stunningly beautiful

Situated in the stunningly beautiful Meiringspoort of the Klein Karoo approximately 4 kilometres from the quaint dorp of De Rust.

Coffee Bean

GREAT WINE

Coffee Bean

KAROO TranQuility

Coffee Bean

Comfortable Lodging

Varkenskraal Farm History

The farmers of the Great Karoo were always looking for a route through the Swartberge to Mossel Bay which substantially shortened the alternative which was to transport their wool and other goods to Cape Town.

The old Meiringspoort gravel “boere-pad” was replaced with a wider and better road in 1858. The Rankin Toll-house was built on Varkenskraal in 1857 and was run by Mr Rankin who was also famous as the local herbalist and tooth extractor.

The road crossed the Groot River 25 times, each of these drifts has a name with a story.

Making the wine

Timing is of utmost importance. The grapes are monitored to ensure that they are picked by hand at exactly the right time.

Each block of each cultivar is monitored separately throughout the year. We try to leave the vineyards as undisturbed as possible in a bid to keep the soil loose and as healthy as possible.

The grapes are picked by hand and packed into small baskets to protect them on their journey to the winery.

The vines on the farm consists of 0.4760 hectare of Merlot, 3.0764 hectares of Chenin Blanc and 3.6284 hectares of Chardonnay.

The vines are planted on a western slope thereby protecting the grapes from the hot afternoon sun. The weather is moderate to very warm in the summer and mild to very cold in the winter. The Swartberg is usually covered with snow in the winter. It is a winter rainfall area with an average rainfall of about 240mm per annum.

The soil and vegetation are very similar to the Western Cape Coastal Region.

Through dedication and loving care the vines were improved to such a level that it decided to start making our own wines in 2014.

As we share a substantial portion of our harvest with the local fauna such as Baboons and Redwing Starlings amongst others, our average tonnes per hectare is rather modest at 4.11 tonnes.

The Winery

We utilise the facilities of Karusa Winery that is nestled in the tranquil village of Schoemanshoek near Oudtshoorn to make our wines.

The Wine MAKER

Jacques Conradie

About the farm

Situated in the stunningly beautiful Meiringspoort of the Klein Karoo approximately 4 kilometers from the quaint dorp of De Rust, 35 kilometers from Oudtshoorn and 110 kilometers from George.

Varkenskraal is a small farm by Karoo standards. Just fourteen hectares of arable land out of the roughly ninety hectares. Just over seven hectares are devoted to vines whilst the rest to mixed farming being vegetable seeds, oats, lucerne and a handful of beautiful Nguni cattle.

When André and Gail Cockcroft purchased this beautiful and uniquely situated property in 2011 the farm and vines were somewhat neglected. The vines on the farm were about 15 years old and consisted of 0.4760 hectare of Merlot, 3.0764 hectares of Chenin Blanc and 3.6284 hectares of Chardonnay. At that time the grapes were sold to the local Co-op in Oudtshoorn and was farmed for volume.

The vines are planted on a western slope thereby protecting the grapes from the hot afternoon sun. The weather is moderate to very warm in the summer and mild to very cold in the winter. The Swartberg is usually covered with snow in the winter. It is a winter rainfall area with an average rainfall of about 240mm per annum.

The soil and vegetation is very similar to the Western Cape Coastal Region.

Through dedication and loving care the vines were improved to such a level that it decided to start making our own wines in 2014.

As we share a substantial portion of our harvest with the local fauna such as Baboons and Redwing Starlings amongst others, our average tonnes per hectare is rather modest at 4.11 tonnes.

Guesthouses

We have two beautiful self-catering guest houses namely “Die Werkershuisie” and “Die Voerstal”.


Die Werkershuisie (click to view gallery) is a lovingly renovated original workers house with a stunning view over the vineyards.  Fully equipped, family unit with bedroom and loft. It caters for 2 adults and 2 children with 1 bathroom.


Die Voerstal (Click to view gallery) is a two-bedroom en-suite fully equipped house with lovely veranda and fire pit. Also with beautiful view over the vineyards.

self catering in karooVarkenskraal Farm is an Afristay Valued Member.

TOP 14 Farm Stay

Voted one of the favourite 14 farm stays in Country Life magazine.

MAP / DIRECTIONS

Contact

Phone

+27 (0)44 241 2352
+27 (0)82 452 7061
jana@varkenskraal.co.za

Address

Varkenskraal Farm, N12, Meiringspoort
District De Rust
Western Cape, South Africa

TOWNS AND IN CLOSE PROXIMITY

De Rust is 4km away.

Oudtshoorn is 35 km via the N12.

Klaarstroom is a scenic 20 km drive away on the way to Prince Albert (70 km) http://princealbert.org.za/ via the lovely Prince Albert Valley. Return via the rugged Swartberg Pass (can pop in to Gamkaskloof/Die Hel) and Oude Muragie road taking in the Cango Caves and the Rust & Vrede waterfall on the way.

The De Rustica olive estate is 10 km away on the Oude Muragie road via De Rust.