3: Olives in Riebeek Kasteel

Kitchen at Het Vlock Casteel Olives in Riebeek Casteel
Olives are a thing in the Swartland. And I had no idea how delicious olives could be until I visited this place. Het Vlock Casteel produces dozens of different types of olives preserved with chili and garlic and lemon and herbs and a million other flavors, as well as olive spreads and jams and olive oil on tap. Het Vlock’s owner, Ansie Vlock, also does incredibly informative olive oil tastings. This is the kitchen at Het Vlock Casteel and I didn’t have time to take these ladies’ names but their olives are making my mouth water as I type this.
Olives at Het Vlock Casteel
Please, do not leave the town of Riebeek Kasteel without stopping for olives at Het Vlock. The free samples alone are enough for a full meal filled with healthy unsaturated fats.

Swartland Moment #4: Lazy Afternoon at Kloovenburg

Dog outside Kloovenburg Wine Estate
We only had time for a very quick stop at Kloovenburg, which is also one of the country’s oldest wine estates. But I couldn’t leave out this picture, which kind of explains the vibe in Riebeek Kasteel.

Swartland Moment #5: Serenity at AA Badenhorst

Mountain view at AA Badenhorst Farm
I wrote about quirky winemaker Adi Badenhorst in my previous post. But aside from the wine, I can’t say enough about how beautiful Adi’s farm is. I’m still dreaming about going to stay there for a long weekend. This is a plunge pool outside one of the self-catering cottages at Badenhorst.
Cottage at AA Badenhorst
Inside one of the cottages, which used to be a farm stable.

Swartland Moment #6: Overlooking Riebeek Kasteel

Town of Riebeek Casteel
The Swartland’s picturesque towns are a huge part of its charm. Here’s a nice view of Riebeek Kasteel, one of the oldest towns in South Africa. I didn’t notice until later that a springbok wandered into my frame.

Swartland Moment #7: A Colonial Church

Dutch Reformed Church in Malmesbury
I’m a sucker for beautiful churches, as you all know. This is the Dutch Reformed Church in Malmesbury — another quaint town in the Swartland — built in 1860.

Swartland Moment #8: Hike to Pulpit Rock

View from Pulpit Rock hike
One morning in the Swartland, I hiked up the Kasteelberg Mountain with my friend Dee and her friend (now my new friend) Christa. We started and ended our hike at the Pulpit Rock winery, behind which there is a path climbing straight up the mountain. We didn’t make it all the way to the very top but we got pretty close. This was the view.
Heather on Pulpit Rock
Photo by Dee.

I think that’s a good place to finish. I visited the Swartland with support from the Swartland Wine and Olive Route. Opinions expressed are mine.

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8 magical moments in the Swartland, a picturesque wine region about an hour northwest of Cape Town in South Africa.
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  • Reply dizzylexa July 10, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Fantastic photographs, capturing a beautiful part of our country.

  • Reply dizzylexa July 10, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Awesome photographs of a really beautiful part of our country.

    • Reply dizzylexa July 10, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      Sorry thought the first one never went through, just delete this.

      • Reply 2summers July 10, 2019 at 8:15 pm

        Haha it’s ok, it’s probably because I turned comment moderation on yesterday.

  • Reply Lani July 11, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Lovely, just lovely. And – olivesssss!

    • Reply 2summers July 11, 2019 at 11:11 am

      Oh my god, those olives. I’m still dreaming of them.

  • Reply Peter July 11, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Inspirational landscapes. Pierneef interpreted many of these landscapes in a unique geometrical way. His works stand head and shoulders over other South African landscape artists, even now

    • Reply 2summers July 12, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      I agree, his paintings are so beautiful.

  • Reply AutumnAshbough July 12, 2019 at 5:35 am

    So pretty. Did you actually get to pet a lamb?!

    • Reply 2summers July 12, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      I could have if I’d had more time. They do allow it but unfortunately we only arrived just before sunset and had to leave soon after sunrise. I need to go back!

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