Hex River Valley

A place synonymous for breathtaking vistas of mountains and vineyards. A valley surrounded by high mountains, the highest peak of which is the Matroosberg at 2249 m above sea level.

South Africa is blessed with so many beautiful valleys and the Hex River Valley ticks all the boxes. Between Worcester and Touws River is where you would find this beautiful valley called The Hex River Valley.

The Hex River Valley is not only known to be the biggest producer of table grapes in South Africa. It also hosts the biggest pre-cooler in the Southern hemisphere (Hexkoel) as well as De Doorns Cellar with the longest harvest season in the world.

MEANING OF THE NAME
The origin of the name was called Ex River or X River and there are two possible reasons for that:

•When there is a huge rainfall in the valley, two mountain streams lower down the valley in the Sandhills area crossing each other forming an X.

•It was the original ox wagon trail that was used when the first pioneers moved upwards towards Kimberley in hunt of the diamonds. The ox wagon trail criss-crossing the river creating an X. The name was later changed from Ex River to Hex River.

While the name of the valley is derived from the Hex River, the legend of the Hex of the Hex River is far more romantic. Who doesn’t enjoy a good story?

THE LEGEND OF THE HEX
The name “Hex”, is the Dutch/Afrikaans word for witch. The legend is based on a true story. In 1768 there was a fair young lady named Eliza Meiring, who lived who lived with her family at the foot of Matroosberg.

The young men in the area were all taken with Eliza’s beauty and elegance and so to deter the unwanted attention, Eliza challenged the guys to climb to the heights of Matroosberg peak, saying that she would marry the one who brought her a rare indigenous Disa Uniflora orchid from its treacherous heights.

One of the guys caught her eye and he decided to take up the challenge to surprise her but slipped and fell to his death. On hearing this tragic news, Eliza was racked with guilt and grief. Her mourning was so intense that she lost her mind and had to be confined to her home as all she wanted to do was head into the mountains to look for him. One day she tried to escape from an upper floor window but fell head first and was killed. It it is said that at full moon Eliza’s spirit can be found wondering the mountain slopes of the Matroosberg, searching for her lost love.

Hex River Valley is the place to be for adventurous outdoors and memorable occasions. Next time you pass the valley, add this to your bucket list – you won’t be disappointed!

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Sharese Hunt

Love all things wine-related.

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