The Helderberg lies due south of Stellenbosch and extends to the shores of False Bay. Its dominant mountainscape gives the sub-route the appearance of an amphitheatre, with the valley dropping away from the curve of the Hottentots-Holland mountain range.
The mountains form part of the Cape Fold Belt and consist mainly of Table Mountain sandstone. During the colder months of July and August, snow is not uncommon on the higher peaks that rise up to 1 590m above sea level. The region’s proximity to the ocean makes it markedly cooler than areas deeper inland.
The Helderberg sub-route incorporates producers around the towns of Macassar, Raithby, Strand, Somerset West and Sir Lowry’s Pass. The Lourens River and hilly outcrops such as the Schapenberg are among the many geographic landmarks that contribute to diverse climates and conditions for cultivating quality wine grapes.
Wineries in the Helderberg sub-route include:
Near Annandale Road: Audacia, Annandale, Peter Falke, Alto, Guardian Peak / Stellenbosch Reserve, Ernie Els, Uva Mira, Haskell/Dombeya, Hidden Valley, Longridge, Grangehurst, Rust en Vrede
Off the R44: Cavalli, Somerbosch
Near Raithby: Lyngrove, Klein Welmoed Foothills Vineyards, Le Riche
Near Winery Road: Ken Forrester, Post House, 96 Winery, Miravel
Near Faure: Vergenoegd
Near Somerset West: Lourensford, Morgenster
Near Sir Lowry’s Pass: Waterkloof, Idiom.