Route 62 – the longest Wine Route in the World
Route 62 (reputed to be the longest wine route in the world) in the Western Cape is a slow, meandering wander through a series of fascinating small towns and breathtaking scenery. The route is particularly well known for good food and excellent wine as it traverses some of the Cape’s most famous farming and wine producing regions.
Route 62 starts within the greater Cape Town Metropole, and stretches as far as Oudtshoorn and Port Elizabeth. This is a mountainous alternative to the N2 highway as it crosses a number of mountain passes as it makes its way eastwards. Along the way, the visitor has the option to stop and explore any one of the numerous small towns located on, or just off the route including Barrydale, Ceres and Zoar.
At the town of Robertson, attractions vary from game reserves, to the Soekershof Maze, and Birds of Paradise, to the Klipdrift Brandy Distillery and more. Other worthwhile stops along the way are sailing at the Stompdrift Dam Water Resort at De Rust, the Tsitsikamma canopy tour, where you can glide high above the forest floor amongst the treetops or experience the history of Ladismith or the art of McGregor.
Another famous attraction is the incongrously named Ronnie’s Sex Shop. The ‘shop’ is actually a pub that was painted with the name one night as a prank by Ronnie’s friends. The pub is located along the route in the town of Barrydale.
Two very different attractions can be visited when in the town of Bonnievale. Platinum Koi, a world class Koi breeding facility operates from the town and the the biggest single cheese factory in Southern Africa, the Parmalat factory both call the town home, and are worth a visit when passing through.
Calitzdorp is another town along the way that has much to offer – from historical monuments, to game farms, an art gallery and a succulent garden along with shopping and dining out this town. Further along the route, one encounters the historic Karoo town of Oudtshoorn – famous for its ostriches and still home to working ostrich farms that can be visited by tourists as well as the Cango Caves, surely one of the most awe inspiring natural caverns in the world.
Be warned however, that the popularity of many towns along the route make such an idea inadvisable during peak tourist season, and you would be better advised to book ahead or plan your trip out of season.