Portwine Guest House - Garden Route - South Africa

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The  little Karoo town of Calitzdorp lies on Route 62, about four hours drive from Cape Town and roughly half way to Port Elizabeth. Calitzdorp 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. Calitzdorp's beauty is also largely attributable to the fact that it is bounded on three sides by mountain ranges - the Swartberg, the Rooiberge and the mountains of the Huisrivier Pass - that shelter the town and add to its character.

Calitzdorp is probably most well recognized for its production of some of the country's best port wines due largely to the hot, dry climate regarded as similar to the Duoiro valley in Portugal. Vines apparently struggle to ripen here, which, contrary to expectation, actually results in a grape with an aroma-intensity and depth that is key to port making.

Queen Street is one of the oldest streets in town and begs a stroll to properly absorb the number of Edwardian, Victorian and Karoo style buildings heavily influenced by English architecture. There are walking trails in the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, the Redstone Hills and Retreat at Groenfontein and birding in the hillsides and fynbos is more than rewarding.

The stylish 1830 homestead that is Port Wine Guest House is centrally situated in the heart of Calitzdorp, overlooking port vineyards and within walking distance of all the wineries, galleries, shops and the museum in town.

The thatch roof homestead in Karoo and Victorian architecture has nine en suite, air conditioned rooms, one of which is a family unit with a separate entrance.There are a number of large vine-covered patios, where you can enjoy the Karoo sunsets, scrumptious dinners and breakfasts. Relax in the lush garden, including a fragrant rose garden, or by the sparkling pool.

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