The Wellington Wine Route is just 45 minutes' drive from Cape Town. Wellington is an historic Cape winelands destination. First San and Khoi nomads roamed here followed by French Huguenot refugees who settled in the valley in 1688, eventually naming it Val Du Charron or Wagenmakersvallei ('valley of the cartwrights').

Did you know?

Sir George Napier, the Governor of the Cape from 1837 to 1843, christened the town of Wellington in honour of the famous Duke of Wellington.

The Wellington Wine Route comprises three producer cellars, 26 member producers, and a sprinkling of garagiste winemakers ('garage winemakers'), all within easy driving distance of each other.

Surrounded by the Groenberg, Slanghoek and Hawequa mountains, enter the valley via Bain’s Kloof Pass, a winding road and famous landmark built between 1848 and 1852 by engineer Andrew Geddes Bain that provides magnificent views of Wellington’s wine farms below.

Wellington is a ward of Paarl, a coastal wine region.

Wellington's winelands are among the warmest in the world. The area experiences temperatures that are fiercely hot in summer and extremely cold in winter due to the mountain ranges surrounding the valley.

Above-average winter rainfall coupled with these climatic extremes creates unique meso- and micro-climates in the Wellington vineyards, especially those in the foothills of Bovlei and the Groenberg.

On the mountain slopes, weathered granite and sandstone soils, with a high clay content, good acidity and water retention predominate. Descending into the valley, rich organic oakleaf topsoil in the foothills gives way to shale and alluvial deposits on the valley floor.

This combination of altitudes, soil types, drainage, micro-climates and sun exposures not only gives Wellington’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc wines their character, but has made Wellington the Cape’s vine nursery and a top wine-growing area.

The Wellington Wine Route is hot stuff for more than its climate and terroir. Good value gurus will delight in Wellington’s three producer wineries while serious oenophiles are sure to depart with carloads of investment wines from top estates.

Add scenic beauty, historic Cape Dutch architecture and gracious hospitality, and wine lovers who visit this lesser-known wine route will want to return to Wellington again and again.

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