Klein Karoo Wine Route
As the easternmost wine producing region in South Africa, the Klein Karoo Wine Route includes the area along Route 62 from the Langkloof in the East to Montagu in the west, with spectacular mountain ranges and fertile riverbanks creating conditions favourable for the cultivation of vineyards and production of an interesting variety of wines. Fortified wines such as Port and Muscadel are among the world-class products produced by wineries in the Klein Karoo, as well as a range of red and white wines to suit varied tastes. Quaint historic towns and legendary hospitality are additional reasons for wine-lovers to explore the Klein Karoo Wine Route of South Africa.
To make the most of this diverse region, there are four suggested day trips, each of which includes wineries along the route. Starting from the coastal town of George, travelers can follow the route to Herold, Dysselsdorp, Oudtshoorn and back to the coast at Mossel Bay. Wineries in this region include Herold Wines, Domein Doornkraal, Oudtshoorn Cellar, Karusa Premium Private Winery and Grundheim Wines. In addition to winery tours and shopping at country stalls for crafts and local goodies, Oudtshoorn has a number of activities and attractions, including riding and feeding ostriches, crocodile diving, riding a camel, exploring the Cango Caves, township tours, kloofing, horse riding, abseiling, and observing meerkats in their natural habitat.
Another suggested day trip, starting and ending in Oudtshoorn, is a round trip through Prince Albert, Klaarstroom, De Rust and Dysselsdorp. Passing through the Swartberg Pass – considered to be one of the world’s most scenic passes – this route includes Oudtshoorn Cellar, Karusa Premium Private Winery, Bergwater Vineyards, Excelsior Vlakteplaas and Domein Doornkraal.
A third day trip suggestion is to start at Mossel Bay and travel to Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Van Wyksdorp and Herbertsdale before returning to Mossel Bay. This route includes Grundheim Wine, Calitzdorp Wine Cellar, De Krans Wines, Boplaas Family Vineyards, Withoek, TTT Cellar, Du’SwaRoo, Peter Bayly Wines, Axe Hill, Ladismith Cellar and Hillock Wines. Find out more about the region at the Calitzdorp Museum, and explore the Swartberg or Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. Ladismith has some spectacular old buildings, some of which are National Monuments, and is known for its cheese production. Horse riding, mountain biking and 4×4 trails are among the activities on offer.
The picturesque town of Montagu, with its therapeutic hot springs, is a good base for exploring Barrydale, Suurbraak, Swellendam and Ashton as a day trip. Wineries on this route include Montagu Wine Cellar, Montagu Wine & Spirits Company, Joubert-Tradauw and Barrydale Cellar. Adventurers who enjoy rock climbing should plan to stay awhile in Montagu as it is counted among the world’s ten top spots for this challenging sport. Certainly there is plenty to see and do along South Africa’s Klein Karoo Wine Route.