STELLENBOSCH WINE ROUTE
DID YOU KNOW?
The Breedekloof wine lands are the only South African wine-growing region with significantly high alkaline soils high pH (> 8.5),which means the effect is very pronounced in times of drought, the alkaline soil crops drying up much more quickly than do those on acid soil.
The Breedekloof Wine Route has been in existence since 2002, and the Breedekloof district received Wine of Origin status in 2006. The Breedekloof district is exceptionally diverse with distinct variations in soil, climate, and topography that allow the region to produce a wide variety of wines. The region enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Comprising 27 wineries, of which a third are large-scale co-operatives, the Breedekloof wine lands are one of the Cape’s largest wine-producing areas.
Wine production takes place alongside the Breede River, on river terraces along the valley floor, and the upper and lower mountain slopes, where alluvial soils vary from loam to river gravel deposits. Despite many vineyards’ proximity to the Breede River, winemakers here are increasingly moving towards sustainable, non-irrigated cultivation, and producing smaller, terroir-focused batches of wine, to the delight of oenophiles (connoisseurs of wine)looking for superb vintages to cellar for future enjoyment.
The Breedekloof wine lands produce New World wines known for their quality and easy drinking appeal, with Chardonnay and Chenin among the best performing, White varieties include sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc and small blocks of semillon and viognier. Red cultivars typical of the Breede River wine route are cabernet sauvignon, merlot.
I noticed on my two day visit that many of the winemakers and wine farms are focusing on bottle wines now and there is an upsurge in new ‘labels’ such as Quest being made by Willie Stofberg, Quest being named after a team from DuToitsKloof who went on a pursuit “Quest” to source the best grapes available to make Quest heroes 1 a Bordeaux blend 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot, and Quest heroes 2 a Rhone style blend 62% Shiraz, 38% Mourvèdre.
Ivy Du Toit owner/winemaker of Jason’s Hill, who creates wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay with the Red varietals consisting of Merlot, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, and a fabulous Izak Bordeaux blend 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petit Verdot, 19% Merlot, 19% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Franc, all award winning wines.
There are many more wine farms not in the mainstream but have exceptional quality and value within the Breedekloof wine route namely Opstal,Deetlefs ,Merwida,Slanghoek and Stofberg Family Vineyards, so watch for my new additions as we go along on the journey.
Boland hospitality is legendary!