R62 Brandy Route
Combining the beauty of the South African landscape with the legacy of the country’s rich brandy making tradition, the R62 Brandy Route is a wonderful alternative to more traditional tourist routes. The well-chosen path takes travellers past romantic settlements such as Worcester, Montagu, Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn, De Rust and Barrydale, and creates a memorable journey for the connoisseur.
While known for being an international drink, South Africa has long enjoyed a rich brandy-making heritage that stretches back almost to the arrival of the first Dutch settlers in the cape. South African’s have been making brandy for more than 330 years! The name ‘brandy’ actually comes from the Dutch word ‘brandewijn’, which literally means ‘burnt wine’ – a reference to the distilling process. Many are surprised to learn that South African law mandates that brandies are left alone to mature for a minimum of three years. During this time the beverage acquires the rich, warm taste and color that makes it unique. Visitors to the various brandy farms on the route will learn more about how the grapes are harvested and the wine is prepared before it is put in a wooden keg and laid to rest so that it can mature into a fine spirit. Little wonder that with so much tradition, care and centuries of tried and tested skill, South Africa is known for making some of the best brandies in the world.
Created and launched by the South African Brandy Foundation, this well-designed route follows the well-known R62 road. Along the way travellers will be exposed to the rugged beauty of the landscape, the fascinating history of the area and the interesting legacy of the region’s brandy distilling inheritance. Scenic mountain passes combine with fertile valleys, old farmhouses and the rich taste of good brandy to create a memorable journey. Along the way a stop in Montagu, the gateway to the Little Karoo and a historical link to Oudtshoorn, the Eastern Cape, the Garden Route and Cape Town, simply cannot be missed. This short stretch of road will make travellers privy to some of the most famous and splendid wineries found in the Western Cape and expose them to the methods used to make brandy. If you’re a brandy lover, you simply cannot overlook the chance to travel the R62 Brandy Route.