Reward yourself for an active morning outside; sip on a glass of award-winning wine after conquoring a hiking trail on some of the Cape’s best wine estates. We’ve rounded up five beautiful wine farms that offer both wine tastings and safe hiking for those of us who enjoy both nature and the art of wine.
Almenkerk Wine Estate
Almenkerk Wine Estate is tucked away in the mighty Elgin Valley, little more than an hour’s drive from Cape Town along the N2. But it’s definitely worth the drive!
Almenkerk offers more than just a wine tasting with a pretty view, they also invite visitors to experience their farm first-hand with the Active @ Almenkerk Trail, a fun hiking trail right on their estate.
There are two hikes to choose from: the main 5km walk and an extended 7km walk.
The main 5km path snakes through apple and pear orchards, past vineyards and up and down slopes. If you visit at the right time of the year, you’ll walk past beautifully red apples still hanging on the trees. I went at the beginning of May, and the neat lines of apple trees made for gorgeous photo opportunities. The extended 7km walk includes an extra 2km detour path with a steep uphill and downhill, for those who enjoy a more challenging walk. Along both walks you can expect to see a lot of greenery and maybe even some wildlife if you’re lucky. The accompanying map includes a nice checklist of possible animal sightings, so keep a sharp eye out.
Permits for the walk can be bought at the tasting room for R40 per person. This permit also includes a free glass of wine that visitors can enjoy after their hike; choose between a refreshing white, a smooth red or a crisp dry rosé.
- Location: 50 Elgin, Viljoenshoop Rd, Grabouw
- Website: www.almenkerk.co.za
Hidden Valley Wine Farm
Hidden Valley is found on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain near Stellenbosch, high up the popular Annandale Road known for its superb wineries. This hidden gem marries modernism with nature by making use of natural elements of rock and wood for its tasting room and cellar, surrounded by indigenous valley and slopes of vineyard rows.
Enjoy more stunning views from their Wine Tasting Centre after your walk when you sit down for a tasting of their award-winning wines. Their standard wine tasting includes six wines, or opt for their Chocolate and Wine Pairing Experience which combines five chocolates that have been specifically paired with five of their wines.
- Location: Annandale Rd, Stellenbosch NU, Stellenbosch
- Website: hiddenvalleywines.co.za
Meerendal Wine Estate
This family-owned wine farm is conveniently located in the Durbanville Wine Valley, about 20 minutes’ drive from Cape Town. It boasts stunning views of the Tygerberg Hills and offers you an ideal spot for both relaxation and action.
Explore spectacular views on Meerendal’s 5km, 7km or 9km trails through the vineyards. Or join Meerendal Wine Estate every month during summer for their monthly full moon hike. This family-friendly trail is only 5km long and snakes through the vineyards on Meerendal, offering breathtaking views of the night sky along the way.
On occasion, Meerendal will even pair up these hikes with a follow-up picnic on the lawns of the estate so you can end your hike with a light meal under the stars.
The tasting room at Meerendal invites you to enjoy one of two wine tasting options. Sip on either four or six wines in their cosy indoor area with a comfortable lounge and tasting tables, or enjoy a cool breeze on a summer day on their leafy outside pergola with seating area.
- Location: Vissershok Road, Durbanville
- Website: meerendal.co.za
Muratie Wine Estate
Muratie Wine Estate is tucked into the exquisite Knorhoek Valley north of Stellenbosch. The farm itself dates back to 1685 when it was granted by Governor Simon van der Stel who was Governor of the Cape of Good Hope at the time. This makes Muratie one of the oldest estates in South Africa.
Home to mountain biking trails, a trail running track, and hiking routes, Muratie has provided hikers their own circular 3.5km hiking trail that has over 220 hand-built steps and reach the viewpoint at Gilloolys. From here hikers can walk a bit further in on Cork Oak trail, via View trail to Jakhalskloof and back to Gilloolys.
Or join the Sunset Hikes @ Muratie hosted by Dirtopia, an outdoor, off-road event and trail construction company. They constructed a popular circular hiking trail that starts at the Trail Centre at Muratie, reaches a viewpoint with stunning views of the Winelands and Table Mountain, and continues down a path that cuts through the forest. The route is approximately 3.5 kilometres in total and can be completed in 60 minute without any stops along the way, but the highlight of the event is the picnic hikers can have at the viewpoint while marvelling at the pictureque sunset and starlight skies.
After your hike on the estate, come experience a unique wine tasting, sitting inside old fermentation tanks in the cellar with their tartaric encrusted walls. You will be guided by the tasting room team through all their wines, the characters they were named after and, no doubt, an old story or two that might be embellished.
There are four wine tasting options, including a delicious chocolate and wine pairing experience.
- Location: Knorhoek Rd, Stellenbosch, 7607
- Website: muratie.co.za
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate
Rhebokskloof Wine Estate not only offers incredible hospitality, but also encourages an adventurous spirit.
This scenic wine estate in Paarl has two wine tasting options to enjoy; the standard wine tasting includes five exceptional wines of your choice, and their chocolate and wine pairing offers five carefully selected wines that are paired with Huguenot Fine Chocolates.
In partnership with Paarl Adventure Trails, Rhebokskloof is also the home to several hiking and MTB trails. The trails at Rhebokskloof have been developed to showcase the amazing views of the farm and surrounding valley. They cover varied terrain and cater for a wide range of ages and fitness levels – from kids right up to seasoned athletes.
They also regularly host a very popular Full Moon Hike, created and guided by Paarl Adventure trails, which allows an exclusive group of up to 50 people the chance to enjoy the stunning beauty of the Paarl Valley under the light of a full moon. Book quickly, as these are sold out each time!
The route taken is created and guided by Paarl Adventure trails. It is between five and six kilometres of hiking trail.
The five-or-six-kilometre walk starts as the sun sets and reaches the Flatrock viewpoint as the moon appears, where you’ll have a beautiful view of Paarl and the Du Toitskloof Mountains.
At the Flatrock viewpoint all the appetizers and drinks will be ready for you to indulge in. The view is spectacular for taking pictures or just sipping your drink.
Hikers usually stay for about two to three hours before hiking back down again. The guide will inform hikers about the terroir and surroundings, and if you are lucky you will even spot some interesting night animals!
- Location: Noord Agter – Paarl Road, Windmeul
- Website: rhebokskloof.co.za
Picture: Muratie Wine Estate / Facebook