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Paarl Wine Route – South Africa’s Pearl

The Paarl Wine Route as well as the town Paarl itself are situated approximately 50km away from Cape Town in the valley of the Berg River, surrounded by the majestic Paarl Mountain and the impressive Drakenstein Mountain Range. The wine cultivation area is therefore north of Stellenbosch. Founded in 1717, Paarl is the largest city in the heart of the Cape Province and the third-eldest European settlement in South Africa. The Afrikaans name Paarl means pearl and this is exactly what the town as well as the wineries are after a hard time at the end of the last century. The first settlers named their settlement after the Paarl Mountain, an impressive granite rock which shimmers like a pearl in sunlight.

20 wineries around Paarl have teamed up to form the Paarl Wine Route, amongst others renowned wineries such as Nederburg, Laborie, Glen Carlou and Backsberg. The Paarl Wine Route is also called the Red Route since its red wines are legendary. Excellent red wines made from grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Merlot and Shiraz turned the Paarl Route and the wines into a household name in the international scene; many of the noble products have won numerous awards.

Excellent Terroir at the Paarl Wine Route

Alongside the Wine Route around Paarl, the Mediterranean climate and the different soils offer ideal conditions for wine cultivation. In close proximity to the mountain, the soil is rich in granite whilst in other parts, it features sandier structures. This makes for varied soil conditions which is perfect for the selection of the optimal location. The Berg River provides the valley with water through which the vines located close to the mountain are always supplied with sufficient water. Only in the valley, the winemakers have to additionally irrigate on hot summer days.

Highlights at the Paarl Wine Route: Laborie, Nederburg, Glen Carlou & Backsberg

The winery Laborie is a member of the KWV (‘Kooperatiewe Wijnbouwers Vereeniging’), the largest South African winemaker cooperative. The historic manor house at Laborie, the rose garden and the grand, old oak trees at the estate make this winery a true South African classic which wine friends definitely should visit once. Besides, Laborie offers a beautiful Tasting Room as well as an excellent restaurant attached to the manor house for the sophisticated gourmet. On 44ha cultivation area, the winemakers grow internationally outstanding wines such as the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir.

The winery Nederburg – well-known far beyond the country borders – is located 7km northeast of the town Paarl. It is situated in the midst of idyllic vineyards; the historic manor house from 1800 excites visitors with its Cape Dutch architecture. The wine tastings take place in this wonderful atmosphere. The floor tiles were imported from Europe and the colonial furniture lets you immerse in days gone by. The now retired cellar master and long-term manager Günter Brözel not only made the wines from Nederburg in particular but the wines from South Africa in general worldwide famous with his passion and dedication.

Also at the Paarl Wine Route there is Glen Carlou which – compared with the other estates – is a relatively young winery which nevertheless managed to create true high quality wines in a short amount of time under the management of Walter Finlayson and later his son David. Their wines are popular worldwide amongst critics and connoisseurs alike. Glen Carlou is particularly known for its Chardonnay but the other creations are also noble produces of the best quality. In the middle between Stellenbosch and Paarl, there are perfect conditions to create grand red and white wines. The Mediterranean climate with dry, warm summers and cool, wet winters offers the vines on the hilly landscape with slate and clay soils excellent conditions.  

The estate Backsberg is located between the two great wine cultivation areas Stellenbosch and Paarl at the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain. On 110ha, excellent wines are created and the clay soils provide just the right amount of nutrients. Guests can enjoy the breath-taking view from the winery or treat themselves to great dishes and first-class wines in the fantastic restaurant. Backsberg is also a role model for other farms in South Africa when it comes to sustainable cultivation; it is pioneer and number one regarding combining top wine with methods gentle to nature.

If you developed an appetite, get the wines from the Paarl Wine Route now.

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