The cornucopia of the Cape

The Breede River bubbles up from the crags of the Ceres mountain range, and then snakes for 337 kilometres through the semi-arid Breede River Valley until it spills out into the Indian Ocean. Drawn to its life force, several fruit farms, vineyards, and quaint little towns have unfolded along its riverbanks – making this region one of the Cape’s most picturesque countryside getaways.

With its Cape Dutch houses and rolling vineyards, the town of Tulbagh oozes so much old-world charm you’d be forgiven for forgetting you’re only a 90-minute-drive from Cape Town. In Worcester – the Valley’s largest town – you’ll find the starting point of the Brandy Route. The Brandy Route winds through Robertson (dubbed ‘South Africa’s Garden Town’) and Montagu (with its inviting hot-water springs) before connecting with South Africa’s road-trip hotspot: Route 62—agreed on by many as also being the site of the world’s longest wine route.

The Valley’s Mediterranean-like climate, life-giving river, and loam soil have made it ideal for wine farming. Chardonnay, Colombard, cabernet sauvignon, and sauvignon blanc are some of the signature cultivars here. Plus: the area is also renowned for its dessert wines (like hanepoot and muscadel) – particularly in Robertson.

Highlights

  • The Breede River Valley is the largest fruit and wine-producing valley in the Western Cape
  •  Tulbagh is a dream-like countryside getaway only 90 minutes from Cape Town
  •  Worcester is the largest town in the valley and home to the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden
  •  Robertson is home to over 50 wine estates and is also a significant stop on the South African Brandy Route
  • Montagu: South Africa’s ‘mountain mecca’ and home to a hot spring

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