The Olifants River wine region is located in South Africa. This wine region incorporates the wards of Vredendal and Spruitdrift. This wine region stretches from north to south along the valley of the Olifants River. In this valley, the summer months are warmer than other wine regions in the country. The level of rainfall is also relatively love. The growth of vines in the Olifants River region requires careful canopy management. This vine management technique ensures that the grapes are shaded by the leaves of the vine. This vine management technique combined with modern wine making methods mean that the Olifants River region provides quality and affordable wines.
The Olifants River wine region is the northernmost wine region of the Western Cape bordering Coastal Region of South Africa. The region lies predominantly in the Citrusdal valley.
This valley is renowned for the production of citrus fruit. The terroir of this area is comprised mainly of sandy alluvial soils. These soils are as a result of the surrounding mountains that are made of Table Mountain sandstone. These imposing mountain ranges run from the south of the valley all the way to the town of Clanwilliam. Irrigation for the Olifants River Wine region is obtained from the Clanwilliam dam where the water is of the most excellent quality.
Grape varieties of the region:
Red – Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Grenache
White – Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Colombard
Wine of Olifants River Wine Region
Wine-growing area of Olifants River Wine Region stretches from 33 degrees to 31 degrees south. The area in which the wine is grown spans 145 kilometres between the town of Lutzville in the north and the Citrudal Valley in the south. The entire Olifants River wine area includes the towns of Bamboes Bay, Cedarberg, Kokenaap and Vredendaal.
The white wines of the Olifants River Wine Region include Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. Typically, local white wines are flavoured with grapefruit and lime. They have a natural acidity and are both crisp and dry. These white wines are fresh, balanced and layers. The Olifants River wine region white wines have a floral fragrance with hints of frangipani. This is followed by an intense fruit aroma with citrus, white peaches, nectarine and white pineapple. The most prominent flavour of the Olifants River white wines are lemon, lime, cape gooseberry, pineapple and peach.
White wine recommendation: Olifants River Chenin Blanc can be described as having a tightly wound bouquet that takes its time to unfold. It is recommended that this Chenin Blanc be served at a temperature of between 8 and 10 degrees celsius. This wine pairs well with fish, shellfish and cold meats.
The red wines of the Olifants River Wine Region can be described as light and bright. These easy-drinking red wines have layers of cherry, cranberry, spices and fynbos. The Olifants River red wines have light tannins and fresh acidity. Their main tasting notes are of fynbos minerals, candy floss and Turkish delight which are both rich and intense.
The red wine varieties of the area include Shiraz, Pinotage, Cinsault and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Olifants River wine route does not produce much Rose wine but those that are produced are made with Grenache and are very colourful and full-bodied.
Where to Taste Olifant River Valley Wines
Wineries in Olifant River Valley offer characteristful wines, guided tours where you learn more about the philosophy behind wines, and local food paired with wines.
Cape Rock Wines can be found between the towns of Vredendal and Klaver in the Olifants River wine region. This winery aims to make wines in the simplest and purest way possible. The Cape Rock Red and Capa Roca wines are a must experience for all wine lovers. Do not miss the chance to experience this charming winery in one of the most beautiful locations.
The Tierhoek winery is located high in the peaks of the Piekenierskloof Mountains. This winery is set in one of the most beautiful locations in South Africa. Tierhoek is well known for its excellent and high-quality Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay wines. Take a trip to Tierhoek wines and enjoy excellent wines in this beautiful mountain location.
Vredendal is one of the most modern towns in the Olifants River wine region. This town is located on the part of the Olifants River valley known as the Green Fringe. Vredendal is known for having the largest wine cellar in South Africa. It is also home to a number of smaller boutique wineries known for their excellent wines. For those who would like to enjoy more than just the local wines, Vredendal offers a range of outdoor adventure activities for all ages. Visit Vredendal now for the perfect wine and adventure holiday.
Citrusdal – The base of the Cederberg Mountains
Citrusdal is a small town in the Olifants River valley reigon. This town is dominated mainly by citrus farming, but it is becoming increasingly popular for its wine and other attractions. Citrusdal is home to the famous and much loved Piekenierskloof Wine Company. This winery is nestled in the mountains and is the perfect place for a relaxing day of wine tasting. Other popular activities in Citrusdal include 4×4 trails, tea tasting, zip lining, playing golf, freshwater fishing and hiking. One of the main attractions for all who visit Citrusdal are the Citrusdal Hot Springs and Baths. These host springs offer hot and cold swimming pools, natural rock pools and private mineral spring water baths with spring water straight from the source. The perfect spot for a romantic break from the city.
Lambert’s Bay – The diamond of the West Coast
Lambert’s Bay is a small fishing village on the west coast of the Olifants River valley. This small town is known in South Africa as the seafood mecca. Lamberts Bay is an unpretentious village characterised by long stretches of white beaches, fresh crayfish and roaming wildlife. The town of Lambert’s Bay is considered the gate way to the West Coast. There are a range of activities on offer for visitors including hiking, 4×4 trailing and relaxing at one of the sea food open-air restaurants. Lambert’s Bay is a must see for all those you have the pleasure of visiting the West Coast.
For Nature Lovers
The Olifants River region is one of the most beautiful areas of the Western Cape in South Africa. The long and winding Olifants River meanders through the berathtaking valley and brings life to the surrounding areas. As one wanders through the valley the smell of the surrounding citrus farms adds to the magnificent experience. Above the valley towers the wonderful Cederberg, Koue Bokkeveld and Swartberg mountains.
Cederberg Conservancy – The Heart of the Cederberg Mountains
The Cederberg Conservancy was established in 1997 in an effort to conserve this incredible area. The Conservancy invites visitors to enjoy bird watching, hikes and relax while basking in the amazing natural beauty of the area. For those who are very lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the rare Cape Leopard. The area of the conservancy stretches across 182 000 ha of land. For those who would like to spend more time exploring the conservancy there is a range of accommodation from camping to luxury chalets.
Cape Flower Route – A breathtaking floral display
The Cape Flower route is a 650 km driving route. When driving this route, one can see a show of the most incredible flowers of the Western Cape province. The best time to drive the route is towards the end of July when the wildflowers start to appear. During this time one can witness millions of flowers forming a carpet of bright orange, pink, purple, white and yellow across the land.
Kokerboom Nursery – Cultivators of rare succulents
The Kokerboom Nursery is located in the town of Vanrhynsdorp in the Olifants River Region. This nursery specialises in the growth of succulents and quiver trees. Quiver trees are also known as Kokerbome and is a species of tree indigenous to South Africa, specifically the Olifants River region. Succulent plants are water retaining plants that have adapted to arid and dry climates and soil conditions. Take a visit to the Kokerboom Nursery and browse through the range of incredibly beautiful succulents. These plants are also available for purchase for those who would like to take a memory of the Olifants River home with them.
Good food is a good mood
Discover Gastronomical Specialties of Olifants River Valley
The cuisine of the Olifants River Valley is strongly influenced by the proximity to the west coast. This coast is known across South Africa as the home of the country’s best and freshest seafood. Many of the traditional dishes of this area draw on the rich culinary heritage of the region. The most popular and well-loved dishes are made with seafood, delicious soups and stew and desserts that provide the perfect end to a meal.
Denningvleis – Sweet and Sour Lamb
Denningvleis is one of the most delicious traditional South African dishes. This dish is a lamb stew that is made with a mixed spice marinade. The spices are thanks to the Cape Malay influence on South African cooking. The taste of the lamb can be described as sweet and sour as a result of the tamarind used in the marinade. Historically, denningvleis used to be used as a medicinal food, to increase the levels of acidity in the body. Denningvleis can today still be found on the menu at any special occasion in the Olfiants River wine region.
Skilpadjies – Exotic South African meatballs
The word Skilpadjies is an Afrikaans word for a small tortoise. In traditional South African cuisine, skilpadjies are portions of lamb liver that are wrapped in ‘netvet’ Netvet is the fatty membrane that surrounds the kidneys of an animal. In making skilpadjies, the lamb liver is minced and flavoured with coriander, chopped onion, salt and Worcester sauce. The liver mixture is then formed into balls and wrapped with the netvet. The best way to cook skilpadjies is to barbecue them on an open fire. Skilpadjies make the perfect addition to every warm summer evening outdoor meal.
Blatjang – A tangy South African sauce
Blatjang is a South African sauce that is a true demonstration of the rich and varied heritage of the country. The origins of blatjang lie with the Indonesian, Indian, Dutch and Malay influences on the country. The blatjang sauce is made of peaches and apricots. Some heat is then added with the addition of hot chillies. This mixture is then blended until smooth. Blatjang can be eaten with almost anything and adds a great flavour to any meal.