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The first vineyards in South Africa were established in the early 1650s in the beautiful fertile valleys surrounding Cape Town. The first drinkable wine was produced in 1659 in Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in the country.
Wines are now produced in many areas of the Western Cape stretching right up to Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route. With its rich history and natural beauty the Winelands area surrounding the Cape Peninsula is an absolute must-see for visitors to Cape Town.
For those who have the time, a drive up the R62 wine route to the Klein Karoo is a stark contrast to the splendour of the verdant valleys and towering mountains of the Cape Peninsula, but no less beautiful nonetheless. A drive up the coastal road to Hermanus will reward you with magnificent scenes along the rugged coastline and the vineyards will not disappoint. The splendour of the Garden Route, ending up in the newest wine producing area of Plettenberg Bay, the premier coastal resort town in South Africa, would be a fitting end to your tour of the Winelands of the Western Cape.
The first wine estates in South Africa were established in Cape Town not long after the arrival of Jan van Riebeek in 1652. The oldest is Groot Constantia granted to Simon van der Stel in 1685 and from which Klein Constantia, High Constantia, Constantia Uitsig and Buitenverwachting originated. Most of the estates are located in the Constantia Valley but we have included the Cape Point Vineyards in the ShowMe tour because of its unusual and spectacular location in Noordhoek between the two great oceans.
This is where your tour of the Cape Winelands should begin.
|Groot Constantia Wine Estate is the oldest estate in South Africa. Established by Simon van der Stel, who landed in the Cape in 1679 and became Governor, Groot Constantia is an icon in the wine industry in South Africa. Van der Stel had gained experience in viticulture at his estate in the Netherlands and so the illustrious history of wine making at Groot Constantia began when he was granted 763Ha by the Dutch East India Company in 1785. Read more …|
|Buitenverwachting Wine Estate originally formed part of the Groot Constantia land granted to Simon van der Stel in the late seventeen hundreds. It is perfectly situated on the beautiful slopes of the Constantiaberg a mere 12Km from False Bay. Although the farm has changed hands many times over the centuries it has always flourished thanks to Ryk Arnoldus Cloete, brother of the famous Hendrik Cloete of Constantia, who planted 90 000 vines in 1825. Read more …|
|Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate was originally a part of the Groot Constantia Estate owned by the renowned Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel. The Lategan family arrived in the country in 1735 and acquired the land sometime after van der Stel gained official title in 1785. Read more …|
|Steenberg Wine Estate had its origins in 1688 when Catharina Michelse, a colourful, 5 times married German immigrant, was granted title to 25 morgen from the Groot Constantia land granted to Simon van der Stel. Catharina was a fiercely independent woman who rode bareback and whose children resembled Indian cannibals. The estate was purchased by Hendrik Russouw in 1695 and he produced the first wines from the farm then named Swaaneweide. Read more …|
|Cape Point Vineyards is unique in the world because of its location on the Cape Peninsula between two different oceans – the icy Atlantic and the warm False Bay currents from the Indian Ocean. The estate lies on the slopes of Chapman’s Peak adjacent to the Table Mountain National Park in Noordhoek – spectacular vistas of the indigenous fynbos with mountain and sea views meet the eye at every turn. Read more …|
The Durbanville Route is about 20 minutes to the north of Cape Town about midway to Stellenbosch. Many of the estates were established at about the turn of the 17th century when land was granted to free burghers by the Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel.
The area is cool and relatively dry with rich red soil creating the perfect terroir for growing top quality grapes and many of South Africa’s most acclaimed wines are produced there. This picturesque area is characterised by gently rolling hills rather than the dramatic mountains of Franschhoek but it is beautiful nonetheless. The wine tasting will not disappoint and there are many fine restaurants to choose from. Following are ShowMe’s choices:
|The Durbanville Hills Cellar is the largest producer and is best known for the multiple award winning Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay wines marketed under the Durbanville Hills and Renosterfields labels and the single vineyard Biesjes Craal Sauvignon Blanc. Read more …|
|Meerendal Wine Estate is situated on the slopes of the Tygerberg Hills about 20 minutes from the CBD of Cape Town. Breezes from the cold Atlantic ocean, a mere 15Km to the west, create the perfect conditions for slow ripening so essential for retaining flavour. Read more …|
|Altydgedacht Wine Estate was established in 1698 when Simon van der Stel, signed the title deeds. After the death of the first owner the farm passed through many hands and was finally bought by the Parker family in 1852 who still run the farm to this day. Read more …|
|Diemersdal Wine Estate was established in 1698 when Simon van der Stel, Governor of the Cape, granted the land to Hendrik Sneewind. The farm changed hands when the widow Sneewind married Captain Diemer. In 1885 the Louw family acquired the farm and since then six generations of the family have run the farm. Read more …|
As the second oldest town in South Africa, Stellenbosch is steeped in history. The wine estates surrounding the town were all established many hundreds of years ago and the wine making tradition runs deep. Some of the most acclaimed wines in the world have been produced on these estates – combine this heritage with the beautiful surroundings and the typical Cape Dutch architecture and you have a recipe for a most enjoyable tour. Following are some of the major estates on the route:
|Blaauwklippen Wine Estate is one of the oldest in the Stellenbosch winelands having been established in 1682. The estate is very likely the most beautiful in the area with a lovingly preserved manor house and an adjoining “Jonkerhuis” erected more than 200 years ago. It is set on the Blaauklip River on the lower reaches of the Papagaaiberg Mountains. Read more …|
|Delheim Wine Estate traces its origins way back to 1699 when Cape Governor, Willem Adriaan van der Stel granted title to 25Ha of land on the lower slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains to a German, Lorenz Kamfer. Read more …|
|Rust en Vrede Wine Estate, founded in 1694 by the Cape Governor of the time, Willem Adriaan van der Stel, has a rich history. The first vineyards were planted in 1730 but 200 years later the farm fell into a state of neglect. It was acquired by Jannie Engelbrecht, the ex Springbok rugby player, in 1977 and the first wine of the modern era was produced in 1979. Read more …|
|Neethlingshof Wine Estate, dating back to 1705 when it was known as De Wolvendans, is situated in the heart of the historic Stellenbosch Wine Route. Charles Marais acquired the farm in 1788 and his wife, Maria, was responsible for establishing the winery and building the estate into a formidable operation. Read more …|
|Spier Wine Estate is situated in the heart of the Stellenbosch wine route about 40 Km from Cape Town. Apart from producing award winning wines Spier is well known for doing things differently.Read more …|
Visit ShowMe Stellenbosch for interesting articles on wine in this beautiful area.
The Franschhoek Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa and must not be missed by visitors to the Western Cape. Take in the scenic splendour and the charm of this historic town while touring some the best wine estates in the country. Although there are sixteen estates in this small valley, there are few cellar tours. Most are located in the Franschhoek Cooperative in Main Street. However, don’t miss visiting the estates – the architecture, fine restaurants, museums and the wine tasting will make your day.
Following are some of the major estates:
|The Boschendal Wine Estate dates back to 1685 when it was owned by French Huguenot, Jean le Long. Today it is one of the leading producers of red wine in South Africa having won numerous national and international awards. Read more …|
|The first Graham Beck wine farm was established by the prominent South African industrialist in 1983 in Robertson in the Western Cape. Before his passing in 2010 he purchased farms in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek consolidating all his farms under the Graham Beck brand. Read more …|
|L’Ormarins Wine Estate is the main winery in the Antonij Rupert Wines group. Situated in Franschhoek on the slopes of the Groot Drakenstein Mountains, the different soil and climatic conditions of the various slopes make it possible to grow different varietals. Read more …|
|The La Motte Wine Estate, situated in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley is an absolute must for visitors wishing to tour the winelands of the Western Cape. The estate is owned by Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg, daughter of one of South Africa’s business icons, Dr Anton Rupert. Read more …|
|Mont Rochelle Hotel and Vineyards is one of the smaller wine estates in Franschhoek with 16Ha under vine. However, the winery produces a large range of award winning wines – sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, shiraz,cabernet sauvignon, merlot and others. Because of the relatively small volumes the winemaker is able to concentrate on quality. Read more …|
Although the Helderberg Wine Route is often called the Stellenbosch South Wine Route, it is actually centred around the town of Somerset West or on the R44 highway between the two towns. The Helderberg defines the area in which Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay are situated.
The Helderberg Mountains make their presence felt on all of the wine estates on this route. The scenery and the terroirs are very similar to those found in the Stellenbosch area and some of South Africa’s best known and oldest estates can be found here. The early settlers in Cape Town in the 17th century quickly discovered that this area, with the towering mountains and fertile valleys, was ideal for growing top quality grapes.
The settings of all of the estates we have chosen are truly magnificent. Apart from wine tasting and dining there are numerous activities such as hiking, horse riding, strolling through the beautiful gardens or perfectly restored Cape Dutch manor houses, touring state of the art cellars and vineyards.
|Vergelegen Wine Estate, situated at the foot of the majestic Helderberg Mountains in the town of Somerset West in the Western Cape, is one of the most spectacular and historical wine estates in South Africa. The farm was established by the governor of the Cape, Willem Adriaan van der Stel, in the late 17th century. Read more …|
|Lourensford Wine Estate formed part of the Vergelegen farm which was established by Willem Adriaan van der Stel in the 17th century. Lourensford is steeped in history going way back to 1700 when it was separated from Vergelegen. Situated at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains, it is arguably one of the most beautiful wine estates in the world. Read more …|
|Waterkloof Wine Estate is situated in a truly spectacular setting near Somerset West overlooking False Bay and the Helderberg Basin. The estate is owned by a hands-on dedicated “entrepreneur-cum-winemaker” and, in keeping with the inspiring environment, the philosophy is to produce wines as naturally as possible. Read more …|
|Morgenster Wine Estate has a 300 year history as an off shoot of the original Vergelegen farm. It was purchased by the French Huguenot, Jacques Malan, whose son, Daniel, built the much praised manor house, recognized as a perfect example of Cape Dutch architecture of the time. Read more …|
|Avontuur Wine and Thoroughbred Estate is situated at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains right between Stellenbosch and Somerset West. In addition to producing award winning wines the estate is also a Thoroughbred race horse stud of note. Read more …|
Paarl is the largest town in the Cape Winelands and is well known for three major reasons – the second largest outcrop of granite in the world, the Paarl Mountain, original Cape Dutch architecture and last but not least, some of the best wine estates in South Africa. Winemakers have always been drawn to the region due to its varied soil conditions and weather conditions on the different sides of the mountain. These conditions make it possible form the wine estates in the area to grow a great variation of cultivars for red and white wines as well as brandies and sparkling wines.
The estates are well set up for entertainment and accommodation and tour of the estates offer many activities apart from wine tasting – fine dining, picnics and concerts as well as hiking and horse riding for visitors looking for some exercise.
|Nederburg Wine Estate was established in the Paarl Valley in 1791 by German immigrant Phillipus Wolvaart. After passing through a number of hands Johan Graue purchased the farm in 1937. His forward thinking approach and new techniques has established Nederburg as the leading producer of quality wines in South Africa. Read more …|
|Fairview Farm has a proud history going way back to 1699 when the first wines were made. The original homestead built around 1722, lost to the estate during one of the many subdivisions has been reincorporated and lovingly restored by the current owner, Charles Back II. Read more …|
|Boland Wine Cellar is situated in the beautiful Paarl Valley, one of the most productive wine growing areas in the Western Cape because of its varied mesoclimates and soils. The cellar’s policy is to take full advantage of the different terroirs within the region to produce outstanding blended wines. Read more …|
|Landskroon Wine Estate has a long history going back to 1689 when the French Huguenots landed in the Cape. The farm has been in the de Villiers family for 5 generations and is today run by 5 brothers, the present winemaker being Paul de Villiers. Read more …|
|Rhebokskloof’s history goes back to the late 17th century when Petrus van der Merwe built his home on Rhebokskloof Farm in the Paarl area. Over the years the farm had been split up many times and the Manor House had fallen into disrepair. However, the farm was purchased by a group of business people in 1986 who then proceeded to buy back the smaller farms. Read more …|
|KWV was established as a cooperative by the wine farmers of South Africa in 1918. Until the early 1990s it played a role as a regulating body for the wine industry but this function became redundant when South African wines gained worldwide acceptance. Read more …|
Wellington Wine Route is one of the youngest routes in the Cape but its history goes right back to the French Huguenots who settled in the area in the late 1600s. Because the area is characterised by mountains, valleys, rivers and streams as well as having excellent soils, 90% of the country’s vine nurseries are located here.
Wellington, named after the British lord and soldier of Waterloo fame, lies at the foot of the Groenkloof mountains with the only access to the north being through the renowned Bain’s Kloof Pass. The town is about 45 minutes from Cape Town and the wine estates are all situated close to the town making it easy to tour.
The Wellington Wine Walk is an organised 3 day hike through the Wellington Valley and takes you through the vineyards, olive groves and fynbos. Accommodation in guest houses on the farms is provided and you can stop at the various wine tasting rooms on the way.
We have chosen some of the most interesting estates for your visit:
|Bosman Family Vineyards has a legacy going back 8 generations on the farm Lelienfontein since 1798. The estate was originally granted to French Huguenot, Phillip van Royan by Willem Adriaan van der Stel, governor of the Cape in 1699.In 1956 the family ceased producing wine and concentrated on their vine nursery. Read more …|
|Doolhof Wine Estate lies in a beautiful valley between the Famous Bain’s Kloof and the Groenberg Mountains near Wellington. The estate takes full advantage of the varied slopes and microclimates to produce a range of wines best suited to the different terroirs. Doolhof is the Afrikaans word for “labyrinth” so named because of the many hills and valleys. Read more …|
|Welbedacht Wine Estate is home to the Burgers, the famous South African rugby playing family. Springbok, Schalk Burger, has been twice named rugby player of the year and his father was a Springbok before him. This beautiful farm nestles into the north-west slopes of the Groenberg Mountains and has expansive views over the picturesque valley. Read more …|
The Breedkloof Wine Route takes in the entire Breede River Valley including the towns of Worcester, Rawsonville, the Slanghoek Mountains and the famous Bain’s Kloof Pass. There are 27 wineries in the area varying from small boutique producers to large and advanced producers such as Du Toitskloof, Deetlefs and Badsberg.
The area is only an hour from Cape Town along the N1 freeway and is very popular because of the beautiful environment, hot springs, spectacular hikes, mountain biking and birding apart from the long tradition of winemaking. The farmers in the area are very conscious of their responsibility to conserve the flora and fauna in the area.
The wines produced in the area are generally “new-world” and complex but well-balanced, many of which are exceptional from a value for money perspective. Because of the varied landscape from mountain to valley the area is able to produce a wide range of wines, ports and brandies.
There are many fine restaurants and guest houses, self catering chalets and B&Bs as well as conference venues to cater for small and large groups. Worcester is the largest town in the area.
We have chosen some of the best wine estates and cellars in the area and we have inlcuded the KWV Brandy Cellar in Worcester:
|Du Toitskloof Wine Cellar was established in 1962 as a co-operative winery and has since expanded to 22 member farmers. All of the farms are in the Breede River Valley within a 10Km radius of the cellar. Read more …|
|Deetlefs Wine Estate, situated in the Breede River Valley, is the fourth oldest family owned wine estate in South Africa and has been in the Deetlefs family since its founding in 1822. Restructured in 1992 to form the Deetlefs Wine Group, the winery is a highly sophisticated business controlling the entire process from growing to bottling and marketing. Read more …|
|Badsberg Wine Cellar lies at the foot of the Badsberg Mountain in the Breede River Valley near Rawsonville. The cellar was established as a co-operative in 1951 and currently has 23 members. It is situated in the Badsberg Conservancy which is renowned for its conservation of the indigenous flora and fauna. Read more …|
|Bergsig Wine Estate is situated where the Drakenstein and Hex River Mountains meet in the Breede River Valley. The estate has been in the Lategan family since 1843 when the first wines were planted. Today all the responsibilities are shared by members of the family. Read more …|
|Jason’s Hill Private Cellar is situated in the Breede River Valley at the foot of the Slanghoek Mountains. The Mediterranean climate and the varied soil conditions create the perfect environment for the production of a range of fine wines. The du Toit family have owned the farm since 1844 and today Ivy du Toit continues the tradition. Read more …|
Surrounded by the Winterhoek, Witzenberg and Obiqua Mountains, the Tulbagh Valley is unique indeed. The well-drained soils, cooling breezes, cold winters and good rainfall combine to create one of the most ideal agricultural areas in South Africa – particularly for grapes. Discovered as early as the 17th century, the area is steeped in history. Tulbagh has more historical buildings in the main street than any other town in the country – 32 in all.
Some of the best wines in the world, let alone in South Africa, are created in this verdant valley. One of the estates, Twee Jonge Gezellen, has been run by the same family since 1710. The long tradition of winemaking has been enhanced by modern methods of viticulture and the area has been responsible for many firsts – the first white wine to be produced in South Africa, the first night harvesting and one of the first organic wine farms.
This wine route is an absolute must for visitors to the Western Cape – the dramatic scenery is unsurpassed, the wines are truly world class, the art and cultural activities are a delight and the Cape floral kingdom is at its best. Experience avant-garde cellars to traditional Cape Dutch manor houses, hiking and mountain biking through pristine fynbos, great restaurants, tasting rooms and even a theatre.
The Tulbagh Wine Route is one of the most interesting and diverse in the Western Cape.
The source of the Breede River as well as the Berg River are found in the mountains surrounding Tulbagh. For more information on the greater Breede River Valley click here.
|Twee Jonge Gezellen Wine Farm is situated in the north west corner of the Tulbagh Valley about 125Km from Cape Town. The vineyards extend up the eastern slopes of the Saron Peak in the Obiqua Mountains. Also known as the House of Krone. Read more …|
|Waverley Hills Wine Estate is situated at the foothills of the Witzenberg Mountains between the towns of Tulbagh and Ceres in the Western Cape. The area is particularly well known for its pristine fynbos. Read more …|
|Saronsberg Wine Farm is situated at the foot of the Saronsberg Mountain, part of the Obiqua Mountains which together with the Winterhoek and Witzenberg Ranges, surround the Tulbagh Valley. Read more …|
|Rijk’s Private Cellar was established in the Tulbagh Valley in 1996 by the Dorrington family. After searching for the right farm the family made the decision to start a farm from scratch in virgin soil with virus free vines. Read more …|
|Theuniskraal Wine Estate is situated in the beautiful Winterhoek Valley about 7Km outside the town of Tulbagh. Agriculture in the valley goes way back to the 17th century making it one of the oldest farming areas in South Africa. Read more …|
The Robertson Wine Route meanders its way through a beautiful valley between the Langeberg and the Riviersonderend Mountains and includes the towns of Robertson, Ashton, Bonnievale and McGregor. Also known as the Robertson Wine Valley or the Breede River valley there is much to attract tourists and day trippers including river rafting, bird watching, hiking, horse back riding and much more.
Of course wine tasting at some of the best wine estates in South Africa must top the list of things to do in this picturesque part of the Western Cape. In the early days this region was best known for its dessert wines but in the last few decades, major investment and research has turned the area into a major producer of Chardonnays, Sauvigonon Blancs and Cap Classiques and more recently some excellent reds – Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz – have captured the interest of wine lovers throughout the world.
The Robertson Winery, established in 1941, is a unique operation with 35 family wine growers cultivating some 2400Ha of vine supplying the winery with a variety of cultivars making optimal use of the varies terroirs in the valley allowing the winery to produce some of the best value for money wines in the country.
There are a number of very creative and interesting events which take place in the Robertson area – the Whacky Wine Weekend takes place in June every year, the Robertson Slow in August, The Robertson Wine Valley Festival in September and the Wine on the River in October.
Although Montagu is strictly speaking not part of the Breede River Valley (it is actually in Klein Karoo Kannaland), it is close to Ashton and is a beautiful town with many interesting attractions. Don’t miss it.
We have included some of the best wine estates in this area and we have included the Klipdrift Brandy Cellar which is not to be missed.
|Rietvallei Wine Estate is one of the oldest wine farms in the Robertson Valley. The farm was purchased by Alewyn Burger in 1864 and has passed down through the family to the 5th generation owners, Johnny and his son Kobus. Read more …|
|Zandfliet Wine Estate traces its history back to 1838 when farming in the Robertson Valley first began. It has been in the De Wet family since 1867 and is now run by the fourth generation brothers, Paul and Dan. The estate is in a particularly beautiful location on the Cogmans River with the giant Langeberg Mountains as a backdrop. Read more …|
|Weltevrede has been the Jonker Family Wine Estate since 1912. Although wine is the family’s passion, a visit to the estate will reveal many interesting activities which take place on the estate – art, literature, hikes, a great restaurant and accommodation, fishing, swimming and a vineyard tractor tour. Read more …|
|De Wetshof Wine Estate is situated about 160Km from Cape Town in one of the prime wine growing regions in South Africa – Robertson valley. The De Wet family arrived in the Cape in 1693 and have been involved and at the forefront of the wine industry ever since. Danie De Wet has had an illustrious career and was appointed chairman of KWV in 2004. Read more …|
|Bon Courage Wine Estate is situated at the confluence of 3 rivers in the beautiful Robertson valley. The estate dates back to 1818 and has been run by the Bruwer family for three generations since 1921. Read more …|
|The Klipdrift Brandy Distillery in Robertson is a must do for any brandy lover. Hospitality is the name of the game, whether you are enjoying informative tastings on the tour or are just relaxing and enjoying some good homemade food at the Brandewyntuin Restaurant, you are sure to feel right at home. Read more …|
The Swartland is often referred to as the bread basket of the Cape because of the endless golden wheat fields in summer which become a vivid green in winter. This beautiful winter rainfall area is also known for fynbos – proteas, ericas and restios and, of-course, sweeping vineyards planted on the slopes of mountains and hills. The Mediterranean climate is ideal for many wine varietals and the soil conditions combined with cold wet winters and warm dry summers are uniquely suitable for deeply flavoured fruity wines.
The Swartberg Wine Route includes the historical and quaint towns of Malmesbury, Piketberg, and the twin towns of Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel on the slopes of the Kasteelberg. The route, established in 1986, is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town but you could be in another world. The 20 members of the Wine Route include large wine cellars and historic estates as well as relatively new farms and small garagistes.The wines produced are truly unique because of the terroirs not found anywhere else in the Cape.
You can experience intimate wine tastings in rustic cellars at small wineries or taste wines at the large co-operatives in Riebeek Kasteel and Malmesbury. Family estates going back many generations will welcome you with typical country warmth and good cheer. There are many small eateries run by excellent chefs as well as cosy coffee shops and larger restaurants to satisfy the taste buds together with the local wines.
There numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and 4X4 trails and the area is also known for regular festivals from food and wine to art and music and the street markets are not to be missed.
We have chosen a cross section of establishments which will give you a very good feel for the diversity of this beautiful area.
|Allesverloren Wine Estate is the oldest wine estate in the Swartland situated between Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West and not far from Malmesbury. The vineyards are planted on the slopes of Kasteelberg Mountains in soils that promote very healthy vine growth. Read more …|
|Kloovenburg Wine Estate is situated close to the quaint town of Riebeek Kasteel on the picturesque slopes of the Kasteel Mountain. The history of the farm goes back to the mid 18th century but the first bottled wines were only produced by the du Toit family in 1998. Read more …|
|Org de Rac Organic Wine Estate is one of the few 100% organic wine farms in South Africa situated near Piketberg in a particularly beautiful part of the Swartland. Adding to the beauty of the estate are fields of lavender, rosemary as well as olive groves. Read more …|
|Riebeek Cellars is situated in the Swartland town of Riebeek Kasteel on the slopes of the Kasteel Mountain. The cellar was founded in 1941 as a cooperative to undertake the winemaking and marketing for the vineyards in the area. Read more …|
|Swartland Winery was founded in 1948 in the Swartland town of Malmesbury by 15 member farmers. By 1950 the members had grown to 48 farmers. Initially known as the Swartland Co-operative the company became a public company in 2006 and changed its name to Swartland Winery. Read more …|
Hermanus is best known for its spectacular land-based whale-watching but there is actually much more to this area. The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus has become one of the best wine growing areas in South Africa. Discovered in the 1980’s for its unique combination of climatic conditions, mountain slopes and valleys and soil conditions, a number of wineries have been established here. Vineyards now carpet the slopes and the valley, interspersed with some of the best fynbos in the Cape. The Western Cape is world renowned for the most diverse floral kingdom in the world and the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is home to some of the best examples.
The area is best known for the Pinot Noir variety of red wine grapes although the varied terroirs make it possible to produce a wide range of white and red wines. The conditions are very similar to those found in the south of France and the wines produced here are as good if not better, particularly the Pinot Noir. Because the wine estates are relatively new they have state-of-the-art wine making facilities to take full advantage of the natural quality of the grapes.
The wine route is a refreshing change from the historical wine estates closer to Cape Town. The architecture is interestingly modern with hints of the Cape vernacular. The restaurants and wine tasting facilities are excellent and the wine is exceptional
The views from the estates are truly amazing and they are dedicated to preserving the unique flora and fauna in the area. As part of your visit to Hermanus or as a day trip from Cape Town, a visit to this beautiful valley should not be missed.
We have chosen the following four estates for your tour of this unique wine route.
|Bouchard and Finlayson is a boutique winery situated in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) valley near the seaside town of Hermanus. The valley was discovered in the 1970’s to be an excellent wine growing area. Read more …|
|Sumaridge Wine Estate lies in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near the seaside town of Hermanus in the Western Cape – an easy hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town. This is a particularly beautiful part of the Western Cape with an exceptional array of flora and fauna – an especially good place to experience the famed Cape fynbos. Read more …|
|Newton Johnson Wine Estate is situated about an hour and a half from Cape Town in the wine growing Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near the seaside town of Hermanus, famous for some of the best land based whale watching in the world. Read more …|
|Creation Wine Estate is situated in the beautiful Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven-and-Earth) Valley near Hermanus in the Western Cape where cool breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, the mountain slopes and the ideal soil condition combine to make the area one of the best wine growing areas in the world. Read more …|
Klein Karoo Kannaland Wine Route begins in Montagu on the world famous Route 62 which links old Western Cape wine growing areas to the Garden Route and then continues on to the Eastern Cape to Port Elizabeth. The Klein Karoo is an arid inland scrubland separated from the Garden Route by mountain ranges which extend from Cape Town to the Outeniqua. This wine route takes in the beautiful towns of Montagu, Barrydale, Ladismith, Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn and includes a winery on the Montagu Pass (no connection to the town) near George which lies on the coastal side of the Outeniqua Mountains in the Garden Route.
The climate is totally different to that of the wine routes in other parts of the Western Cape – the weather is harsh and extreme by comparison and the land is characterized by towering mountains and vast open scrubland and veldt. The scenery is truly spectacular but completely different to the rolling green hills and valleys you will experience when travelling on the other side of the mountains from Cape Town to the Garden Route. The village of Prince Albert at the foot of the giant Swartberg should not be missed although it does not really form part of the wine route.
Notwithstanding the harsh conditions, or perhaps because of them, the Klein Karoo has become one of the best wine growing areas in South Africa. The best port and brandies are produced here and the wines have been heralded throughout the world. We have chosen a good representative number of wineries and estates to make your visit to this unique and very special area a most memorable experience.
|Montagu Wine and Spirits Company was created when the Uitvlucht and Rietrivier Cellar combined on the 1st January 2010. Uitvlucht was the original farm on which the town of Montagu was established in 1853 and the Rietrivier Wine Cellar was founded in 1963. The Rietrivier farm is situated about 27Km from Montagu on Route 62 on the way to Barrydale. Read more …|
|Joubert-Tradauw Private Cellar is situated near the town of Barrydale on the famous Route 62 in the Klein Karoo. Established 61 years ago by Schalk-Willem Joubert, the farm grows fruit and premium grape cultivars – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Read more …|
|Boplaas Family Vineyards was founded near Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo more than 150 years ago by the Nel family. The farm is situated at the foot of the spectacular Swartberg Mountains in the Southern Cape about 450 Km from Cape Town on the famous Route 62. Read More …|
|Calitzdorp Wine Cellar was established in 1928 in the Klein Karoo town of Calitzdorp in the Western Cape on the renowned Route 62, the longest wine route in the world. This quaint town situated in a beautiful valley with a climate very similar to that found in Douro in Portugal, is the port capital of South Africa. Read More …|
|Karusa Vineyard is well known for its Cap Classique and Mediterranean-styled wines, Karusa is a family operated and managed Southern Cape Premium Wine producer. Karusa is the first and only Premium Private Winery in Oudtshoorn and has won the Champion White Wine of the Southern Cape Regional wine show for two years running! Read more …|
|Herold Wines is situated in the most unlikely place on the spectacular Montagu Pass in the Outeniqua Mountains near the Garden Route town of George in the Southern Cape although it forms part of the Klein Karoo Kannaland Wine Route. The vineyards are planted on the sunlit northern slopes of Cradock Peak, the highest of the mountain range. Read more …|