Overberg is a district in South Africa’s Cape South Coast Region, named for its location “over the berg” (Hottentot-Holland Mountains) from Cape Town. It stretches about 100 miles eastward to the Breede River, bordered by the Riviersonderend Mountains to the north and Walker Bay to the south.

With the long distance from end-to-end, its topography varies, with grapes thriving on both fertile river plains and stony mountain slopes. The predominant soils are sandstone, particularly in Theewater and Elandskloof, but limestone and shale can also be found, along with sandy riverbeds in the Klein River.

Traditionally known for apple growing and grape-juice production, Overberg has emerged as a grape-growing region relatively recently. The establishment of the Theewater Dam in the 1980s led farmers to experiment with vineyards and winemaking. Over time, it has gained recognition for producing high-quality wines, with renowned wineries from other regions setting up vineyards, particularly in the Klein River ward near Stanford. The area is still heavily involved in wheat production and is renowned for its fynbos scrubland. Overberg is home to the Kogelberg Biosphere, one of the world’s most biodiverse areas. This is yet another reason to visit South Africa – the biodiversity is rich beyond belief.

The district’s cool climate favors white wine grape varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc; while red-wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Shiraz also do very well. Altitude plays a significant role, with vineyards reaching up to 2,300 feet above sea level, offering more sunlight hours and a longer ripening season. Cooling sea breezes from the icy waters of Walker Bay contribute to the well-balanced wines with complex flavors and fresh acidity.