A very special
Crowds are for New Year, not wine tasting.
On the West Coast Wine Route, expect an intimate and fulfilling experience like no other – from charming, family-run farms in unique locations to some of South Africa’s most famous mega-wineries.
Many people don’t know this, but wine in these parts is an age-old tradition too. Its first recorded purchase was in the 18th century when Frenchman Francois le Vaillant explored the area and bought his sustenance from a widow Van Zeijl.
The West Coast Wine Route runs in a belt along the broad valley of the Olifants River and incorporates the stand-alone Lambert’s Bay ward on the coast and the high-altitude ward of Piekenierskloof. The climate of the high-lying inland ward of Piekenierskloof is conducive to organic cultivation. Average temperatures are cooler than in the valley and average rainfall is higher. The valley stretches from predominantly citrus-producing Citrusdal in the south to Koekenaap in the north.
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Further north, the river turns back towards the southwest and flows into the cold Atlantic Ocean. Intensive viticulture takes place in this part of the region, which incorporates the wards of Vredendal and Spruitdrift, as well as the cooler, sea-influenced wards of Koekenaap and Bamboes Bay.
Closer to the cold Atlantic Ocean in the vicinity of Koekenaap, vineyards can be found where cooler climates ensure high-quality slow-ripening grapes. With careful canopy management, which ensures grapes
are shaded by the vines’ leaves, combined with modern winemaking techniques, the Olifants River is proving to be a source of quality, affordable wines.
Quality is a hallmark of the wine, a fact increasingly being recognized by expert assessments, both locally and overseas. West Coast wines regularly feature as medal winners, enjoying consistent high-level ratings in authoritative publications. On the wine route, you’ll be able to appreciate just where these champion wines are made and even purchase most of them right at the cellar door.
The West Coast wine route begins in the hills around Trawal in the south and to the Olifants River mouth in the north. Doringbaai and Lambertsbaai on the Atlantic coast form the western border.
The preferred wine route through the region begins in the mountains near Paleisheuwel in the south and continues northwards through Klawer, Vredendal, Lutzville, and Doringbaai to Lambertsbaai.
The route is well-marked and easy to follow and most wineries have wine-tasting facilities.
Explore the West Coast Wineries
Download the Wine Route Map
Learn more about the Terroir
VREDENDAL (& Vanrhynsdorp) NAMAQUA WEST COAST TOURISM OFFICE
P.O. Box 1000,
3 Church Street, Vredendal, 8160
+27 (0) 27 201 3376