It is divided into the four districts of Worcester, Robertson, Swellendam and Breedekloof and has a total area under cultivation of around 30,000 hectares. Nearly 40% of South Africa's wine production, mainly white wine, comes from here. The wine is produced partly by large wineries or cooperatives around Worcester and many smaller businesses around Robertson and other villages. In terms of quantity, the area around Worcester supplies the lion's share of 30% of the four districts.
The cultivation of wine in the Breede River Valley dates back to the 19th century, beginning nearly two centuries later than in the rest of South Africa. By the way, it was mainly German settlers who planted the first vineyards parallel to their orchards and created the basis for today's production.
Wine-growing region Breede River Valley
The Breede River Valley with its four growing areas produces about 40 % of all South African wines, most of them from white grapes like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Colombard. For red wines, the local winegrowers concentrate on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinotage and Ruby Cabernet.
Soils and climatic conditions for Breede River Valley wine
The different altitudes and terrains of limestone and slate allow the cultivation of a wide range of grape varieties and corresponding wine qualities. The plains and riverside regions generally produce simpler wines for wider consumption, while the hilly areas and foothills of the Cape Fold Belt vines are reserved for high quality wines, including some of the best wines from South Africa.
The climate in the region is hot and dry throughout the summer and in many places requires artificial irrigation of the vineyards. The winter months, on the other hand, are cool and usually bring sufficient rainfall - overall good conditions for Breede River Valley wine.
Grape varieties in the Breede River Valley wine growing region
The main varieties for white wine are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard and Chenin Blanc. Among the red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinotage, Ruby Cabernet and Merlot predominate. However, part of the production does not go into the bottle and to the consumer, but is used as base wine for distillation.
A popular destination for wine tourists - Breede River Valley
If you want to get to know the wine world in the region personally on site, you should take the well-known and popular route R62, which runs through the river valley. In addition to wonderful landscapes and vineyards on both sides, there are numerous producers along it or in the immediate vicinity. Nearly all of the winegrowers and wineries offer tasting and direct sales of wine from the Breede River Valley.
South Africa focuses on quality wines
In 1973, a system for quality wines based on appellations was introduced in South Africa. These wines may bear the designation "Wine of Origin" (WO). They are defined by the location of the vineyard, the selected grape variety, the work in the vineyard and the viticultural technique. The Wine-of-Origin regulations regulate all these factors. The corresponding seal guarantees the accuracy of the information on origin, vintage and the grape varieties processed. The South African Wine and Spirit Board is responsible for monitoring the regulations and certifying the WO wines.
In addition, there is also the regional classification "Estate Wine". At VINELLO you will find numerous white, red and rosé wines from the Breede River Valley with this designation. It guarantees that a wine has been grown and pressed by a registered winemaker on a specific vineyard. The Estate Wine label can therefore also be seen as a general seal of quality.
For sparkling wines produced according to the French Champagne method (Méthode Champenoise), the designation Methode Cap Classique or Cap Classique for short has been a seal of quality since 1992. A pioneer in this segment is the internationally renowned winemaker Graham Beck, who produces very high quality sparkling wines in the Breede River Valley and is also represented with several varieties in the VINELLO online shop.
Order Breede River Valley wines online at VINELLO
Would you like to put together your own exploration tour of the Breede River Valley? Just browse through our product range - VINELLO has many wonderful classics and exciting new discoveries in its program. Discover the variety of wines and benefit from our sommelier advice. Secure purchasing and guaranteed prompt delivery ensure that your journey of enjoyment can begin quickly and lead you directly to the pleasure of wine.