Helderberg Wine Route
Stretching north from Somerset West to Stellenbosch and southeast to Sir Lowry’s Pass, the Helderberg Wine Route incorporates the majestic Helderberg Mountains, on the slopes of which some of South Africa’s finest vineyards flourish. The Helderberg region is truly one of the Western Cape’s treasures well worth exploring. Not only is it exquisitely beautiful, but as home to some of the oldest wineries in South Africa, the Helderberg Wine Route is steeped in history and culture, with some of the wineries having been family-run businesses for generations.
Touring the Helderberg Wine Route is a great one-day excursion for holidaymakers based in nearby Cape Town, but with so much to see many prefer to spend at least a few days exploring this beautiful area. Wineries along the route each have their own distinctive methods in cultivating their grapes, with different climatic conditions caused by the mountains and the close proximity of the sea influencing the harvest – and the end product. The winemaking process and layout of each winery has its own unique features, from grand Cape Dutch manor houses with historical wine cellars to ultra-chic wine boutiques, so each stop-off is a memorable experience. Some of the more than thirty wineries encountered along the Helderberg Wine Route include the renowned Vergelegen and Morgenster wineries, as well as the award-winning Avontuur Estate, red and port wine specialists JP Bredell Wines, and the up-market boutique-style Longridge Winery.
If you’re looking for a touch of adventure, you may want to consider participating in the Helderberg Wine Route Amazing Race, taking place on the last Saturday of each month in the Helderberg region. Starting at the tourism visitor center in Somerset West at noon, a maximum of twenty people in five cars set out armed with clues and a map to undertake a series of wine-themed tasks at four different wineries. To ensure participants stick to the rules of the road, only the actual tasks are timed, and not the time it takes to get to each destination. The team that completes all their tasks in the right order and in the shortest time is declared the winner. Prizes are awarded by the participating wineries and consist of a superb selection of their products – a fitting conclusion to a fun-filled day.