The lesser-explored Breedekloof Wine Valley, situated just over an hour’s drive outside Cape Town, is becoming a trendy weekend escape.

Apart from offering expansive and dramatic mountain views, the valley also offers a range of activities that caters to all tastes: whether it is a thirst for the outdoors, for something a bit more literal in the form of wine, gin or even craft beer, or even a game drive, it is easy to see why this valley is fast becoming a popular destination for those ‘in the know’.

Here are the reasons why this district is becoming a popular getaway choice for city-dwellers.

Explore by bicycle

Explore the Slanghoek Valley, a small hamlet that forms part of the Breedekloof Wine Valley, along a 13km mountain bike route that boasts majestic scenery and, in spite of its rugged terrain, inspires tranquillity. The route starts and ends at the Slanghoek Cellar, and includes criss-crossing of streams with bridges and cycling through a fenced wildlife camp with game. It’s the perfect activity for families and beginners, but there is an additional 4km trail for those seeking a challenge. Cyclists should register for the route to gain access. The registration fee is R20.00 per person, children under 10 years must be accompanied by an adult.

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Contact: +27 23 344 3026, [email protected]

Learn Italian cooking skills

Food lovers absolutely have to visit Picardi Place for this establishment’s unique and interactive Italian pasta making courses. Chef and owner, Jaco Brand, hosts guests for the day during which they are taught to make pasta from scratch – and of course, pasta and wine go hand in hand! After the first pasta-making phase, guests get to enjoy the delicious organic wines from Mountain Oaks Estate – where after it is back to the kitchen to do final preparation on the pasta dishes. Picardi Place has a permaculture vegetable garden where guests get to pick fresh produce to add to their pasta dishes, allowing for a fully interactive farm-to-table experience. Naturally, guests get to enjoy the fruit of their labour at the end of the day!

Breedekloof pasta

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Contact: +27 82 788 9019, [email protected]

Pick your own waterblommetjies

In addition to the owner, Jaco Brand’s pasta-making course, Picardi Place also offers a full day ‘Waterblommetjie bredie’ course – accompanied with a farm experience to harvest your own ‘Waterblommetjies’! To warm up after a rather wet experience (as the name suggest these flowers grow in water), guests get to enjoy a tasting of Dagbreek wines. The day ends around a wooden table enjoying a generous and more-ish Boland Winter meal.

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Contact: +27 82 788 9019, [email protected]

Enjoy handcrafted sundowners

The Gin culture in South Africa has boomed over the last two years with gin tastings and bars opening throughout the country. This trend is alive and kicking in the Breedekloof Wine Valley, where Mariëtte Stofberg, of Stofberg Family Vineyards, is distilling her very own craft gin, called The Old N1 Fijnbos Gin – and handcrafted tonic water – alongside their boutique offering of family wines. Surrounded by beautiful views of the mountains and vineyards, guests can enjoy this handmade gin, which is infused with buchu and honeybush, served with their selection of craft blue, pink or white tonic water. These tastings, presented by Mariëtte herself, only costs R20 per person and they can accommodate up to 30 people per tasting, group bookings of up to 30 people. Watch this space though, as Stofberg Family Vineyards will be officially opening their Gin Bar and Tap Room in May!

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Contact: +27 82 8676 958, [email protected]

Enjoy a hearty Sunday lunch

No visit to the Breedekloof Wine Valley is complete without a visit, and associated lunch, at Opstal Wine Estate. This estate’s restaurant is renowned for their delicious, and hearty, homemade Sunday lunch – inspired by generous, home-cooked, farm-style lunches. Meals are served in the cosy restaurant which boasts expansive views of the Slanghoek Mountains. Expect to pay R95.00 for incredible generous portions of tender leg of lamb, Asian pork, roasted potatoes and pumpkin fritters. The restaurant caters for children and even pets are welcome! Opstal restaurant is open from 09:00 to 15:00 on a Sunday, and bookings are advisable.

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Contact: +27 23 344-3001, [email protected]

Wine pairing with a sweet twist

Kirabo Private Cellar, is another boutique-wine producer from the Breedekloof Wine Valley. This establishment is headed by the 5-th generation Le Roux-family, a passionate clan of winemakers who are all involved in running the farm’s daily operations. Visitors are encouraged to try this estate’s popular cupcake-and-wine pairing, while kids can try a cupcake and juice pairing. Beer lovers shouldn’t leave before having a taste of this estate’s craft Broers Brew Beer that is served on tap!

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Contact: +27 83 228 5191,[email protected]

Trout fishing on the banks of a pristine river

If it is tranquility and serenity you are after, then look no further than Trouthaven at Dwarsberg. This hideaway is an extremely popular camping spot and it is easy to understand why: it offers some of the most spectacular camping spots on the banks of the crystal clear Holsloot River which teams with trout. With only 11 camping spots available, visitors are advised to book way in advance to secure their piece of paradise – which is made all the more tranquil with a strict ‘no daytime’ visitors rule applying.

Breedekloof fly fishing

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Contact: +27 23 349 1919, [email protected]

Historic wine tasting

Deetlefs Wine Estate is one of the oldest estates in the Breedekloof Wine Valley and therefore well worth a visit. This estate has been in the same family’s hands for 7 generations, and is a cornerstone in the history of winemaking in the Breedekloof Wine Valley. Deetlefs Wine Estate offers wine lovers customized group wine tasting sessions. You select and design the tasting session, they customize the experience at your cost. Even though the wine estate does not have a restaurant, gourmet burgers can be arranged on request.

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Contact: +27 23 349 1260, [email protected]

Savour Chenin Blanc
A group of winemakers in the Valley – the Breedekloof Makers – are elevating Chenin Blanc to another level by aiming to bring attention to the quality and diversity of Chenin in the region. The Breedekloof Wine valley has been synonymous with Chenin Blanc for decades – some farms are home to Chenin Blanc vines planted as far back as 1692. The unique geography of the valley ensures slow ripening of the grapes, layering complexity and lending nuance to the wines. Wines bottled by the various participating cellars under the Breedekloof Makers umbrella showcase the unique terroir of this beautiful valley – can be bought, and tasted at the Breedekloof Wine Valley Tourism Office.

Breedekloof vineyards

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Contact: +27 23 349 1791, [email protected]
View exquisite art

View exquisite art by acclaimed and upcoming South African artists in the picturesque Slanghoek Valley. The Slanghoek art gallery is the only gallery in the Breedekloof area. Visitors are treated to a unique art experience, enjoy local cuisine in the Resort’s Café whilst you discover (or rediscover) the joy of viewing exquisite art pieces. In addition to viewing art, Corné Theron, the artist and gallery curator, paints your family, wedding or individual portraits at the gallery. He has done portraits for local and international collectors.

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Contact: +27 73 2272 187, [email protected]

Say “I do”

Looking for a breath-taking wedding venue? Look no further than Bosjes chapel. Designed by architect Coetzee Steyn of Steyn Studio, the Bosjes chapel has a dramatically curved, flowing roof that makes the entire building appear to float on two large ponds of water. The atmosphere of the Chapel gardens is quiet and serene, yet breathes a sense of life and energy in which guests delight. The Chapel seats 120 guests with a beautiful 360 degree view over the valley. From inside there are specular views of the valley whilst guests enjoy the peace and quiet of the immediate environment.

Breedekloof wedding

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Contact: +27 23 004 0496, [email protected]

Bird watching

Situated close to Bainskloof Pass and Ceres, renowned for its many walking trails and surrounded by snow capped mountains in Winter, Bergsig is known as the photographer’s paradise. In addition to the breath-taking scenery, Bergsig is also known for the 150-varied species of birds on the Estate. Several bird watching days are held each year to monitor the different species of birds. The Hadeda, Marshall Eagle and the Fish Eagle have been spotted by bird enthusiast on the Estate. Bergsig offers the public a bird watching route, which has been designed with bird hides, to get the bird watchers really close to the action. Bergsig is open Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 17:00 and Saturdays 09:00 to 16:00.

Breedekloof birdwatching

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Contact: +27 23 355 1603, [email protected]
Hiking

Known for its natural plant life and magnificent views on of the Breedekloof valley, Jason’s Hill offers nature lovers a 6,6km hiking trail with two waterfalls, a running stream for drinking water and varied fauna and flora. Two leopards and an abundance of other animal life can now be added to the attractions of this popular trail. Depending on your level of fitness, the hike can take up to 4 hours to complete. During weekdays, the award-winning hike starts at Jason’s Hill Private Cellar between 09h00 and 11h00 or between 10h00 and 11h00 on a Saturday. Jason’s Hill hiking trail cost R25 per person and should be taken with extreme caution.

Breedekloof hiking

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Contact: +27 23 344 3256, [email protected]

More wine to savour

Badsberg is committed to the production of quality wines year after year. This dedication together with modern cellar equipment enables Badsberg’s cellar-master and his team to produce a range of quality wines that are regularly awarded. Visitors are invited to taste a great variety of white, red and dessert wines paired with incredible photos taken by local photographer Hansen Preuss. Eight Badsberg wines are paired with eight of Hansen’s photos. These photos were taken of the surrounding area where the cellar is situated, therefore every wine and photo has a story. The Badberg wine tasting centre is open Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h00 and Saturday’s from 10h00 to 13h00.

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Contact: +27 23 344 3021, [email protected]

Game drives

For the more adventurous, Buchukloof in Slanghoek area, offers fantastic outdoor activities: game viewing, bird watching, rock climbing, as well as ‘kloofing’ – where the brave at heart can jump from cliffs into natural pools – as well as bass fishing and mountain biking are all listed here. Guests who book a stay-over at Buchukloof’s Cottage, also has access to the on-premises waterfall.

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Contact: +27 78 575 2365, [email protected]

 

Book your next Breedekloof adventure by visiting www.breedekloof.com.

Photography Courtesy

 

Article written by

Justin

Justin Williams is a born-and-bred Capetonian with a flair for writing. His icons include the late South African authors Lawrence Green, Eric Rosenthal and T.V. Bulpin, literary figures who continuously inspire him to cover the avenues of lifestyle, travel and nature in a local context. When he's not covering a story, Justin can be found in the mountains - he's a renowned wild food forager and herbalism student.