Paarl Wine Route
Did you know?
Paarl wine estates Zandwijk and Backsberg produce kosher wines.
The Paarl Wine Route, also known as Paarl Vintners, represents approximately 70 wine producers in the Drakenstein area ranging from vast co-operative cellars to historic family-owned estates.
Wine of Origin status was conferred on the Paarl district in 1972. A coastal wine-growing region, the Paarl district comprises the wards of Wellington, Simonsberg-Paarl and Voor Paardeberg. The former ward of Franschhoek became a district in its own right in May 2010.
Bordered by the scenic Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek, and Klein Drakenstein mountains to the south, south-east, and east, the Paarl Wine Route combines old-world charm with new-world style winemaking.
The Paarl vineyards enjoy a typically Mediterranean climate, where long, hot summer days give way to cooling afternoon breezes from the Atlantic Ocean (off False and Table Bay) 60 kilometres distant.
Mild winters with generous rainfall, supplemented by irrigation from the Berg River, and diverse topography allows vines to flourish at a range of altitudes, from low-lying floodplains to the steep foothills of the Drakenstein basin.
Paarl’s diverse terroir reflects a variety of soils. Though granite, and acidic, potassium-rich gravel and clay loam are prominent, in the Drakenstein, Simonsberg, and Paardeberg wards, vines also thrive along ancient sandstone and shale terraces.
Home to some of the biggest names in the South African wine industry, Paarl vintners excel with Rhone varietals, including Shiraz, Grenache and Viognier, and local staples, Chenin blanc and Pinotage.
Visitors to the Paarl Wine Route should look out for the region’s increasingly well-regarded red and white blends, and Methode Cap Classique wines, as well as sherry, tawny (Port), and brandy.
Paarl’s vast vineyards (there are 16000 hectares under vine) produce wines to suit every palate and budget, from casual quaffers to connoisseurs.
Visitors can easily spend 5 days exploring the region, notwithstanding nearby Wellington and Franschhoek, so it's recommended that you tour the area based on interest.
With themed sub-routes including boutique wine farms, historical, gourmet, and architectural rambles, Paarl Vintners will ensure wine lovers' cups runneth over.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Voor Paardeberg Visitors' Centre
Tel: +27 (0)21 869 8339
Wellington Wine Route
Tel: +27 (0)21 873 4604
South African Brandy Foundation
Tel: +27 (0)21 887 3157