Exploring the Worcester Wine Route
Being a bit of a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur, I jumped at the chance to drive along the Worcester Wine Route with a friend. Situated in the beautiful Breede River Valley, the Worcester Wine Route produces close to 25% of South Africa’s total volume of wine and spirits, making it one of the most invaluable wine making areas in the country.
The Worcester Wine Route stretches from the Worcester District, going as far as Wolseley, Slanghoek, Hex River Valley along to Villiersdorp in the south. Taking the scenic route, we savoured the spectacular valleys and majestic mountains.
Be sure to visit the following wine estates on your travels:
Slanghoek Wine Cellar
Surrounded by the magnificent Slanghoek Mountains, this cellar is known for its internationally acclaimed prize winning red, white, sparkling, dessert wines and port. On top of the usual wine tasting there are also a wealth of outdoor activities such as 4 x 4 routes, canoeing, hiking and trout fishing. For those who don’t wish to exert themselves quite so much there are numerous restaurants to satisfy any craving. Try the Slanghoek Private Selection Chenin Blanc 2009 with its beautiful, bright light colour, fresh, full and fruity palate. Well balanced with ripe pear and peaches on nose.
De Wet Cellar
The oldest cellar in the Worcester area the De Wet Cellar was founded in 1964. Originally producing only 3 000 tons of grapes per year De Wet now produces around 20 000 tons yearly. It offers dry and semi-sweet white wines, red wines, sparkling wines as well as sweet muscadel and Hanepoot wines. Try the Pettilant Fronte, a light low alcohol perle wine, with the “Heart Mark” of the South African Heart Foundation.
Waboomsrivier Wine Cellar
Situated between the Breede River and luxuriant vineyards, Waboomsrivier Wine Cellar is said to be one of the most magnificent wine location in the world. Combining old and new, in 1997 the red wine cellar eventually got upgraded with modern french equipment, while the white wine cellar houses sleek stainless steel tanks with the latest technology. Wines available are Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Groot Eiland Cellar
Lying at the foot of the stately Du Toitskloof mountain, Groot Eiland Cellar and its surrounding scenery is spectacular. The wine cellar and its farms are surrounded by the water of both the great Breede and Molenaars rivers making for picturesque countryside. Not only beautiful, the area is perfect for trout fishing, cycling, mountain bike rides, horse riding through the vineyards, quad and 4×4 outings. If you chose to spend a few days, accommodation is abundant on the wine farms, in the mountains and along the river banks. Try the Sauvignon Blanc with its green fig and citrus aromas with a lemon flavoured aftertaste.