Kinnegar Wines , Importers of fine selected wines

Importers of fine selected wines

Specialist in South African Wines


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Swartland Vineyards

Up in the mountains north of Cape Town, the revolutionaries are massing. This is the Swartland – ''the black land’’ – a place of big skies, where wheat fields blaze, grey-barked renosterbos (''rhinoceros bush’’) grows in abundance and the landscape is chequered with vineyards.

When it comes to wine, nowhere in South Africa is as exciting as Swartland right now. This place feels like frontier country. The vineyards aren’t new – many of them were planted decades ago – but traditionally it was the grain crop they took seriously here. Grapes were trucked into the nearest co-op and lost in a tidal wave of mediocrity. Now a new generation of winemakers is hunting out those precious parcels of gnarled old vines – they produce more intensely flavoured grapes – and making wine that everyone is talking about.

It all started in the late Nineties when Charles Back, already the owner of an estate in Paarl, bought a small farm near Malmesbury, put in a winemaker called Eben Sadie, and began making wines under the Spice Route label but operating independently since 2001.  

While Carla Kretzel and her family have been there at Lammersoek since 1995, now more and more people have made their way to Swartland, among them the revolution’s other key figures: Adi Badenhorst, previously the winemaker at Rustenberg; Chris Mullineux and his Californian wife Andrea; and Marc Kent, of Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek (you might already know his Chocolate Block and Porcupine Ridge wines), who has a new project called Porcelain Mountain. 

The winemaking founders of the Swartland Independent believe in minimal intervention in both the vineyard and winery, minimal new oak and the use of a limted number of grape varietals considered best suited to the area. All of this is focused on producing wines that are a true expression of their origin.

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