The Wildebraam Berry Estate just outside Swellendam in the Western Cape makes delicious jams, chutneys, pickles and relishes from the berries it grows on the farm, as well as from other fruit bought in.

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

Related articles