Cape South Coast adds Cool Charm

The Cape South Coast, South Africa's coolest wine growing region, encompasses wineries in the Elgin Valley, Bot River, Hermanus, Elim and Napier wine growing regions.

The exclusive Cape South Coast collection represents a distinctly diverse bouquet of producers, ranging from the traditional to the cutting-edge and unconventional, who are all committed to quality-driven, cool-climate wines with a sense of place.

The Elgin Valley's secret lies in its unique terroir. Here diverse soils, fanned by cooling ocean breezes ensure perfect conditions for slow ripening, allowing the grapes to develop their intense flavours, complexity and finesse. With its tapestry of vineyards and apple orchards, Elgin is renowned for its elegant, award-winning wines, teeming with fruit driven flavours and Sauvignon blanc, Rhine Riesling, Pinot noir and Shiraz fare particularly well in this region.

Continuing along the N2 from the Elgin Valley, one reaches the quaint town of Bot River, home to an eclectic mix of conservation-conscious wineries ranging from historic and time-honoured to ultra modern, state of the art cellars. Bot River's rustic charm lies in its quirky character and the homely, down-to-earth atmosphere that seems to reign over this small Winelands pocket, extends itself into the way the winemakers do their job. The area is known for individualistic, terroir-expressive cool-climate varietals, including internationally acclaimed Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Heaven on earth meets cool climate, quality-driven wines on the world-renowned Hermanus Wine Route which styles along the Walker Bay wine district's R320. This area is reputed for some of the country's finest expressions Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and innovative, complex red blends which emanate from the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) area, gracefully tucked away behind this seaside town. Here temperate conditions and clayey soil, produce wines similar to those of Northern France.

Situated 20 kilometres from the southernmost tip of Africa, and where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, Elim – a Moravian mission settlement founded in 1824 – falls within the Cape Agulhas wine growing district. Here a collective of winemakers (including one from Napier) has set out to conquer the inhospitable but unique terroir. Wine connoisseurs agree that few Cape wines reveal their sense of place as forcefully and peculiarly as those from the Elim region, celebrated for top quality Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon and Shiraz.