Did you know?
The youngberry is cultivated in Australia, South Africa, and the southern United States.
Just a few kilometres outside the Overberg town of Swellendam, located in the lush Hermitage Valley, is the Wildebraam Berry Estate.
Here visitors can enjoy a free tasting while they sample some of the hundred or so delicious jams, chutneys, pickles, relishes and liqueurs produced in the farm's kitchen.
These products are made not only with the berries from the farm, but also using fruits like guava, gooseberry, pineapple and piquant peppers, which add a bite.
Sample the Pineapple Passion (a fruit compote perfect for making Pavlova or topping scones with), Sun-dried Tomato Mustard, Jalapino Jelly or Rattlesnake Bite (a tomato and chilli relish) to get a sense of the variety on offer.
Among the most popular products are the 10 Wildebraam liqueurs made with distilled alcohol, sugar and a fruit or flavour infusion. These flavours include youngberry, cherry, peppermint, honey, lemon, rooibos, hazelnut, fennel, guava and choc chilli (the most popular one in the range).
Many of these liqueurs work well on ice cream or as an after-dinner drink.
The farm also has several hectares of youngberry and blackberry bushes under cultivation.
Youngberries are a hybrid invented by an American called Byrnes Young, hence their name.
These berries are trickier to grow than blackberries and favour the acidic soil of the Hermitage Valley. About 85ha on the farm are devoted to blackberries.
If you visit in November or December, you can pick your own berries for a nominal amount, and eat as many as you like while you go about it. Frozen berries are sold all year around.
The goods on sale at the farm have no artificial flavourants, colourants or preservatives and so should be consumed quickly.
But then that is certainly no hardship!
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Wildebraam Berry Estate
Tel: +27 (0)28 514 3132
How to get here
Best time to visit
All-year round. They are open from Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 5pm and from 9am to 4pm on Saturdays. They close on Good Friday, Christmas Day, New Year's Day.
Around the area
Wildebraam is close to the historical town of Swellendam, which has excellent eateries and shops. For another interesting taste experience visit JW's Bee Shop, which has a range of honey products on offer.
Tours to do
You can go hiking in the nearby Marloth Nature Reserve, visit Bontebok National Park or explore the Drostdy Museum in town.
It's best to have a car or to arrange to be part of a tour group.
What will it cost
The tastings on the farm are free.
Length of stay
You could easily spend a couple of days or long weekend in the area.
What to pack
Sturdy shoes if you plan to do some berry picking.
Where to stay
There are five self-catering cottages on the berry farm. Alternatively you could stay in one of Swellendam's many comfortable guest houses.
What to eat
There are excellent eateries in nearby Swellendam ranging from coffee shops to fine dining.
Each year there is a berry festival in November including a charity event known as the Amazing Berry Race. In November and December you can also pick your own berries.
Their most popular liqueur is Chilli Choc but also sample any of the jams or deli products.