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Tulbagh Valley History & Geography

This fantastic natural basin has been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Bushmen and Khoi peoples.

It has had many names over time. Including "Red Sand", "Land of Waves" and finally about 300 years ago it received its present name of "Tulbagh".

The basin is surrounded by the Obiqua Mountains to the West (these are the mountains that sit behind Waterval), Winterhoek Mountains to the North and the Witzenberg Mountains to the East, with peaks that rise to over 1,500 metres (4,900 ft). The basin experiences a type of Mediterranean climate, which is ideally suited for the many wine and fruit farms that you will find in the valley. The southern side is open to cooling south-east winds during the hot summer months. Hence, Tulbagh enjoys some of the most diverse and attractive conditions for viticulture in the Cape, and the differences in terroir (different soil types), available to winemakers allow for a wide variety of distinctive wines.

The Groot Winterhoek Mountains are part of the Cape Fold Belt. They rise to a maximum height of 2,077 metres (6,814 ft) just North of the town of Tulbagh as Groot Winterhoek peak. The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area, operated by CapeNature, comprises a conservation area of 30,608 ha.

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