Green Mountain Trail

Bot River

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Bot River (just over the Houw Hoek Pass, 7.5kms from Wildekrans Country House) is also home to a number of great wineries and restaurants. Some of our favourites include Beaumont Family Wines, Gabrielskloof and Luddite. Bot River (loosely translated to ‘butter river’ after the Afrikaans word for butter, ‘botter’), gained its name from being an area literally ‘with lots of butter’ which was sought after by bartering travelers. Compagnes Drift Farm – now Beaumont Family Wines – holds rich historical significance in the area as it is one of the founding farms, established in the 1700s, and its significance has been well-preserved. The farm is home to the region’s oldest wine cellar. The growth of Bot River as a town was sparked by the development of the railway line from Cape Town in 1902.

This railway line runs from Cape Town to Swellendam carrying hops and barley for South African Breweries. In addition, this railway route is still frequented by an 80-year-old passenger steam engine, transporting day tourists and visitors to the Elgin Railway Market from Cape Town and back every Saturday. Even if not travelling on this historical train, visitors in Elgin can watch its arrival from the platform at the market.

Although a close neighbour to the Elgin Valley, Bot River forms its own smaller wine region characterised by cool lagoon air coming into the vineyards in the afternoon. Some notable red cultivars in Bot River include: Syrah, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. These are complimented by white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc.

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