The arable land of the Swartland region is ideally suited for the cultivation of grapes in the bush vine style and the many microclimates enable the production of a wide selection of wines Although summers here are typically very hot and dry, some land catch the cool sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean and hence have a cooler climate. Soils range from sandy (ideal for Rhône cultivars) to deep red and fertile (perfect for dry-land vineyards), while others derive from granite. The end product is much sought after for blending as bush vines produce grapes of excellent quality and flavour.
Today Swartland Winery is one of the leading wineries in South Africa. Member farms extend for a 22 km radius in the hills surrounding Malmesbury, covering roughly 3 600 hectares.
SMALL BERRIES BIG TASTE
The drier conditions of the Swartland region result in smaller grape berries that have increased levels of concentration and flavour components, undiluted by excessive irrigation. Valuable minerals and nutrients are prevented from washing away, and in spring, when the grain dies back, it forms a protective blanket over the soil, further reducing moisture loss during the long hot summers and also curbs the growth of weeds.
The cellar master and viticulturist take a very hands-on approach to grape production. By studying the natural conditions, they assist the contracted wine producers in determining the varieties to plant, test produce throughout the season to determine optimum harvesting time and keep everyone abreast of new developments in the wine industry.