We bring the Wellington wine route to your door
The valley of Wellington is full of surprises and variety, heart and soul. The Berg river flows along the western border with two smaller streams, the Spruit and Kromme and the mighty Hawequas stands guard on the eastern side with a “W” of Wellington proudly evident in its topography. The Bainskloof Pass, built by the famous Scot, Andrew Geddes Bain was, before Du Toitskloof Pass, the only gateway to the north. In the late 1600’s more French people settled here than anywhere else in the Cape and the valley was initially called Val du Charron – valley of the wagon-makers, the last outpost before travelers, pioneers and adventurers attempted the arduous journey into the hinterland with their oxen and their wagons.
Wellington, in the heart of the Boland, is rich in cultural, religious and educational history. It is home to over 25 wine producers comprising of two large producer cellars, proud family-owned estates that span many generations, a sprinkling of garagiste and organic winemakers, and four pot still producers. The wine route meanders through valleys and up mountains, crisscrossing the beautiful landscape around the town. I love the personable interaction, getting to shake hands with several of the winemakers, swirl and sip extraordinary wines in unspoiled surroundings, and meet fascinating, salt of the earth people.
A lesser-known fact about the region is that it is also known as the Cradle of the South African Wine industry. An overwhelming 85% of rootstock material is propagated in Wellington, due to the excellent soils and climate. It’s thanks to the “stokkies”, or rootstock nurseries, that Wellington may truly claim that most excellent wines are able to trace their origins back to them.
What will Wellington become famous for one day? In my opinion, probably Chenin Blanc, followed closely by Pinotage. It is, after all, the birthplace of Dr Abraham Perold, the founder of our Pinotage grape. If you are planning a trip through the winelands be sure to phone and book ahead as most estates operate by appointment only. A unique way to see Wellington is on a Wine Walk: hiking through the vineyards, tasting wines, olives and cheese and getting to meet the locals. Other highlights include the Bontebok Ridge Game Reserve, Welvanpas Bike Trails, rated as one of the top mountain biking trails in the country, the Wellington Museum, leather factories, antique and Bali furniture shops, as well as art galleries.
At Checkers we bring the Wellington wine route right to your door. Try some of our wines from the following award winning estates:
Boland, Diemersfontein, Welbedacht and Meerkat.