Breede River Valley: a paradise for wine tourism

Less well known than Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, this lush region located just two hours from Cape Town is crossed by the Breede River and its tributaries and bordered by the majestic Langeberg Mountains, which separate it from the adjacent semi-desert region of Klein Karoo.

The Breede River Valley is almost 130 kilometres long and in fact straddles three wine regions: Worcester, Robertson and Breedekloof. This makes it the Western Cape’s largest producer region, as the three areas account for about a third of the country’s vineyards and produce almost 40% of its wine. The region also runs the gamut in terms of vineyards, from small characterful wineries to larger co-operatives. The most common wines are made from vineyards along the valley floor, whereas the higher-end offerings originate in vineyards set in the foothills of the mountains surrounding the valley. The region is best known for producing rich, fruity red wines because the soils have extremely high limestone content, lending the wines minerality, depth and aromatic complexity. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are particularly widespread here, though a few local wineries have also started to produce sparkling wines made from the two legendary grape varieties that are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But more than this, the Breede River Valley is a fantastic setting that offers myriad tourist, recreational, gastronomic and historical activities, whilst also proving to be a true paradise for wine.



By Samarie Smith-Meletiou Dipwset photographs - Courtesy of the estates