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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Inside one of the cottages, which used to be a farm stable. Swartland Moment #6: Overlooking Riebeek Kasteel
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
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
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.
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.