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Calitzdorp - Introduction

24th March 2014

Calitzdorp is a quaint little town on route62, nestled in the heart of the Klein karoo, Western Cape, Rep. of South Africa This haven is also known as the port wine capitol of South Africa, due to the quality of the port wines made by the local wine cellars.

For a list of Accommodation establishments in Calitzdorp please >click here<

Calitzdorp Garden Route Western Cape South AfricaCalitzdorp is renowned in its own right for a number of reasons, not least of which is its bona fide Klein Karoo character.The Klein Karoo is a gorgeous part of the Cape Floral Kingdom that functions as something of a mini desert - sparse, dry and arid countryside interjected by surprisingly fertile valleys, through which mountain streams meander to provide a source of water for the surprising amount of fruit grown in the area.

Route 62 is modeled after the iconic US Route 66, made famous by the late, great Nat King Cole in the song of the mid 20th century. Travelers headed for the Garden Route will find that Route 62 offers a better alternative to the dull N2 motorway between Cape Town and George, being more scenic and slightly shorter.

Route 62 Garden Route Western Cape South AfricaIn 1821, land was granted to JJ and MC Calitz who named it Buffelsvlei. This name was derived from the local vegetation and animals found here. Ground was donated for a church in 1853 and four years later, the foundation stone was laid and a church school established.  Richard van Reenen Barry was the first pastor and served the community for 40 years.

In 1910 it was decided to build a new church as the congregation exceeded 4 000. 1912 was an important year as the new church and a new school building were completed, and a start made with the building of the Standard Bank as well as the Nelsrivier Dam.

Calitzdorp Mountains Garden Route Western Cape South AfricaSubsequently drought, the Great Flu and the collapse of the ostrich feather market all hit the area hard. However, recovery followed with the opening of the railway line (1924), electrification (1937) and the construction of a cement road from Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo.

Queen Street is one of the oldest streets in town and begs a stroll to properly absorb the number of Edwardian and Victorian, and Karoo style buildings heavily influenced by English architecture.

Calitzdorp Donkey Trail Garden Route Western Cape South Africa

Today, Calitzdorp is fast becoming a tourist destination. Popular outdoor activities include birding, mountain biking, canoeing and fishing, walking, hiking trails and 4x4 Routes. The wine farms of the town are Boplaas Estate, Die Krans estate and the Calitzdorp Wine Cellars.Tours are available of the Wine farms

 

Calitzdorp is known as the Port Capital of South Africa. The annual Calitzdorp Port Festival is held during the last weekend of July each year.

Calitzdorp Port Festival

This historic Klein Karoo village, embraced by the Swartberg, Rooiberg and Gamkaberg mountains invites you to our Port and Wine Festival. A full and diverse Festival programme is planned and will be centred around the historic Calitzdorp Station as well as various wine cellars and village venues.Calitzdorp Port Festival Garden Route Western Cape South Africa Hosted by the 8 wine cellars of Calitzdorp (Axehill, Boplaas, Calitzdorp, de Krans, Duswaroo, Peter Bayly, TTT and Withoek) you are welcome to enjoy an exciting and diverse programme of events.

Port and wine tastings, cellar tours, cooking with wine demonstrations, chocolate and wine and cheese and wine pairings, exploring Port styles, and other events to present the wide range of award winning ports and wines from our area. Place a bid at the auction of the Best Ports, a special port blended for the Festival and bottled in a range of bottle sizes with specially designed original labels. Also offered is a historical treasure hunt around our town, local arts and crafts, lifestyle market stalls to suit all tastes, the Port Dance, restaurants, food stalls and a whole lot more. Join in and compete in the Boule competition, or the fun run or climb on your bike for a family bike race. Tractor “taxis” will transfer visitors between selected venues.

Calitzdorp Wine Farm Garden Route Western Cape South AfricaCalitzdorp is often referred to as the Port Capital of South Africa due to the numerous prize winning Ports produced in our area. The 8 local cellars will be joined by members of the South African Port Producers Association (SAPPA ) on Saturday. Wines and ports can be tasted at the wine cellars or at the barn at the station where all the cellars will present a selection of their ports and wines.

The Klein Karoo has a unique biodiversity with rare flora and fauna which is a major attraction in our area. The festival celebrates this biodiversity by hosting an exhibition with presentations by our local experts on the succulents and other plants of the area, the Cape Leopards found in our surrounding mountains, Klein Karoo butterflies and the geology of Kannaland. Visit the Donkey Trail exhibition and meet the guides and donkeys that travel to Die Hel and back.

For more information visit our website: www.portwinefestival.co.za

Climate

In the summer its hot during day - dry heat, up to 40 C, wind from the sea every afternoon, moderate, cool evenings.Winter times its sunny most days and cold at nights, occasional frost.

Rainfall: 200 mm per year, often with the changing of seasons.
Prevailing winds from the south in summer, hot wind from the North in August.


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