Breedekloof – The Wine Route Less Travelledby Jana Barnard on 2 August 2018
You’ve probably heard of the Breede River Valley, a wine region that stretches from Ceres all the way to Bonnievale in the Western Cape. The Breedekloof, however, is a smaller region within the wider valley and is nestled between a collection of mountain ranges around Worcester, Rawsonville and Goudini. Not marketed as extensively as the Stellenbosch region, the Breedekloof Wine Route with its 22 wineries is still a secret, and therefore super underrated. Luckily, with the pictures and memories we brought with us, we can now reveal this secret to others. Who would have guessed that such an unexpected gem lies hidden between the mountains just off the most popular routes, a mere hour from Cape Town?
During the recent Soetes & Soup Festival we were so lucky as to take a tour to some of these farms for an interesting wine and soup pairing experience. This gave us the opportunity to learn more about the area, such as the various farms’ histories, offerings and unique points.
Bergsig Estate lies at the foot of the famous Bainskloof Pass and boasts a restaurant with stunning vineyard views stretching all the way to the Bainskloof Mountain. What struck us first about this beautiful estate were the giant King Proteas flourishing on its turf. The inside is just as impressive with its restaurant, function hall and fireplace where you can cuddle up during winter while sipping on their exceptional Chardonnay.
Bosjes Wine Farm
Our recommended next stop is the beautiful Bosjes. Their intimate wedding chapel is rich in symbolism and the farm’s pride and joy. Its design is characterised by white flowing lines meant to resemble freedom. Visitors can view the inside of the intimate chapel with its 360-degree view of the surrounding vineyards and take a stroll between the olive trees in the biblical garden. Further up the hill, the wine-tasting venue and restaurant, Bosjes Kombuis, boasts a chic glass building offering yet more panoramic views and a garden where visitors can breathe in the fresh mountain air.
Relax in luxury at Bosjes in their tastefully decorated rooms with fireplaces, perfect for a romantic weekend escape from the city.
The Slanghoek Valley is well hidden from the N1 after exiting Du Toitskloof Pass on your way to Worcester. We guarantee that once you’ve discovered this wonderland, you’ll regret all the previous times you’ve sped past.
Opstal Estate is nestled at the foot of the Slanghoek Mountains. This cellar is geared for any season with a fantastic outdoor dining area overlooking the mountains and an indoor fireplace to keep you warm during winter. We recommend enhancing your wine experience by pairing it with sumptuous meals prepared by their in-house chef.
Jason’s Hill Private Cellar
Jason’s Hill, also in the Slanghoek Valley, is a great place for a family day trip. Apart from a children’s play area well within view of where you’ll be enjoying your wine, the estate also offers fantastic hiking opportunities. Boasting two waterfalls, their 6.6 kilometre trail might not be for the fainthearted, but the scenery is well worth the sweat.
Deetlefs Wine Estate
Upon exiting the Slanghoek Valley you can pay a visit to Deetlefs Estate where you’ll be greeted by an awe-inspiring avenue of proteas. Deetlefs lies at the foot of the Du Toitskloof Mountains and is the second oldest wine estate in the country run by the same family. The estate was established in 1822 and today the 7th generation of the Deetlefs dynasty exports 80% of its wines.
If you plan on setting aside a day or two to explore the Breedekloof Wine Route, we highly recommend making Aan De Doorns your base. This old farmhouse amidst the vineyards, about 7 kilometres outside Worcester, perfectly complements the theme of a Breedekloof wine tour. The original homestead roughly dates back to the 1860’s and you’re bound to draw heaps of inspiration from all the vintage decor and bric-à-brac inside.
In the summertime you can enjoy the tranquility of the farm while sipping your morning coffee on their pool terrace, whereas winter evenings call for snuggling up next to their old-wordly fireplaces. Hostess Marita is always up for a chat with lots of tales up her sleeve, and believe us when we tell you: she knows her wine!
With the towering mountains, scenic valleys and expansive vineyards, magical accommodation abounds in the Breedekloof. Here are a few more delightful suggestions:
Wine tasting tips
- Make sure you hold the glass correctly ─ if it’s white wine, hold it by the stem to keep it cool.
- Gently swirl the wine to release the flavours.
- Smell the wine.
- When tasting, cup your tongue to catch the liquid and then arch your tongue to “roll” the wine so all the taste buds get exposed!
The Breedekloof truly is off the beaten track as tourists usually flock toward Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl in search of a wine-tasting experience. To be honest, had we not attended the Soetes & Soup Festival, we still wouldn’t have known about this route with its picturesque mountain scenery. Take that weekend trip to the lesser-known Breedekloof and purchase a box or two of wine before they get more expensive!
All photos by Jana Barnard unless otherwise stated.