- Western Cape
Home of the Vines
The hidden valley of Wellington lies at the foot of the Groenberg Mountains, just 45 minutes from Cape Town.
This quaint towns’ scenic location has made it a popular tourist destination, particularly with wine lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Almost 90% of the country’s vines are grown here in vine-cutting nurseries before they are distributed for planting and the valley lends itself to activities such as horse riding, hiking and mountain biking. The Limietberg Nature Reserve alone has nine different hiking trails through fynbos-rich terrain.
The Wellington Wine Route is one of the youngest, launched in the mid 1990’s, but the route is small and cellars in close driving distance of each other, adding to the popularity of this route. Also on the agenda, other than wine tasting is sampling fruit. The Wellington Berry Farms have an array of strawberries, raspberries, youngberries and gooseberries were guided tours are on offer as well as the opportunity to pick your own berries to take home and enjoy.
Wellington offers a range of historic buildings and visitors should visit the Toursim Office, housed in the Old Market building dating back to 1847, for all information on this old town. Also a major educational centre, the town is home to the Huguenot College, founded in 1873 by the Reverend Andrew Murray and South Africa's oldest teacher-training college, established in 1896.
The region is famous for its fruit, particularly apricots and wine from the following producers:
- Bosman Family Vineyards
- Bovlei Winery
- De Compagnie Wine Estate
- Diemersfontein Wine Estate
- Doolhof Wine Estate
- Dunston Wines
- Eshkol Winery
- Jacaranda Wine Estate
- Linton Park Wines
- Malan De Versailles
- Mont du Toit
- Napier Winery
- Wamakersvallei Winery
- Welbedacht-Schalk Burger Wines
- Wellington Wine Cellar
Among the historic farms here are Champagne (on which the town was founded), Hexenberg, De Fortuin and Leewen Vallei.
Wellington accommodation is vast with plenty of pretty country houses and guest cottages as well as bed and breakfasts.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Wellington Wine Walk
- Bain’s Kloof Pass
- Wellington Museum
- Old Dutch Reformed Church
- Limietberg Nature Reserve
- Happy Valley Trail
- Krom River Hiking Trail
- Welvanpas Mountain Bike Trail
The area receives most its’ rainfall during winter, with June seeing the highest levels.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 17˚C.
There are daily domestic and international flights into Cape Town International Airport. Car rental companies are located at the Airport.
March – Wellington Wine Harvest Festival: Come and enjoy top award winning wines along with good food, entertainment and markets. There are three designated entertainment venues to visit – Diemersfontein, Boaman Family Vineyards & Welbedacht Wine Estate.
September – Fork & Cork Wine Festival: Held at the Kleinevalleij Estate. Decadent food and wine festival with plenty of live entertainment, kid’s fun, produce market and much more.
More French people settled here than anywhere else in the Cape and the town was established by the French Hugenot’s in 1688, originally being called Limietvalley (Limit Valley). The town was renamed Wagenmakersvallei (Wagon Makers valley) as many wagon makers settled and made their living here. Wellington once served as the gateway to the interior, experiencing something of a boom during the diamond rush in Kimberley in the late 19th century as travelers passed through Bainskloof Pass. Here, the wagons could be worked on before the start of their long and difficult journey.
Eventually in 1840, Sir George Napier suggested naming the town after “England’s greatest soldier”, the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and the town received its current name.
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