Get On Your Bike – Bicycle Wine Tours Of The Cape Winelands

A trip to South Africa’s world-renowned Cape Winelands is a treat for any wine lover. For many people this means a day trip by car or on a tour bus to enjoy some of the most scenic attractions (and some of the best wines) in the world.

However, there’s another way to enjoy the sites, scents and sounds of South Africa’s famous wine destinations such as the Franschhoek Valley, Paarl, and Stellenbosch – and that’s on a Cape Town bike tour through the winelands.

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These areas offer numerous trails and gentle meanders through the vineyards and green tree lined roads that make any wine tour a delight for the senses. These bicycle routes and tours are ideal for the nature lover and the family that is looking to spend some quality time in the fresh air of these unspoiled areas.

There are a number of different tour operators that make bicycle tours of the Cape Winelands accessible for visitors. The routes vary in intensity and range from gentle meanders suitable for all ages to more challenging and longer routes that take in a wide variety of different vineyards.

Tour operators will provide transport in an air conditioned bus to the Winelands, as well as provide a qualified and professional guide. The operator will also provide mountain bikes – suitable for the smaller gentle dirt roads that are found in many vineyards, as well as arranging entrance fees and wine tasting fees at the wine estates that are going to be the focal point of the vineyard cycling experience.

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Some of the most popular tours are of the Stellenbosch region where those taking part can enjoy visits to up to four different wine estates. Included in these tours are visits to cellars, wine tasting and access to experts from the various estates who will be on hand to educate and inform riders about the wine making process and the finer points of wine tasting.

A sample itinerary for a day exploring the Winelands could consist of a gentle cycling experience suitable for the whole family. This would take in between two and three vineyards and usually take a day on a route that is up to 5 miles in length. This short excursion is suitable for all ages and is ideal for families with younger children. This sort of day out will sometimes include lunch at one of the world-class vineyard restaurants – often enjoyed under majestic Oak trees.

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For a more strenuous exploration experience, there are also tours which can range up to 13 miles in length. This is adventure biking and wine tasting at its best. Many tour operators will offer three (or more) vineyards, as well as one of Stellenbosch’s famous Van Ryn brandy distillery. During this route, riders will be exposed to some of the Cape’s most scenic vistas – including the internationally acclaimed views over False Bay. In addition, riders will also be exposed to the culinary expertise of some of South Africa’s most well-respected chefs and some of the most beautiful places to enjoy a relaxing and invigorating lunch in the beautiful surroundings of wine estates that can trace their heritage back to the 17th century.

A wine tour combined with a relaxing day of bicycling is the perfect way to enjoy some of the world’s best wines and some of the best scenery in on the globe. With the wide variety of bicycling options available, this is an option that should be of interest to the whole family. If you have your heart set on the Cape Winelands this is well worth investigating.

The Top Five Wine Farms In South Africa’s Cape Winelands

Favorite wines are largely a matter of individual taste, however awards and peer recognition, as well as export orders can usually be used as yardsticks to measure the success of a country’s wine production.

In the case of South Africa widespread international recognition has been a mark of the success of its wine production and the excellence of its many different types of both red and white. this been the case for generations and has only accelerated since South Africa came out from under the dark cloud of Apartheid.

The South African region most often recognized for the excellence of its wines can be found in the Cape Province, South Africa’s most southerly province – which is also home to what many South African’s regard as the Mother City – Cape Town.

The Cape Winelands (as the area where wine production is widespread) boasts many areas of excellence, centered around the towns of Franschoek, Stellenbosch, Wellington, Robertson, Somerset West and Paarl. It is these areas where some of South Africa’s best wine farms are situated.

It’s a difficult choice to make, but if one were forced to identify five wine farms that should be on every international visitors the following 5 would certainly be in contention.

#1 Rust en Vrede.

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Rust en Vrede has been around for over 300 years and produces some of the Cape’s most well respected Merlot’s, Cabernet’s and Shiraz (internationally know as ‘Syrah’) wines. Nelson Mandela has a keen appreciation for the wine produced at this estate and today it’s also known for it’s namesake restaurant which is consistently rated as among the best in South Africa.

#2 Vergelegen.

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Established in 1700 that wine farm consistently produces wines that score extremely highly in the top 100 wines of the world. The scenic gardens are an added attraction for visitors. The Cabernet Sauvignon V has won multiple awards across the world and is perhaps the star of the extremely attractive Vergelegen lineup. As far as white wines are concerned those in the know will always take the opportunity to stock up on the very well regarded the reserve Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc range available from the estate, it is however the red that has been favorably compared to the best that France has to offer.

#3 La Motte.

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For some the La Motte Chardonnay can stand head to head with the best in the world – and the Sauvignon Blanc’s and Shiraz offerings are extremely well regarded as well. The Franschoek estate also plays host to the ‘Pierneef à la Motte’ restaurant – winner of multiple awards.

#4 Meerlust.

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A well loved and regarded estate Meerlust was established in 1693 and it’s Bordeaux blend Rubicon can be found in some of the finest restaurants across the globe. Other notable reds are the Pinot Noir and Merlot offerings. It also has a wide variety of very impressive white wines available. A visit to this estate will simply not disappoint lovers of red wine – while the whites are elegant and subtle.

#5 Rust en Vrede.

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This is one of South Africa’s most venerable wine estates being established in 1694. The estate produces only red wines and that focus has enabled it to built a reputation as one of the premier red wine producers in the world. The rich and velvety Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines are an absolute delight.

A visit to the Cape Winelands will provide a rich and varied experience for any lover of wine. As a bonus the value of South African wine due to favorable exchange rate is simply very hard to beat.