Calitzdorp falls within the wine route of the Klein Karoo, on the eastern border of the Western Cape. It is located within a basin surrounded by a number of large mountains - to the North, the Swartberg, to the South the Rooiberge and to the West the Mountains of the Huisrivier Pass.
Summers are very hot during the day, mainly a dry heat, up to 40ºC. Winters have sunny days, very cold nights with occasional frost and snow often falling on the surrounding Swartberg Mountain Range. Rainfall is approximately 200mm per year, often with the changing of seasons. Prevailing winds are mainly from the south in summer and hot wind from the North in August.
Due to the very dry soil of the area, and the alluvial soils that are used in farming, Calitzdorp has often been considered the Douro Valley of South Africa. The original valley in Portugal is the home of Port, and Calitzdorp is home to many port-wine making wine farms. The ground here is particularly accommodating to plants that enjoy very dry weather, including the Port blend grapes Tinta Barocca and Touriga Naçional.
As well as being the Port Capital of South Africa, the Calitzdorp district is also able to produce a range of distinct red blends, which can be similar to the wines of Portugal, or may resemble Brandy or Cognac. The very dry climate of Klein Karoo does not suit most wines, but the Calitzdorp district has found a way to produce internationally recognised fortified wines.