Swartland Country Market – Part 1 of 2


I first saw the article for this the day before and thought that it would be a great market to see. But after getting home pretty late on Friday/Saturday I wasn’t keen on driving to the Swartland. Saturday afternoon I actually read the article and realized that the festival was at Kirstenbosch, a 5 minute drive from home. After a quick decision and a promise to myself that I would only look, taste and not buy, I headed out.

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Arriving at the market, I realised that it was much smaller than I expected. But there were plenty of wine makers around and it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday in Cape Town: a sunny day, the mountain in the background, and a glass of wine in your hand. I must admit, it was my first outing on my own. So I was a bit nervous about how to chat to the wine makers. Normally there’s a friend around to nod at whatever nonsense I say, convincing the seller that I’ve been doing this for years. see-no-evil-monkey

I started at Pulpit Rock. I was quite intimidated as there were so many people huddled around this table. So I quietly asked to taste their Chenin Blanc (2015) and their Swartland Stories Shiraz Pinotage Grenache (2013). The Chenin had a tropical nose and on the palate you tasted the green apple. A lovely fresh wine. The Shiraz Pinotage Grenache was a lovely dark shade of red. On the nose was red fruits, while on the palate was blackcurrant and chocolate with a little bit of smokiness.

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After a nerve-wrecking experience at Pulpit Rock, I headed to Winkelshoek where a friendly face welcomed me. After 2 glasses of wine I was relaxed and had my game face on. On offer they had the Schenkfontein wines and the Weskus wines.  First I tried the Weskus Chenin Blanc (2015), which was light and fruity. Next I tried the Schenkfontein Shiraz (2015), which was also light and had a red fruits taste. I was surprised as to how light both wines were.

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Then was Wildehurst Wines, which had 2 wines to taste: Veloblanc (2015) and Velorosé (2015). The Veloblanc was a white blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier, and Colombar. It is an unwooded wine that is light and has a tropical fruit nose. You could taste pears and nectarines. The Velorosé was delectable. On the rose was strawberries and on the palate was berries. Both wines are clearly meant to be enjoyed on a sunny, summer day.

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I made my way to the more well-established vineyards. First was Kloovenburg, that was established in 1704 and is the oldest vineyard in the Riebeek Kasteel. I started with the Sauvignon Blanc (2014), the first for my day. The wine had a hint of green colour and a tropical fruit aroma. On the palate was peaches and green apple. Then the Shiraz Rosé (2014), that was a lovely colour of salmon pink. The rosé had a strawberry aroma, with a sweet melon taste, although a bit acidic. The last wine I tried was the Shiraz (2013). The wine had a peppery note and on the palate was black and red fruit. I must say my chat with the wine maker was quite interesting. He started off in English and finished off in Afrikaans. I don’t even think he noticed that he switched 😛 . Clearly he also likes his wines 😉 .

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As there were 8 vineyards there, I decided to break up this blog into 2 sections. Part 2 coming next week 😉 . Stay tuned folks 😀 .

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