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Cape Wine Routes

It is only a 20 minutes drive from your accommodation until some of the most famous wine routes take you into the lush green valleys, rugged mountains, azure seas and sky – these are the Cape’s Winelands. Visitors pour into the Cape to experience our viticulture, restored Cape Dutch farmsteads with their distinctive gables and thatched roofs, and the mountains that form the dramatic backdrop to all of this. The Cape Winelands are some of the most scenic in the world and stretch from the West Coast to the plains of the Little Karoo, where grapes are also grown in the riverine valleys. There are currently some 560 wineries and 4 400 primary producers of vineyards in the Cape.

Swartland Wine Route
The Swartland Wine Route was established in 1986 and stretches from the Berg River in the North to the Paardeberg in the South,encompassing Piketberg,Porterville,Malmesbury and the Riebeek Valley. At present the route boasts 18 members – including co-operatives, estates, private cellars and garagista. Each cellar presents a unique experience.

Some boasts beautiful historic homesteads and others brand new modern tasting rooms, while smaller wineries offer intimate wine tasting in rustic cellars or outside amongst the vineyards.

Olives is an integral part of the agricultural products of the region and some wineries offer a variety of olive produce for sale.

The region has diverse microclimates and soils, all contributing to the uniqueness of the wines on offer along the route. Harsh summer conditions, often followed by a mild winter with the rainfall often lower than expected, is the order of the day. Vines are hardy and although trellising is increasingly being adopted, bush vines are still dominating the scene. The area is predominantly known for its excellent Shiraz, but plantings are dominated by Pinotage and Chenin Blanc cultivars. Producers are also experimenting with scarce cultivars, such as Viognier, Malbec and Grenaché.

A wide range of restaurants and accommodation establishments, catering for a variety of tastes and preferences are available in the Swartland. Having indulged in the fabulous food and wine that is on offer visitors can browse around the art galleries and curio shops. For the more adventurous the Swartland is the perfect destination to explore the outdoors. Visitors can choose from several activities including golf courses, walking trails, 4X4 trails, mountain bike trails, clay pigeon shooting, canoeing and even hang-gliding.

Olifantsriver Wine Route
Like a beautiful silver thread, the Olifants river winds its way through the valleys, under the watchful eyes of the surrounding mountain peaks, Gifberg, Maskam and Koebee, offering a restful and calm environment of which city dwellers can only dream. The area known as the Matzikama encompasses the towns of Vanrhynsdorp, Vredendal, Koekenaap, Ebenhaezer, Lutzville and Klawer, and once visited, one will find that lifelong friendships have been formed.

A Thriving Wine Route One of the focus points of the area is its wine route. The Olifantsriver wine route consists of only a handful of cellars that have however, over the years, proved that they can and do produce excellent wines, which are able to compete with the best in the industry and have won gold and silver awards both locally and internationally.

While Westcorp and Lutzville Vineyards, two of the largest cellars in South Africa, are on the wine route, there are also several petite boutique cellars where visitors are welcomed with open arms and might discover wines that they have only heard about. To crown it all there is also a special cellar on the route, which amongst other things produces grape pip oil and verjuice.

All the cellars on the route have as their prime objective the production of high quality wines and they are continuously planning how new available technology, to produce high quality wines, can be utilized in the production of their wines.

Flourishing Vineyards and nurtured landscapes During the last ten years the planting of many new vineyards has been undertaken. Premium cultivars such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz, pinotage, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc now constitutes at least 30% of the total production.

Every year, after the first winter rains, the landscape is transformed into a veritable kaleidoscope of colour. Veld flowers of every imaginable hue and fragrance form a flower carpet which draws visitors from far and wide, both national and from overseas. The many circular routes and interesting footpaths, ensures that there is room for all the sightseers. They could visit the “Kokerboom” forest, the old church from a bye-gone era, rock carvings, the only windmill museum in South Africa and much more.