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For a quick weekend getaway there’s hardly a wine region more conveniently situated than the Breedekloof.

Picturesquely nestled among mountains and only a short hop from Cape Town, the Breedekloof wine region boasts 22 wineries in the Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini and Breede River areas. The valley offers enough varied activities to warrant a return visit.

The foodie’s Breedekloof

Awaken your inner chef with an interactive pasta-making course under the watchful eye of Picardi Place owner-chef Jaco Brand. While learning to make tagliatelle like a real Italian mama, you can enjoy Mountain Oaks Estate’s organic wines and pick produce from the permaculture garden. Jaco also offers a course on how to make waterblommetjiebredie, but only from July to September and subject to the availability of the main ingredient for this traditional delicacy. This is a hands-on course, so be prepared to wade into the water and get your hands wet to harvest the waterblommetjies. Your efforts will be rewarded with a tasting of Dagbreek wines.

The Breedekloof is no stranger to the current gin craze. Besides wine, you’ll find craft Old N1 Fijnbos Gin and tonic water at Stofberg Family Vineyards. Pieter Stofberg infuses his gin with buchu, honeybush and confetti bush and serves it with blue, pink or white Mosquito tonic water. A gin tasting costs R45 a person at the Gin Bar and Tap Room.

If wine is your tipple of choice, don’t miss winemaker Mariëtte Stofberg’s unique Mariëtte Pinot Blanc 2016, South Africa’s first single bottling of this cultivar. “Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are both genetic mutations of Pinot Noir,” she says. “The Pinot Blanc block was already planted in 1989 and in 2016 we harvested enough for two barrels. The wine has melon aromas on the nose and a nutty almond aftertaste.” Limited quantities of the current vintage sells at the cellar door for R350 a bottle. The 2017 vintage will be released later this year.

For those with a sweet tooth, Kirabo Private Cellar offers a cupcake-and-wine pairing or cupcake-and-juice pairing for kids. The Le Roux brothers’ Broers Brew is also brewed and serve on tap at the premises.

Opstal Wine Estate is renowned for its hearty Sunday lunch. Diners are treated to a view of the Slanghoek Mountains while enjoying classic favourites such as roast leg of lamb and pumpkin fritters. Kids and even pets are welcome! The equally picturesque Bistro at Bergsig offers lovely vineyard views while you tuck into traditional fare such as bobotie and venison.

Lovers of well-known Melissa’s The Food Store will be pleased to hear a branch has opened at Du Toitskloof Wines where patrons can enjoy breakfast, lunch and an early supper.

Deetlefs, a seventh-generation family estate, is home to a very rare, very special Muscat d’Alexandrie that is the result of a friendly wager. Back in 1974 two winemakers entered into a wager, where one claimed it was impossible to mature a Muscat d’Alexandrie wine for any length of time. The other, Philippus Petrus Deetlefs, disagreed. He subsequently filled one third of a tank with Hanepoot lees and two-thirds with Hanepoot wine. In 1989 the tank was opened and the result was a winner. The estate does not have a restaurant, but gourmet burgers can be arranged on request.

Badsberg offers a unique pairing of wine and photographs. Eight of Badsberg’s wines are each paired with a photo by local photographer Hansen Preuss. Each photo tells an interesting story about the surrounding area.

Thanks to its unique geography the Breedekloof is especially known for Chenin Blanc. The collective offering is varied and offers something for every palate. If you’re serious about Chenin, taste the entire valley’s offering under one roof at the Breedekloof Wine Valley Tourism office.

Badsberg 023 344 3021, enquiries@badsberg.co.za; Bergsig 023 355 1603, wine@bergsig.co.za; Breedekloof Wine Valley Tourism 023 349 1791, info@breedekloof.com; Deetlefs Wine Estate 023 349 1260, bea@deetlefs.com; Kirabo Private Cellar 083 228 5191, info@kirabocellar.co.za; Melissa’s The Food Store 023 004 0263, melissas.co.za; Opstal Wine Estate 023 344 3001, wine@opstal.co.za; Picardi Place 082 788 9019, jaco@picardiplace.co.za; Stofberg Family Vineyards 082 867 6958, mariette@stofbergfamilyvineyards.co.za

The outdoor enthusiast’s Breedekloof

Explore the unspoilt Slanghoek Valley by bike. A 13-km mountain bike route, starting and ending at the Slanghoek Cellar, crisscrosses rugged terrain, bridges and a fenced wildlife camp. It’s suitable for beginners, but for the more adventurous there’s an optional advanced 4-km trail. The registration fee is R20 a person and kids under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

Fishing enthusiasts can head to Trouthaven at Dwarsberg, a popular camping and fishing spot on the banks of the Holsloot River. Birders could well spot a marshall or fish eagle at Bergsig. The renowned bird-watching haven is home to 150 bird species and offers a bird-watching route complete with bird hides.

The 6.6-km hiking trail on Jason’s Hill passes two waterfalls and a stream with drinking water. Nature-lovers will delight in the abundance of plants and animals. The entry fee is R25 a person.

Buchukloof in the Slanghoek area offers a range of outdoor activities, from game-viewing, bass-fishing and bird-watching to rock-climbing, mountain-climbing and kloofing, which entails jumping from the cliffs into natural water pools. Accommodation is provided at the Buchukloof Cottage. For the more leisurely inclined, a visit to Goudini Spa is always rewarding and relaxing. Or why not book a safari tent at Slanghoek Mountain Resort for a sleeping experience a bit closer to nature.

Bergsig 023 355 1603, wine@bergsig.co.za; Buchukloof 078 575 2365, elizma@maraiswines.co.za; Goudini Spa 023 349 8100, goudinispa.co.za; Jason’s Hill 023 344 3256, info@jasonshill.co.za; Slanghoek mountain-biking 023 344 3026, info@slanghoek.co.za; Slanghoek Mountain Resort 023 344 3138, slanghoekresort.co.za; Trouthaven 023 349 1919, info@trouthaven.co.za

The art-lover’s Breedekloof

The Slanghoek Art Gallery is the only gallery in the Breedekloof area. Artist and gallery curator Corné Theron paints family and individual portraits at the gallery. Besides enjoying the art on display, visitors can also sample the local fare at the Resort’s Café. Lovers of architecture will delight in the beautiful Bosjes Chapel. Designed by Coetzee Steyn, its curved roof creates the impression the building, which is surrounded by meditative gardens, is floating on water. This chapel has become increasingly popular for weddings and can seat 120 guests. The Bosjes restaurant offers a menu by consultant chef Pete Goffe-Wood.

Bosjes Chapel 023 004 0496, info@bosjes.co.za; Slanghoek Art Gallery 073 2272 187, slanghoekgalery@gmail.com

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