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TThe wine industry in Worcester comprises mostly cooperatives and is known for its everyday affordable reds, whites and fortified wines. There are 12 estates on the route, and all are open for tastings.
The Worcester Wine Route lies at the heart of the Breede River Valley appellation and, no matter what the season, it is always breathtakingly beautiful here.
Guarded by the Matroosberg and the Hex River Mountains, the Worcester wine district comprises the wards of Aan de Doorns, Hex River Valley, Nuy and Scherpenheuwel.
Hot and dry with low annual rainfall, Worcester’s winelands are traditionally planted in the fertile flood plains of the Breede River.
In conjunction with the Breedekloof district, the wine route in Worcester is the largest grape producing region in the Western Cape in terms of wine growing area and volume.
It accounts for nearly 20% of the national vineyards and produces close on 27% of South Africa's total volume of wine and spirits. Over 50% of the country’s export table grapes, mainly Barlinka, are produced here.
If understanding how grapes go from vine to table (or bottle) appeals to you, visit one of the family run vineyards and try grape picking or stomping (treading); visit packing sheds and take a cellar tour. Fruit, olive and dairy farm tours are also available.
The wine industry in Worcester comprises mostly cooperatives, and is known for its everyday affordable reds, whites and fortified wines. There are 12 estates on the route, and all are open for tastings.
However, Worcester is driven by export and wholesale trade, so often only small amounts of selected bottled wine are sold from the estates.
On your way back to Cape Town, stop at the Olof Bergh Cellar in Rawsonville – 1 of 2 brandy cellars in South Africa that use the Solera method of maturation and blending.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Worcester Wine Route
Tel: +27 (0)84 245 3922
How to get here
From Cape Town, take the N1 to Worcester, about an hour’s drive.
Best time to visit
Harvest season is January to March – the best time to participate in the process. In Autumn, the vineyards are aflame with rich gold and burgundy tones that echo the valley’s wines.
Things to do
Tours to do
Worcester has 43 historic buildings and the most gables in the Boland to admire.
Although just over the mountains from Cape Town, Worcester is farm country. Short of borrowing a donkey to ride, you’d better have your own car or be travelling with a tour bus.
What will it cost?
Wine tasting fees vary at each cellar. Phone ahead or enquire about prices at the cellar door.
Length of stay
You will need a few days to do justice to the area
What to pack
In summer, cool clothing, a hat and sunblock. In winter a warm coat and an umbrella.
Where to stay
What to eat
Taste olives and olive oil at Willow Creek and Olyfberg, and apples, apricots, table grapes, pears and stone fruits in season.
Wine, olives and olive-oil products, fruit and brandy.