Wildekrans Wine Estate is a picturesque 1000 hectare estate tucked away in the beautiful Bot River Valley, just an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
We are known for our award-winning wines, olive oils and dining experiences. We also offer luxury farm accommodation and many outdoor activities for nature lovers and biking/hiking enthusiasts. Come on a journey with us!
Nestled at the foot of the mountainous Houwhoek Pass in the fertile Overberg Valley, the charming farming hamlet of Bot River (or ‘Bot Rivier’ in Afrikaans) is just a one hour drive from Cape Town. The vast, rolling hills of the Bot River Wine Route famously play host to some of the most down to earth winemakers in South Africa and it’s here that you will experience genuine country hospitality.
Today, this small wine region is known for its passionate and innovative winemaking community, however, several centuries ago, the area was quite different. Originally inhabited by the Khoi Khoi tribes of the area, from the late 17th Century it served as a base of trade between Cape merchants, the Dutch East India Company and the Khoisan people who lived here.
The San community called the area ‘Gouga’, meaning ‘abundance of fat’. This referred to the commodity they produced and sold here – butter – or ‘botter’ in Afrikaans. The river then became known as the Bot River and was later claimed by Dutch, French and German settlers as they moved across the country, expanding the reaches of the Cape Colony from the 18th Century onwards.
Although Bot River’s earliest wine history can be traced back to the 1700s with the establishment of a wine cellar at Compagnes Drift farm (now part of Beaumont Wine Estate), wine production subsequently discontinued in the area for an extended period. Most wine farms in Bot River are therefore relatively new in wine terms; the majority having been established over the last 100 years.
The Bot River Wine Route extends for a 10 kilometre radius, from the foot of the Groenlandberg and Babylonstoren mountain ranges, down the valley to the Bot River Lagoon. It makes for an ideal halfway pit-stop for those travelling to or from Hermanus by car, from Cape Town.
Although the area boasts warm summer temperatures, its maritime position close to the Atlantic Ocean ensures the region’s vineyards are often caressed by cool ocean breezes. Combined with good annual rainfall, this gives Bot River a relatively cool climate, resulting in wines benefitting from a later ripening period. Bot River wines are fresh, herbaceous and noted for their minerality and balanced acidity. The wine estates sit on the edge of the Kogel Biosphere Reserve, considered the most biodiverse region in the world and the wild fynbos (plants) found here contribute to the wine region’s herbaceous notes.
The winemakers around Bot River take pride in producing handcrafted, elegant and ecologically conscious wines. Here you’ll discover a wide range of grape varieties, including Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotage and Shiraz among others – and don’t be surprised if it’s the winemaker pouring your wine!
Wine farms themselves range from rustic family estates to modern wineries and eclectic cellar doors, renowned for their friendliness. Alongside wine tasting, there are also dining options aplenty, with food pairings, casual platters and even fine dining available.
When you’re not sipping your wine, you’ll find a whole range of things to do. Surrounded by nature and mountains, exploring the outdoors is a must while in Bot River. Horseriding is popular, alternatively, there are a plethora of mountain and running trails traversing the hills, plus fly fishing, rock climbing and quad biking.
You’ll find many farm stalls selling freshly baked pies, homemade jams and a range of other goodies nearby. There are also several rustic country Bot River restaurants waiting to serve you a delicious meal too.
With its beautiful setting and range of activities, why not stay the weekend in Bot River? You’ll find numerous options for couples and families, from quaint cottages and lodges to AirBnB rentals, waiting to welcome you with their warm hospitality.
For more information, please refer to www.botriverwines.com/.