Written by Julian Richfield
Offered a treat of a two-night stay in Swellendam, I readily accepted. My previous visits to the town were as a lunch stop as part of a longer road journey.
Did some research about what attractions were in the area and through the Agulhas Wine Triangle (AWT) website found a few wineries that were fairly close by. Not having ‘wined’ in the area before I looked forward to visiting them and through the helpful people at AWT, set up two visits.
The first visit was to a winery that I had never heard of before, Olivedale Private Vineyards. Looked them up in Platters and found their wines were more than decent. Tick!
“Here farming is done hand-in-hand with nature, respecting the vine and what it produces. With little interference and only nature to guide us, we make wine that reflects our terroir and our respect for Mother Nature.”
A very short drive from Swellendam, slightly off the beaten track, the Belgian-owned, Olivedale Private Vineyards’ cellar is quite easy to find.
The tasting area is a cosy nook on the left as you enter the cellar, and we were warmly welcomed there by Olivedale director and cellarmaster Carl van Wijk and wine maker Jolene Calitz-le Roux.
We were soon captivated by Carl’s intro to his winemaking philosophy, including the search for the right place to establish the Olivedale vineyards, one where the land had never been treated by chemicals.
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