Overberg

Refine

view all

Wine Colour

Popular Wine Types

Grape Variety

Wine Style

Country

Subregion

clear
Overberg is a district between Walker Bay and Cape Agulhas on the southern coast of South Africa. It is in the Western Cape wine region. White wine varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc flourish in the relatively cool climate here, but red wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Shiraz also perform admirably.

Overberg takes its name from its location in relation to Cape Town: over the Hottentot-Holland Mountains ("over the berg"). The region is also flanked by the Riviersonderend Mountains to the north and Walker Bay to the south. It is an area of heavy wheat production, and is also known for the fynbos scrubland surrounding it. Overberg encompasses the Kogelberg Biosphere, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world.

The Overberg wine producing area stretches from the Klein River area on the coast up to the higher altitude Theewater and Elandskloof areas about 30 miles (48km) inland. The topography of the region is varied, and grapes do as well on the rich, fertile river plains as they do on the stony mountain slopes. Soils are predominantly sandstone, particularly in the mountainous wards of Theewater and Elandskloof. However, there are also pockets of limestone and shale, and the riverbeds of the Klein River are sandy in nature.

Altitude plays an important role in Overberg. Vineyards can reach as high as 2,300ft (700m) above sea level, giving them more sunlight hours than lower altitude estates. This elevation, coupled with cooling sea breezes from Walker Bay, leads to a longer ripening season which often stretches well into March and April. These growing conditions make for well balanced wines that are complex in flavour with good levels of fresh acidity. North-easterly winds in winter bring rain to Overberg, and the highest altitude vineyards also get snow. This allows the vines a period of dormancy over the winter, giving them time to replenish their stocks of nutrients before the next growing season.

Overberg is fairly new as a grape growing region, being more traditionally associated with apple growing and grape juice production. It wasn't until the construction of the Theewater Dam in the 1980s that farmers began to experiment with vineyards and winemaking. The region is now associated with the production of high quality wine, and many famous wineries from other regions (such as Paarl and Franschhoek) have established vineyards here.
Read more ▼