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Breedekloof

Breedekloof is a wine producing area in the west of the Breede River Valley, a part of the Western Cape of South Africa. The surrounding mountain ranges and the meandering Breede River contribute to the varied terroir in the region. Many different wine styles are made from Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Pinotage, among others.

Breedekloof lies to the west of Worcester on the far side of the Breede River. Its western border is marked by the Slanghoek Mountains, which separate it from the famous region of Paarl. The Badsberg Mountain bisects the area of Breedekloof in two, separating the district's two wards of Goudini and Slanghoek.

The mountains have a moderating effect on the climate in Breedekloof. Afternoon shadows from the Slanghoek Mountains shorten the hot days in the region and bring considerably colder evenings. This diurnal temperature variation allows the grapes time to cool down, letting them retain their fresh acidity while still developing ripe fruit flavours.

The Breede River and its many tributaries create a variety of microclimates in Breedekloof, and appropriate site selection is vital to growers. While white wine varieties flourish on the cooler valley floors, red wine varieties do better on the north-facing higher slopes where they have more access to sunlight for ripening.

Soil types in Breedekloof range from the sandy loam around the river's banks to the rockier, more stony soils in the mountains. These well drained mountain soils are beneficial to the red wine varieties planted here: the roots are forced to dig deeper for water, resulting in lower grape yields and more flavour concentration in the grapes.

Breedekloof is home to both large co-operative and small boutique wineries. Both red and white wine grape varieties are planted extensively, and the region is becoming increasingly known for its fortified and dessert wines made from Hanepoot (Muscat of Alexandria).
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