The Breedekloof Wine Route, situated just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, has become a popular destination for wine enthusiasts who enjoy making unique wine-drinking discoveries. 

The Breedekloof Wine route has an almost exclusive focus on wine and winemaking and has become home to the country’s most popular ‘secret finds’. Collectively, wineries in the Valley boast an impressive collection of wine awards – earning it the attention of South Africa’s fiercest critics: sommeliers and buyers.

No longer a destination which only supplies other South African wineries with large quantities of grapes and wine, the Breedekloof Wine Valley reveals an interesting selection of niche and boutique wines.

A recent tasting of these by sommeliers and trade resulted in in-depth scrutiny of the wines and a lively debate as a result – the conclusion is that if consumers are looking for some seriously well-priced and delicious wines, they should look no further than labels that state W/O Breedekloof.

What follows is a summary of the feedback received:

Slanghoek Private Selection Chenin Blanc 2017

This is the ultimate ‘swimming pool wine’ – which means it is a trusted crowd pleaser. It is a classic unwooded Chenin Blanc, clean and correct with lots of primary fruit and delicate acidity. A technically perfect wine and an indication of what South Africa – and the Breedekloof – does exceptionally well: highly enjoyable Chenin Blanc.

Cellar price: R 39.00  

Deetlefs Wine Estate Voyage ‘3566.1’ 2016

This is the first Cape Blend-style wine from winemaker Ferdi Visser, and it is a great illustration of the experimental winemaking happening in the valley – with Deetlefs especially known as a wine farm “not scared to try anything”. This is a blend of 40% Viognier, 40% Chenin Blanc and 20% Semillon. On the nose, there is a lot of yellow fruit and ripe peach, followed by evident wood on the palate.  It is a wine that takes you on a journey, and an admirable endeavour and one that no doubt that will bear favourable fruit in time.

Cellar price: R 148.00

Opstal Heritage Range The Barber Sémillon 2016

Backed by solid Platter’s ratings year after year, Opstal’s Semillon is certainly a crowd favourite: the wine has engaging notes of nougat and honey on the nose, and intrigues with notes reminiscent of white Bordeaux. Like most of South Africa’s Semillons, this wine will be at its most rewarding if allowed to age for another two to four years.

Cellar price: R 200.00

Olifantsberg Blanc 2016

An “extraordinarily pretty” wine that impresses with ample white fruit on the nose and its floral hints backed by a core of minerality. This wine – an interesting blend of 59% Chardonnay, 23% Roussanne, 9% Grenache Blanc and 9% Chenin Blanc – is truly ambitious and impressive, and a fair indication of the winemaker’s – Elizma Visser – intention to make wines that are nothing short of award-winning.

Cellar price: R 135.00

Stofberg Family Vineyards Mariëtte Pinot Blanc 2017

Single bottlings of Pinot Blanc is extremely rare to find. and in South Africa there is literally only a handful – with Mariëtte Stofberg from Stofberg Family Vineyards the first winemaker in the country to make a single variety bottling. This example is very expressive with green almond and a marzipan-like quality. It is a pretty smart wine that impresses with its structure and balance.

Cellar price: R260.00

Du Toitskloof Selected Vineyard Series Nebbiolo 2015

Nebbiolo, a traditional Italian variety, finds it is home in this wine. It is the perfect choice for when you and your family visit your urban pizza restaurant: it has plenty of red fruit expression and is well-balanced on the palate. In comparison to Italian wines, this locally-produced Nebbiolo is much gentler on the pocket.

Cellar price: R 55.00

Mountain Ridge Romansriver Shiraz Reserve 2012

An older example of Shiraz that shows enjoyable secondary character. It is still a solid and rich wine, with the firm mouthfeel and a grippy tannin structure: a wine that is best enjoyed with a pepper steak rather than on its own. A magnificent find at the price.

Cellar price: R 80.00

Bergsig Gewürztraminer 2017

A typical example of highly enjoyable Gewürztraminer: Turkish delight and rose petals on the nose, fresh acidity and an off-dry finish. Overall, a benchmark Gewürztraminer.

Cellar price: R 95.00

Badsberg Badslese 2012 Chenin Blanc

This dessert wine has been allowed some time to mature and, with it showing some developed raisiny character, it is best to drink now – which still offers plenty of enjoyment with its apricot-like acidity.

Cellar price: R 150.00

Lateganskop Nr 102 Muscat D’Alexandrie Dessert Wine NV

An insanely delicious wine that is not going to get boring. The nose shows intriguing petroleum character, apricots, honey and spice, offering something new every time you revisit the glass. It is an intensely engaging wine. From a food-pairing point, this dessert wine offers you a lot of options: from a cheese platter to a lemon tart could work well here.

Cellar price: R 110.00

Daschbosch Hanepoot 2015

Made from vines with an average age of 115 years, this wine is spectacular not only in structure but also in its remarkable heritage. It really does reflect the essence of Hanepoot, with ample of dried apricot and a delicious honeycomb character on the nose, which follows through on the palate. Well-balanced acidity keeps the wine fresh and tempers any cloying character. It appeals further to its savoury finish.

Cellar price: R200.00