The Swartland Winelands

“Swartland”, Dutch for black land, is named after the native renosterbos (rhinoceros bush) that turns black after rain. It is a large wine-producing area 40 miles (65km) north of Cape Town in the Western Cape of South Africa.

It originally was only known for being a wheat-producing region, but it now specializes in making rich, fruit-driven wines from Shiraz, Chenin Blanc and Pinotage.

The climate is both hot and dry, which viticulturists have had to use to their advantage in the Swartland vineyards. These dry conditions reduce the risk of fungal diseases among the vines, and a lack of water in the soil leads to lower yields but smaller more concentrated fruit. This indicates that the wine produced in this region is of high quality.

The landscape is varied, and vineyards can be found on steep mountain foothills or on moderate folding hills. Chenin Blanc and Shiraz are definitely the most important grape varieties in the region.

KEY FACTS
Area: 65km North of Cape Town
Varieties: Shiraz, Chenin Blanc & Pinotage
Known for: Wine produced in this region is of high quality
THE REGION
Area: It is a large wine-producing area
Varieties: Shiraz, Chenin Blanc & Pinotage
Known for: The climate is both hot and dry