In what used to be an expanse of wheat fields, the vast district of Swartland stretches to the north of the Cape Peninsula on the west coast of South Africa. Swartland was named after the Afrikaans term for “ black country” because the landscape is covered in dark bushes. Vineyard selection is carried out with great care as the region is known for its harsh seasons, threatened by heatwaves and droughts. Winegrowers typically choose to keep irrigation to a minimum, thereby opting for a lower yield but high quality berries and generous and powerful wines, made mainly from Syrah, the most widely used grape in the region. The same winemaking techniques are used to produce white wines, some of which stand among the best whites in South Africa. These are essentially based on Chenin Blanc.
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