Did you know?
Robertson is named after Dr William Robertson, a Scottish minister who arrived in South Africa in 1822.
The Robertson Wine Valley is among South Africa’s largest wine-producing areas. Classified as a Coastal Region under the Wine of Origin scheme, the district of Robertson comprises nine wine production wards, namely Agterkliphoogte, Bonnievale, Boesmansrivier, Eilandia, Hoopsrivier, Klaasvoogds, Le Chasseur, McGregor, and Vinkrivier.
With a well-established reputation for quality, affordable wines, the Robertson wine route has made a conscious effort over the past decade to refocus its wine production and encourage wine tourism to the valley.
Notably, Robertson wine farms are planting more of the so-called Big Six grape varieties (riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon), as opposed to standard and distilling wine varieties like colombard and chenin blanc.
Wine production has also shifted from an industrial scale to family-run and boutique estates, resulting in superior quality wines. Robertson is also home to a number of garagiste producers that can be visited by appointment.
Situated in the valley of the Breede River and surrounded by mountains, the Robertson Wine Valley experiences a hot climate, with summer evenings cooled by a south-easterly wind.
Annual rainfall in the region is low. The majority of vineyards require supplementary irrigation (typically from September to November), and practise irrigation manipulation and canopy management, depending on the required style of wine.
Though lacking variation in altitude and aspect, vineyards along the region’s flood plains revel in a variety of soil types from gravelly, lime-rich, alluvial soils, to red, clay loam and Karoo soils to produce fruity, easy-drinking wines and the popular soetes (natural sweet wines).
Vineyards that ascend the foothills of the surrounding mountain ranges derive their character from calcareous alkaline and shale soils with good water-retention abilities, while variances in meso-climate and aspect are harnessed to produce expressive, terroir-specific wines.
Traditionally known for its white wines, the Robertson Wine Valley produces elegant chardonnays and increasingly, award-winning sauvignon blanc and Methode Cap Classique wines. Fine reds, notably shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, are also coming to the fore.
Food, wine, and outdoor festivals, and family-friendly activities throughout the year have made the Robertson Wine Valley one of the Cape's most popular wine routes, and a Global Wine Capitals of the World award-winner for the area's commitment to providing a world-class yet authentic local wine and lifestyle experience.