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MAIN Arrow to Wine Directory Wine Arrow to Wines of Africa Africa Arrow to Wines & Wineries of South AfricaSouth Africa

Wine Routes in South Africa
The Winelands Region & Route 62

South Africa Cape Wines SA Tourism Image Library: Western Cape
©SA Tourism Image Library: Western Cape
Photographer: Hein Von Hörsten
The Wine Routes lead to prestigious wineries where wine tasting and light lunches can be offered. The members of this route are all open to the public and will welcome wine lovers to taste their products in a friendly and informal atmosphere.

The wines of South Africa grow in a country of wild beauty and sharp contrasts. Mountains and valleys provide spectacular views as you travel through South Africa on Route 62, the longest wine route in the world.

The Constantia Route is shorter, but the concentration of specialty wines makes it just as thrilling for the wine tourist.

The Winelands Region is close to Capetown and boast some of South Africa's best known wines and wineries.

The trails meander over mountains and through lush valleys and that offer nature preserves with African wildlife and wineries that are always willing to welcome a visitor. Each region offers the traveller a different perspective...

The Winelands Region
Whether it is its magnificent natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage or its world-renowned wines, the Winelands Region is synonymous with all the best that the Cape has to offer. A 45-minute drive from Cape Town brings you to this area where splendid mountains form a dramatic backdrop to lush vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads steeped in history. Experience the hospitality and beauty of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, Franschhoek and Pniel. The diversity of the Winelands will capture every heart.

Stellenbosch
This year Stellenbosch celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the founding of its Wine Route – established in April 1971 by Neil Jubert of Spier, Frans Malan of Simonsig and Spatz Sperling of Delheim. It represents the culmination of a long tradition of winemaking started at the Cape by the Dutch Settlers.
Since the founding of Stellenbosch in 1679, the region’s cool climate and fertile soils combined with the planting of the correct varieties of grapes have produced a knowledge of winemaking which spans three centuries. The Stellenbosch Wine Region today is synonymous with high quality award winning wines. The Wine Route comprises 44 cellars which produce between them a large variety of red and white wines. The route offers the visitor an ideal opportunity of sampling these wines whilst exploring this famous wine-producing region. Exploring the Wine Route is an adventure that will not easily be forgotten.

Paarl
It was the late Sydney Back who had the vision for an all-encompassing organisation to establish Paarl as one of the leading wine regions both nationally and internationally.

The Nederburg Wine Auction takes place during April each year and is a highlight on the International wine calendar that attracts visitors from around the world. Main features of the two-day event are the auction itself, the keynote address by an international guest speaker, as well as a trend-setting fashion show. Paarl has also released the first Braille Wine Route guide to assist blind wine-lovers .

Wellington
The town of Wellington, only a 45 minutes' drive from Cape Town, is situated amidst lush vineyards, vine cutting nurseries, olive and fruit orchards at the foot of the Hawekwa Mountains.

The Wine Route leads to prestigious wineries where wine tasting and light lunches can be offered. The members of this route are all open to the public and will welcome wine lovers to taste their products in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Come and make personal acquaintance with the winemakers and learn more about their wines, which have won many awards on both national and international wine shows.

Franschhoek
Franschhoek was originally known as Olifants Hoek, after elephants took to calving in the sheltered valley of plentiful food and water. In 1694, nine farms were apportioned to Hugenots fleeing persecution in France. Finding the climate similar to that of France, the settlers planted vines. Today (21) members of the Vignerons produce wines consumed throughout the world. Franschhoek is well known for its excellent restaurants, top accommodation establishments, splendid mountains and openhearted hospitality. Spend time browsing its many arts-and-craft shops, galleries and antique stores.

Constantia Route
Experience a unique journey through the Constantia Winelands. Being a small wine route, the emphasis is shifted to wines of superb quality. This perfect wine-growing area produces world famous red and white wine and fine dessert wines.Constantia is the birthplace of the South African wine industry. Drive through this historical valley, visit Groot and Klein Constantia, Constantia Uitsig , Buitenverwachting and Steenberg followed by a lunch or dinner at one of several top quality restaurants in the area.

Route 62- The World’s Longest Wine Route
Route 62 meanders through some of South Africa's most fertile valleys. Thus it is no surprise to have three of South Africa's leading wine regions on this route. The Breede River gives life to the Robertson Wine Valley and also to the Worcester Wine Valley. Against the backdrop of the harsh and unforgiving climate of the Klein Karoo it is still surprising to find the Klein Karoo Wine Route.

The Worcester's Winelands, barely an hours' drive from Cape Town, amid spectacular scenery, includes the Worcester district as far as Wolseley, Slanghoek and the Hex River Valley, stretches as far south as Villiersdorp and covers the Nuy Cellar to the east. In terms of volume the Worcester district is the largest and one of the most important wine-making areas in the country, producing close to 25% of South Africa's total volume.

Worcester and wine go hand in hand with a proud tradition stretching across 250 years. A knowledge of winemaking gathered over the years, pooled and shared by farmers and winemakers in their pursuit of excellence, has produced some of the finest wines in the country.

The fruits of Worcester's labour were rewarded when it was South Africa's champion wine region in 1989. Apart from dessert wines - for which the area is renowned and has received numerous awards - the Worcester Winelands has emerged as a quality white and red wine producing area. Classic varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as versatile Chenin Blanc and Colombar have won many a medal at the national wine shows.

The region is also the country's most important brandy producing area, with Worcester being the home of the KWV the world's largest brandy cellar and the Olof Bergh Solera Cellar.

The Worcester Winelands includes 21 cellars of which 19 are co-operative cellars and 2 private estates. They are open to the public for wine sales, wine tasting and cellar tours. A winetasting centre, for the whole region, is also situated at Kleinplasie, Worcester.

For wine-lovers passing through Worcester without enough time to explore the Winelands, regional wines can be bought by the bottle or case at the Kleinplasie Wine Cellar. Organized tours and winetasting are also available.

The Robertson Wine Valley, embracing the districts of Ashton, Bonnievale, McGregor and Robertson, is less than two hours' drive from Cape Town. Robertson, the “Valley of wine and Roses” is well worth a visit. Situated on the longest wine route in the world, the Route 62 wine route, you are transported into the beautiful scenic Breede River Valley , home of connoisseur quality wines and an abundance of roses. Aside from the many wine cellars you can visit, there is also the Birds of Paradise bird park, the Dassieshoek Nature Reserve, Pat Busch Nature Reserve and the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve.

It is the home of champion wines, champion horses and is known for its abundance of roses, making this truly the "valley of wine and roses". The Valley's beauty lies not only in its special location, but in the relaxed hospitality of its people.

Previously known as the Robertson Wine Trust (established in 1983), the Robertson Wine Valley today represents 32 members, including 11 co-operatives, 14 estates and 7 private producers. Long noted for its exceptional dessert wines, the Robertson Wine Valley has in recent years won great acclaim in South Africa, and around the world, for the production of outstanding white, (especially Chardonnay, Colombar and Sauvignon Blanc) and red wines, as well as Cap Classique sparkling wines.

The lime-rich soils and unique climate give the region the natural attributes to produce outstanding wines. With a history of co-operation between growers and wineries in the region, disciplined planning is done regarding the planting of specific grape varieties suitable to the region's soils and they see to it that it is in line with recognised trends within the wine industry.

To promote the region's wines, the Valley annually organises a Young Wine Show, Food and Wine Festival and a Countrywide Wine Tour.

The Klein Karoo Wine Route lies from the Cogmanskloof, outside Montagu in the West, as far as the hamlet of De Rust near Meiringspoort, in the East. The wine culture was established during the eighteenth century in the Kannaland, also known as the Klein Karoo. Casks of heavy brandy accompanied transport wagons on their journey into the interior.

Being one of South Africa's eight wine regions, the Klein Karoo is large in area, but small in production. This is a place of extraordinary vistas, of austere ridges and peaks and lush valleys. There are glimpses of the distant past, sometimes an eerie feeling that you have returned to long ago...

Our wines may be classed with the best in South Africa. They are pleasant, fruity, drinkable wines, cleverly reflecting the strong contrasts of the region. The creativity of the vintner combines with the expertise of the grower to produce wine which will amaze the connoisseur and delight the lover of wine.

The Klein Karoo Wine family consists of seven co-operative and five private cellars, which offer a veritable feast of wines. The wine and cheese of the Klein Karoo are perfect for the climate and complement the foods of the region. Travellers must allow themselves to be seduced by the wonderful spectrum of taste.

Visitors to the increasingly popular Little Karoo region in the Western Cape can now look forward to a new tourist attraction, namely the R62 Brandy Route which includes the sights and experiences offered by six brandy cellars and one museum.

The R62 Brandy Route, the second of these Routes to be launched in South Africa by the SA Brandy Foundation, follows the well-known R62 road and includes visiting points at Worcester, Montagu, Barrydale, Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn and De Rust. Between this enchanting region’s picturesque landscape, old buildings, ostriches and interesting characters there is a deep history of brandy distillation.

The aim of the R62 Brandy Route is to introduce the broader public and travellers through the region to this history, as well as the many superb brandies you will find here. Ashton is situated on the R62, between Robertson and Swellendam, at the foot of the majestic Langeberge. It is an important wine producing and fruit processing centre and home to five wineries and two large canneries.

Montagu is the gateway to the Little Karoo and also the scenic heart of Route 62. This historic link between Cape Town, Oudtshoorn, the Garden Route and the Eastern Cape, offers travellers remarkable beauty and excellent facilities. All combining to make this one of the most memorable journeys in South Africa, winding through spectacular scenery and mountain passes. Some of the most famous wineries in the Western Cape are to be found along the way, making it one continuous wine route.


Source:
South Africa Tourism

 

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