Western Cape DestinationsBonnievale, Breede River Valley
This green village is perhaps not as well known as other towns in the Breede Valley, due mainly to the fact that she is bypassed by Route 62 - the longest wine route in the world.
However, there are those who are only to happy that the ‘Cinderella of the Breede’ is not inundated with travellers and has remained one of the best kept secrets of the valley. Lying in the shadow of the Langeberg and Riviersonderend Mountains on the banks of the Breede River, this part of the world is known as the Valley of Cheese and Wine for good reason.
There are four co-operative wine cellars, four estates and at least two private wine producers in the area, including the oldest wine cellar, Nordale. These wine makers include a new generation of boutique cellars like Quando, Janeza and Wolvendrift, which join the ranks originally dominated by the older cellars such as Goedverwacht and Langverwacht. Wine tourism is big in this part of the country and farmers are only too happy to provide visitors with tours of their farms.
Two cheese factories, Parmalat and Mooivallei Suiwel, are based in Bonnievale, and Parmalat has won the Cheese Manufacturer of the Year award for three years running. They are joined by other cheese makers such as Sillerus Goat farm and La Montanara.
If you’re whizzing by and can’t stop to appreciate the individual wine cellars or cheese makers, then a stop at the Von Wijngarten Wine Boutiek is essential. They stock the wines of the area and are planning to include cheese tasting on their itinerary. On their shelves you will also find Tim Jan, a fortified ‘wonder juice’ made from aloes and grape juice, said to be the cure-all for anything from snoring to intestinal problems.
The Breede River provides an endless list of water sports, including a trip up the river on the River Goose, canoeing, fishing and for those without water wings there is a golf course, hiking and 4x4 trails.