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Swartland Covid Chronicles

We cannot wait to welcome you back to the Swartland! Intra-provincial travel and accommodation for leisure purposes (with some restrictions) is now allowed under the latest lockdown regulations, so why not make the Swartland your next destination.

We know that things are not the same as before, but we have to adjust, adapt and start living our lives again and there is no better time than right now.

Winter is a magical time in the Swartland, the wheat fields are green and the canola fields are starting to flower – a carpet of yellow and green as far as the eye can see. Spring flowers are already starting to appear alongside the roads and in between the vineyards. Beautiful scenery combined with clear, crisp days and wide open spaces is just what your soul yearns for. So why wait? One day is here, now!

The story of the Swartland is written in its wines

You don’t have to go far for insight to Swartland wines. It’s right there on the label.

A unique environment

Hof Street Winery dedicates a range of wines to a threatened indigenous plant known as Renosterbos (Dicerothamnus rhinocerotis). This shrub is rather demure compared to others with more colourful arrays, but it is the dominant member of the Renosterveld vegetation that characterises large swathes of the region. The species name rhinocerotis refers to the association with the rhinoceros that occurred in the Cape before colonial times.

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Eight Feet Coffee - Kloovenburg

Op reis deur die Swartland?

Stop by die uitkykpunt in Botmaspas vir ‘n heerlike koppie boeretroos en geniet sommer terselfdertyd die asemrowende uitsig oor die Riebeekvallei.

Die Eight Feet koffiewaentjie is ‘n nuwe inisiatief van die du Toit-broers van die historiese plaas Kloovenburg, wat aan die buitewyke van Riebeek-Kasteel geleë is.

Binnekort sal die koffiebone en die koffie ook by uitgesoekte koffiewinkels beskikbaar wees. Die koffiewaentjie sal elke dag tussen 8am en 3nm vars gemaalde koffie bedien.

Discount on Swartland Winery’s 100% alcohol-free sparkling wines

Swartland Winery is running a 15% discount on all Sparkling White & Red Grape Juice purchases via their website until 31 August 2020!

Nationwide delivery is available and legally permitted - distribution of wines remains prohibited at this time.

Click here to order the Sparkling White Grape Juice

Click here to order the Sparkling Red Grape Juice.

Swartland wines come up tops in various wine competitions and tastings

Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards Shiraz 2017, was awarded one of the top 12 Shiraz wines of the 2020 Shiraz Challenge.
This prestigious wine award challenge is hosted annually by the cultivar association, Shiraz SA. Well done Leeuwenkuil on receiving this prestigious award.

A huge congratulations to Swartland Winery on scoring 97 points for their Swartland Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2017, at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Featured as one of the top white wines of this prestigious competition. This wine deserves to be on top of your wish list.

Org de Rac’s Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Reserve 2017, made the top 10 Cape Bordeaux Red Blend report 2020 of Winemag.co.za. Congratulations to the team at Org de Rac on this exemplary achievement.

Neal Martin recently gave the Mullineux Olerasay 2° straw wine a 100 point score.

This is the first ever wine from South Africa to be awarded a perfect score by this well-known international wine critic.
This is exceptional Chris & Andrea, you do the Swartland proud. .

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Babylon’s Peak uses lockdown to tend the land and forge the way forward

While the rest of South Africa spent the larger part of the countrywide COVID-19 lockdown bunkered down and waiting for the penny to drop, the Babylon’s Peak team were hard at work tending the land and forging the way forward for this much-loved Swartland brand.

For example, the work we would be doing in the vineyards in September but could feasibly be shifted to an early date was all done in April and May. This included planting poles and putting up wire for new vineyards and other things that aren’t tied to the seasons. Naturally, we couldn’t tell Mother Nature to change her plans, so we lived between the beats and found ways to make good use of our time.”

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‘n Restaurant vir Hofstraat Wynkelder

Café Myrtledene is ‘n splinternuwe toevoeging tot Hofstraat Wynkelder in Malmesbury se pragtige kelderperseel. Lawrence Smit, ‘n ervare chef en spysenier, is die jonger broer van Hofstraat Kelder se wynmaker Wim Smit.

Wim en Lawrence is ‘n gedugte span en saam sal hul gaste se smaakkliere behoorlik prikkel Café Myrtledene is oop vir middagete en aandete van Woensdae tot Saterdae tussen 12:00 tot 20:00 en vir Sondagmiddagete tussen 12:00 tot 15:00.

Skakel Café Myrtledene op 060 329 1668 vir besprekings.

Allesverloren – for the love of wine

At Allesverloren we do everything for the love of wine. The work on a farm never ends, not even in times of a world-wide pandemic, at present we are preparing for the pruning season.

Our vineyards are ideally situated and the various micro-climates on the farm create the perfect conditions for producing big, robust red wines. Allesverloren is the oldest wine estate in the Swartland, owned and managed by the Malan family since 1872.
I am the 5th generation Malan on Allesverloren. Although the name Allesverloren translates to ‘all is lost’, I assure you our family has enjoyed many joyous moments and have been richly blessed over the years.

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Resilience, adaptability & team work at the core of the winning winemaking philosophy at David & Nadia Wines

Thomas Jefferson famously said, “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.” This made us think, and we realised just how important resilience is in the times that we live in today.

Tough times force us to stand firm like a rock, and to counterbalance this strong stance with the nimble power of adaptability. Rather than trying to control the uncontrollable, it encourages us to redirect our energy to that which can be adapted, adjusted, and improved, so we may emerge a better version of ourselves when all is said and done.

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The Sadie Family Wines – New Release wines

The Sadie Family Wines usually have public tastings at the cellar during the weekend preceding the release of their new vintages, but this year they have had to cancel the tastings due to the general ban on the serving of alcohol in public spaces in the Covid-19 lockdown.

Click on this link for a virtual walk-and-talk through some of the vineyards and wines with Eben Sadie. A presentation of their vineyards and philosophy - in other words, that which they aspire to capture, or rather, set free in a glass.

How cold was the winter of 2020 and what can be expected for the next summer season?
Proudly sponsored by Santam Agriculture

Johan van den Berg, Independent Agricultural Meteorologist (M.Sc Agric, Agricultural meteorology, UFS)

The winter of 2020 will probably be remembered for the Covid-19 lockdown and secondly for very cold conditions. With global warming in mind was it nearly impossible to think of such a severe winter. Minimum temperatures reached multiple times -5°C or lower and were very close to or even lower than -10°C for places like Standerton, Koppies, Bothaville, Viljoenskroon, Bethlehem, Bloemfontein, Barkley-East and many other places for example Prieska in the Northern Cape and Leeudoringstad in the Northwest Province. What was further of importance was that the severe cold conditions occurred multiple times since the last week of May 2020. Although the first frost occurred about two to three weeks later than average, was the onset of cold conditions abrupt and continued through June and July. Although a trend developed over the last few years of lesser days with frost, is the 2020 situation probably more reminiscent of the long term average or “normal”. The average number of frost days for a place like Bothaville (Nampo) since 2001 is about 50 days. The years of 2001 and 2002 measured only 31 days with frost and was the lowest number of days since 2001 while the winters of 2007 and 2011 recorded the highest number of frost days with 66 days each. The total number of frost days for Bothaville for 2020 until the end of July were 51 days and is the second highest number of days since 2001 with only 2007 with more days (54). (The average number of frost days until the end of July since 2001 is 41 days). This demonstrates that the 2020 winter received about 20% more than average days with frost.

Most of the Summer Rainfall Area was in the grip of severe drought conditions since about 2012. Average to above average rainfall occurred in the second part of the summer of 2020 over the central parts. The big question now is if this was the start towards more favourable rainfall conditions for next seasons?

 The two most important factors that determines the rainfall over Southern Africa are the ENSO-phenomenon (El Nino Southern Oscillation) and the status of sea surface temperatures of the Indian Ocean, especially the western Indian Ocean. Both the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons resulted in weak El Nino-events that drifted between neutral and El Nino type of conditions. Changes in both ENSO and the Indian Ocean started to occur since the beginning of 2020. More La Nina type of development started to occur, especially since the beginning of May 2020. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index is also now well within the neutral range. Most forecasts favour a further development towards La Nina conditions as well as a negative phase of the IOD.

The implications of a La Nina event that coincides with a negative IOD usually result in positive prospects for summer rainfall. Analogue or similar years in term of ENSO and the IOD in history were 1974/75 and 1988/89, both resulted in above average rainfall and even flooding. A characteristic of similar years was the normal to late start of the rainy season. There is also a unique spatial pattern with average to above average rainfall starting from about October to reach a peak in December over the eastern parts of the country. The band of rainfall then starts to shift towards the west with above average rainfall over the central to western parts from January to March. As the rainfall pattern shifts towards the west, the eastern and north eastern parts start to receive less rain and dry or drought conditions to set in from about February over Mpumalanga, KZN and eastern parts of Limpopo. It is very likely that average to above average rainfall will occur over the current drought-stricken areas of the Northern Cape and adjacent parts of Namibia and Botswana.

Implications for agriculture: Favourable prospects for summer crop production are very likely for the 2020/21 summer season, especially over the central to western parts. It may result in a second year in a row with record maize yields that may impact on the commodity price of maize but will be positive in terms of food security. In terms of grazing conditions over the central to western parts of the country will the rain likely result in recovery of veld production following the drought conditions of the past nearly eight years. This may lead to higher prices of live-stock due to the building of animal herds.

Summary: In the current poor state of the South African economy can the agricultural sector provide some relief if the favourable climate forecasts are going to materialize.

Jolene Janse van Rensburg.
Wine Route Manager

Swartland Wine & Olive Route
Tel: 022 487 1133
Telefax: 022 487 2063
Fax2email: 086 211 0121

Proudly sponsored by Santam Agriculture