The advent of mountain bike (MTB) enthusiasm has been a boon for many wineries. Many have dramatically expanded their offerings to cater specifically to this sport.
At the same time, these routes have given wine-lovers a new way to explore old favourites too.
The list that follows comprises a small selection of intersecting trails and wineries in diverse regions of the Cape Winelands. Most of the trails require permits and more information about these may be found at corresponding links.
Franschhoek Wine Valley
Boschendal Wine Farm
The farm ranks as one of the area’s top tourism destinations. For riders, it promises some “mean climbs and sweet singletrack rides” through its vineyards and wilderness areas. Its trail centre, which also hires out bikes, is open from 07:00 on weekends. Distances vary from 4km to an extendable, 23km Black Route. Most cyclists start or conclude their visit with a meal at the Boschendal Deli, whose menu includes an all-day Farmer’s Breakfast.
www.boschendal.com; 021 001 9401.
Paarl Wine Route
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate
Paarl Adventure Trails custom-built the routes at Rhebokskloof. These link with a larger trail network on and around Paarl Mountain. Trails open at 07:00 every day of the year. There’s an adventure centre at the winery as well as the estate restaurant and pizzeria. Picnic baskets may also be booked.
www.rhebokskloof.co.za; 021 869 8386
Wellington Wine Route
Val du Charron Wine and Leisure Estate
Six Wild Boar trails start and finish at this winery and cater to single track lovers and those who prefer open gravel roads or just a ride around the vineyard block. Many of the routes have formed part of the ABSA Cape Epic and cross dramatic wilderness areas and several farms. Once done, riders head for Pizza Vista, the estate’s laid-back pizzeria with-a-view.
www.vdcwines.co.za; 021 873 1256.
Robertson Wine Valley
Van Loveren has built a solid reputation in wine and MTB through amongst others, its JavaMTB event and trails. Included with every riding permit is a free cappuccino, and permits can be purchased via the Van Loveren online shop. The well-supported visitor centre is home to a vast tasting room as well as Christina’s Bistro, which situated in a lush garden – just the place to recover after a long ride.
www.vanloveren.co.za; 023 615 1505
Stellenbosch Wine Routes
Somerbosch Wine (Helderberg Route)
This farm restaurant on the R44 buzzes especially over weekends when the expanded parking lot is jammed by cars with bike racks. So too that of the 96 Winery Road restaurant nearby, which is affiliated with Ken Forrester Wines. This is the territory of the Wannabees MTB club, which has developed more than 150km of trails across more than 20 farms.
www.somerbosch.co.za; 021 855 3615
Kunjani Wines (Bottelary Route)
Bottelary Hills MTB Trails were opened by the Bottelary Hills Conservancy in April 2011 and allow controlled access to the conservancy via dedicated routes. Permits can be purchased via www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za. Access points are located on various wine farms including Zevenwacht, Overgaauw, Jordan, Hazendal and Asara. One of the rest stops along the way is at Kunjani, whose restaurant serves a re-energising breakfast and is open from 08:30.
www.kunjaniwines.co.za; 087 630 0409
For more, visit: https://www.visitwinelands.co....