Did you know?
The word 'brandy' is derived from the Dutch brandewijn, which means burnt or distilled wine.
The Route 62 Brandy Route stretches along the R62 freeway from Worcester to Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape. You will pass through mountain ranges, rivers, vineyards and orchards. The spectacular natural beauty is complemented by a rich history.
Brandy’s presence in South African history reaches back some 330 years. South African brandies are now considered among the best in the world. To get an idea of why this is, and to get an inside look at the brandy culture and industry, enjoy brandy tastings and tours at the brandy distilleries in and around the towns of Worcester, Robertson, Barrydale, Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn.
The KWV House of Brandy in Worcester is the largest distilling cellar in the world. Tastings and tours are available here. Robertson’s Klipdrift Distillery has a restaurant, Die Brandewyntuin, where homemade South African fare gets a brandy twist.
Barrydale marks the western extreme of the Klein Karoo, and the Barrydale Cellar is the town’s oldest. This small village offers loads to do. From a heritage garden to handmade arts and textiles, you’re well advised to spend a day exploring the town itself.
In addition to producing a range of respected brandies, the owners of Boplaas in Calitzdorp are involved in a vegetation rehabilitation project.
Oudtshoorn, already famous for ostriches and the Cango Caves, has two great brandy distilleries nearby. Grundheim is renowned for its witblits (a colourless white spirit) and Mons Ruber makes estate brandy in a traditional pot still.
The Route 62 Brandy Route is one of two dedicated brandy routes in South Africa. The other, the Western Cape Brandy Route, follows a path through Wellington, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Grabouw.
Travel tips & Planning info
How to get here
Worcester, the first stop on the Route 62 Brandy Route, is approx 110 km from Cape Town. Thereafter, the stops are conveniently close together - between 50 km and 130 km apart per leg – so a self-drive journey is ideal. Take a designated driver, or stay overnight, to avoid driving under the influence.
Best time to visit
Each distillery on this route has its own operating hours and days. Check with your host or on the web for details.
Around the area
Route 62 is famous for many reasons. Along the way, you'll come across Ronnies Sex Shop (a rustic pub in Barrydale), the Cango Caves (Oudtshoorn), the Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve (Calitzdorp) and the Soekershof Maze (Robertson).
Tours to do
With Tradouw Quads, you can explore the Tradouw Valley between Montagu and Barrydale by way of a guided quad bike tour.
Length of stay
If you choose to spend a night at each of the 6 distilleries on this route, the whole thing can take a week. Alternatively, take 2 to 3 days to explore the area. Any less and you'll miss some key attractions.