Wine tasting in South Africa – The Breedekloof Wine Route

Breedekloof wine-tasting-1
Beautiful view from Jason's Creek.

The Breedekloof wine route – Traveling around the world for most of the last 5 years, we have met so many travelers that get super exited when they hear I am from South Africa. People often say it is their favorite country. There are many reasons, the exceptional nature, incredible food, amazing animals and many share stories about the hospitality of the people. There is one more big one; our wines.

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A view of wine farms in the Breedekloof area taken during a hike in the Du Toitskloof mountains.

Wine tourism at the tip of Africa has many things making it unique. An enormous diversity in soil type, topography and climatic conditions  result in unique, complex and distinctive wines.  The wines can be fruity, but also reveal earthy flavors. Our warm climate results in  high alcohol wines, with the cool ocean breeze helping wines to retain the bright acidity keeping things fresh.

#breedekloof
Driving on our wine tasting tour between the beautiful Du Toitskloof mountains. Breedekloof wine route

South Africa has a  ‘Wines of Origin’ system with vintage, grape variety and region being displayed on the label. The Stellenbosch wine route is the most popular area for wine tourism. This is however not all we’ve got. You can explore  17 official registered wine routes and 26 unique ‘wine of origin’ production areas in South Africa.

We recently tasted our way around one of the “off the beaten track” wine areas for international tourists, The Breedekloof Wine Route. Located in the beautiful Du Toitskloof and Slanghoek mountains, this ‘wine of origin’ district is only 1 hour’s drive from Cape Town. We visited some beautiful wine farms producing great wines in the area. They all boasted quality whites and reds made from a variety of cultivars including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinotage.

Breedekloof wine-tasting-1
Beautiful view from Jason’s Hill.

WHAT WE LOVED ABOUT THE BREEDEKLOOF WINE ROUTE

  • Quality wines
  • Beautiful wine farms
  • FREE TASTINGS (most farms)
  • Friendly staff/wine makers, a real personal touch
  • No tourist buses with big groups.
  • Many other attractions, restaurants, accommodation, campsites, hiking trails, horse trails, mountain bike trails, rafting, fly fishing and more.

THE CHENIN BLANC TRAIL

For us the day turned out to be mostly about the Chenins. We loved tasting the interesting Chenin Blanc wines in the area. Fruity, sometimes spicy, full bodied, unique wines.

The slow ripening of the vines, geography, climate and varied geology contribute to establishing a great area for producing Chenin Blanc.

#chenininitiative
Comparing three different styles of Chenin Blanc at Deetlefs wine estate. Breedekloof wine route

The Breedekloof Chenin initiative was started aiming to push Chenin Blanc in to the spot light. Participating wineries are expected to do something different, aiming to expess Chenin’s different personalities. Some innovative things are being done; the use of older blocks, playing with wild ferments, giving skin contact, lees work and more.

ON OUR WINE TOUR

Breeland

Beautiful location on a dam, when we arrived they were busy building a new tasting room. The friendly wine maker, Wickus, gave us what he called ‘a real plaas proe’ (farm tasting). He took a break from work and opened a couple of bottles of wine. They make a nice Chenin with apple, peach and spanspek flavors. A great Sauvignon Blanc and a nice spicy Shiraz. FREE TASTING

#breeland
Winemaker at Breeland, Wickus, giving us a real ‘plaas proe’ at the new tasting venue they are building. Breedekloof wine route

Slanghoek

We enjoyed Slanghoek’s beautiful location and nice tasting room. They produce renowned and prize-winning red, white, sparkling, dessert wines and port. We really enjoyed the Shiraz with pepper and spicy notes, and blackberry and plum flavours. They gave us a delicious wine-ice-lolly when we left! FREE TASTING

slanghoek
We tasted some nice wines at the beautiful Slanghoek Estate. Breedekloof wine route

Jasons Hill

Jasons Hill is maybe the most picturesque cellar on the wine route. Top quality wines made by ‘klein Ivy’ a legendary wine maker in the area.  Don’t miss this one! We left very happy with bottles of Shiraz and Chenin.

Jasons Hill Bistro is a well known upper class restaurant with magnificent views, Nice place to enjoy a picnic or cheese platter with sand pits, swings and rolled out lawns for children to play. TASTING $1.40 (R20), free if you buy wine.

Jason's Hill
We tasted some excellent wines at the picturisque Jason’s Hill. There is also a high quality restaurant at the venue. Breedekloof wine route

Badsberg

We tasted some nice wines at Badsberg cellar and were very impressed with their 2016 Pinotage, we bought a bottle to take home. While writing this entry I realized this great wine cleaned up at the 2016 SA Young Wine Show!

Deetlefs

The beautiful Deetlefs farm with it’s impressive ranges of award winning wines is located just outside Rawsonville. Kobus Deetlefs is the seventh generation owner  and has continued to carry on the family traditions and approach of wine making.

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Driving in to Deetlef’s wine estate.

They have a large, professional run tasting room, but they keep a nice personal touch. Kobus himself was in the tasting room and showed us their new brain wave. Black and white labels on wine bottles that you can color yourself, for great original gifts. We tasted a variety of Chenins made in different styles, each was well explained to us during the tasting. In their ‘ritmes range’ they had some unique blends I have never tasted before, a Shiraz Pinotage blend and a Chenin Blanc Colombar blend!

deetlefs wine
The Deetlefs range of wines with self-color labels, a very original gift! Breedekloof wine route

Goudini

Goudini wines is an cooperative cellar, receiving grapes from 18 surrounding farms. They produce and market an extensive range including red, white, rosé and sparkling wines. I enjoyed the 2015 Shiraz, which is good value for money and I can see why they have won several good value awards. Goudini wines can now be purchased under several labels in European stores.

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The view from the Bistro and tasting room at the beautiful Goudini cellar.

The Gevonden Hanepoot sold at Goudini is a very interesting desert wine. It is produced from the oldest still producing Hanepoot Vines in South Africa on the farm Gevonden. It is now bottled as a numbered collector’s item. Gevonden was bought by my great grandfather 5 generations ago in 1829 and is today being farmed by my cousin Janus.

The tasting room is at a beautiful venue in the vineyard with spectacular views of the Sneeukop mountain. On most days either one of my uncles Neels or Duffy will tell you about the Goudini wines in the tasting room. The Goudini Bistro at the venue offers good simple meals and a great cup of coffee.

Du Toitskloof

HOW TO GET HERE

From Cape Town, take the N1, drive past Paarl, through the Huguenot Tunnel. Turn right to Rawsonville on the R101. The scenic route is over the Du Toitskloof Pass instead of through the Huguenot Tunnel.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Nice weather (hot) in summer, November to March. Harvest season from late February until April. Very rainy from May to late August.

IN THE AREA

Goudini Spa, the Brandvlei Dam for fishing and kiteboarding, the beautiful Bainskloof Pass, several one day hikes, mountain bike trails, camp sites, rivers for trout fishing.

HOW TO DO WINE TOURS

Self drive is the most common option. You can always send me a mail, if I am not traveling I might be in the area! Wine tours are offered by Cape to Grape

WHERE TO STAY

There are many nice accommodation options, guest houses, B&Bs, self-catering options and camping facilities are all on offer.

WHAT TO EAT

Goudini Bistro at Goudini Cellars offers good simple meals and a great cup of coffee.

Melissa’s The Food Shop at Du Toitskloof Cellar serves breakfast, lunch and early suppers alongside a selection of freshly baked cakes and artisan coffee which is served all day.

Jason’s Hill Restaurant offers a relaxed and intimate setting where guests can enjoy a selection of elegant meals.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

The big annual event on the route is the Soetes (sweet wines) & Soup festival in July.

Soetes en Sop – Different soups are prepared by all participating farms. Drive between farms tasting everything from chocolate to chicken soups. Delicious soup and wine pairings, live acts and more. Always a great party!

 LIKE IT? PIN IT!

wine-tasting-pin

 

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