The Pastorie (The Parsonage) at Kloovenburg is the quintessential idyllic Platteland getaway for those not wanting venture too far out of the city, as Riebeek Kasteel falls roughly 85 km outside Cape Town. It’s a wine farm, but really so much more.
I could probably write an entirely different article about how good the olives are in Riebeek Kasteel, but I’ll let you be the judge about Kloovenburg’s juicy and tasty olives. The climate here is ideal for growing the iconic silvery-green leafy trees and their hanging branches laden with the good stuff; although, I wouldn’t recommend eating one raw. Kloovenburg’s chilli and garlic olives are the kicker for me, but that’s just one variety to attract good olive-appreciating folk like myself. The product range pays tribute to the mouth-watering fruit by offering varieties such as black olives in blackberry dressing, smoked black olives and a more traditional style with country herbs. And I haven’t even gotten started on their heavenly olive oils.
Situated on the hill overlooking the Riebeek Valley, this guesthouse is as iconic as it is historic – it is one of the most recognized properties in Riebeek Kasteel and was bought by the Du Toit family in 1977. Interestingly enough, this property is the home of the very same Pieter-Steph du Toit, current Springbok lock, whose parents purchased the estate some 15 years before he was born. The property’s terrace has a terrific view over the town and Kasteelberg, I must have sat there for hours soaking in the atmosphere. Flanked by vineyards, this Riebeek Kasteel accommodation of choice is a great base to explore the greater Swartland.
Riebeek Kasteel is full of little reminders of why the country life is so appealing. It’s not uncommon to find springbok grazing around the outskirts of town while blue cranes soar over the valley (the Swartland Birding Route is a must-do for twitchers). Stroll into the local shops and boutiques to find well-priced, quality wine, artisanal foodstuffs and homemade crafts. Kloovenburg’s superior selection of wines makes it a premier wine farm in the area – while visiting I stocked up on their Sauvignon Blanc, and of course, their famous Shiraz and Cape Vintage Shiraz. Fig lovers may want to take notes here too; Kloovenburg also produces Parisian figs, where harvest begins at the beginning of February and lasts two months.
A slow pace of life exists here and for many of us city slickers that’s a good thing.