Cape Gourmet Wine Trail

The Cape Gourmet Wine Trail. Experience the Cape winelands from a different perspective.

Due to so many requests, we have provisionally planned two trail packages – 14-21 April 2018 and 4-11 November 2018. Book early!

We’ve invested a great deal of time in putting together a perfect trail package, finding routes slightly more off the beaten track to give our guests an exclusive experience. The Cape Gourmet Wine Trail is not just about the best scenery for the season, but also about the best local hospitality and dining, and of course, the best trail horses.

We’ve not offered this trail for two years as the mountain had to fully recover from some devastating fires, but the region is revitalised and looking beautiful again. Some routes have changed slightly and we’ve added some lovely venues and wine estates which we are excited to visit for the first time on horseback.  For some venues and estates, it’s the first time they are allowing access on horseback and we’re excited to share The “new look” Cape Gourmet Wine Trail with you.

Sample itinerary

Below is a guide of what can be expected on The Cape Gourmet Wine Trail. Please note that this is a sample itinerary and not exact activities or times.

Day 1

Guests are required to arrive after lunch but no later than 2pm at our yard on the first day, ready to ride. The trail starts on a Saturday which allows guests to leave Europe or the UK on the Friday night, heading to Cape Town. Transfers can be booked for our guests. Early check-in can be arranged for guests who arrive earlier.

We will head out at about 3pm for our first ride. This will allow our guests to get acquainted with the terrain, our horses, tack and general riding procedures. It will also allow us to ensure our guests are matched with the most suitable horses for their ability, personality and riding preferences.

During the trail, all riders will be expected to untack their own horses at the lunch stop and at the end of the day. This will always be discussed in the briefing on the first day. There will always be a helping hand nearby.

As the trail has a stop at our yard after the second day, we will be able to swap horses if the bond between a guest and his / her horse is not ideal.

The welcome ride will be about 2 hours, crossing the wine farms and orchards surrounding our yard. Guests will get an overview of what to expect in the coming week.

After the ride, drinks will be served at the yard before returning to their accommodation venue. Dinner is a traditional meal and guests can get to know each other. We will also share more information about the days to follow.

After dinner guests can retire to their rooms which will be their accommodation for the next two nights. Depending on the number of guests, it will be on our farm in homely yet comfortable en-suite rooms or in a local historic farm-style guest house nearby.

Day 2

After a leisurely breakfast, guests are transported to nearby farm Boschendal, where they will find their horses tacked up, ready for the adventure and an 8.30am start.

The morning’s ride makes its way through the world famous vineyards of Boschendal towards Plasir De Merle Wine Estate where we will stop for wine tasting and lunch. Gorgeous platters of cold meats, cheeses and preserves are washed down with award-winning wines from this beautiful estate which dates back to 1693.

After lunch, the trail heads to Kunnenburgh farm with breathtaking views over the Franschhoek and Paarl Valleys. Riding along the top contours of these famous vineyards, we will cross at least eight wine farms along the way, leading to the estate where the horses will rest for the night.

Over early evening drinks and stories about the day’s ride, guests are taken to their accommodation where they can relax and freshen up before dinner which is a traditional Cape fish ‘braai’ or barbecue, freshly caught from the nearby coast.

Day 3

After breakfast and with bags packed, we set off at 9:30am for the day’s adventure. The trail routes take you into the mountainside of Simonsberg with sweeping views of the Franschhoek and Paarl valleys behind you.

After a 2 ½ hour ride, we have a wine stop and full lunch prepared by local chefs and showcasing local produce. Combined with the wine tasting, this is one of those long, lazy lunches so typical of a relaxed holiday in wine country.

After lunch, our route continues through more wine farms and orchards such as Backsberg, Niel Joubert, Babylonstoren and more. This brings us back to the yard where the horses will enjoy a well-deserved rest the next day.

Enjoy sundowners after the ride before you head to your accommodation for the next two nights.

For the next two evenings, guests will enjoy the unique experience of staying in a traditional Cape manor house on one of the oldest wine farms in the Paarl region. Dinner is a traditional meat or venison feast, again prepared by local chefs showcasing the cuisine that has helped to make our region world-famous.

Day 4

Today is a rest day for the horses and guests are also free to rest and relax. For those wanting to see more of the nearby city and surrounds, we offer a sightseeing trip into Cape Town. After breakfast we’ll head off on our city tour, stopping at the world-famous Table Mountain where guests can choose to go up the mountain in the cable car for spectacular views over the city. This is a must for first-time visitors.

Next, we visit the renowned Camps Bay and Atlantic Ocean beaches and stop for lunch in one of the trendy seaside cafés. Guests can wander along the promenade and shops, or just take in the sea views.  We continue our drive along the coast towards Bantry Bay and through Sea Point, to the famous V&A Waterfront where guests are left to explore the most visited spot in South Africa. Do some shopping or to just sit and watch the happenings of a busy working waterfront with Table Mountain in the background. Dinner is at the guest’s discretion and for their own account. Chat to your guide for suggestions on local dining spots. After dinner, we meet up and head back to our accommodation.

Rest assured, single travellers and groups alike will never feel they are left to their own devices or abandoned as there is always a guide with the group and on hand to assist with any requests.

Please note that lunch and dinner are not included in the package on this day.

Day 5

After breakfast at your accommodation and with your bags packed, the day’s ride starts at 9:30am. Today you’ll enjoy more sweeping views, forest trails and wine estates, and there is a mid-morning wine or beer tasting at Anura. For lunch, we head to the Marianne Estate in a beautiful secluded valley. Guests can sample more South African hospitality, faire and wine, laid out next to a lovely pond surrounded by poplar trees on this hidden gem of an estate.

After a relaxing lunch, the afternoon’s ride takes us further afield and through at least another five wine farms such as Mont Destin, Natte Vallij, Uitspan, Le Bonheur and more, all with their own unique atmosphere. Late afternoon, after leaving the horses at their overnight paddocks, guests are transported to their accommodation for the night at Mitre’s Edge where the owner offers yet more South African hospitality. He and his wife put on a dinner fit for a king, accompanied by the farm’s own wines.

Day 6

Guests will be ready with bags packed for an 8:30am departure and we start with a firm ride, taking us over Klapmuts koppie (hillock) to enjoy sweeping views over the flatlands stretching towards Table Mountain in the background. We continue on to Warwick Wine Estate for a quick wine tasting before moving on to Uitkyk Wine Estate for a picnic lunch and more wine. After lunch it’s onwards to Knorhoek Wine Estate where both horses and riders will overnight.

The day ends with sundowners and wine while the horses are turned out to their paddocks for the night. After refreshments, we stroll over to our new accommodation for the evening. Dinner will be a feast of fabulous South African home cooking paired with wine from the farm, prepared by the farm owners.

Today is probably the longest riding day of the week with lots of inclines and declines. Don’t worry, the horses are sure-footed and know their jobs well. They will keep you safe. Depending on the season, riders may have to dismount for short walks with their horses.

Day 7

Today’s trail heads up the mountainside, offering views of Stellenbosch, the oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town. In this vista, guests can see as far as False Bay towards the Atlantic Ocean. After a slightly more technical ride we arrive at Morgenhof Wine Estate for lunch, the food complemented by their lovely wines, preparing us for the last leg of the trail.

The afternoon route takes us along the Southern side of Simonsberg, passing through Remhoogte Wine Estate. Almost at the end of this incredible week, we are saving the best for last. With stunning views for photo opportunities and once-in-a-lifetime selfies, some snacks and champagne or MCC, as it is known in South Africa, we stop to celebrate the end of this memorable week.

After leaving the horses at the yard, guests head to their final night’s accommodation venue to shed their dusty riding gear for the last time and freshen up before the farewell dinner. Weather permitting, guests may enjoy a dip in the pool before dinner. Without spoiling the surprise, tonight’s dinner is an experience that will be long remembered.

Day 8

Guests can sleep late this morning before enjoying breakfast in the scenic surroundings of their lodge before check-out. If you have time, you can enjoy a spa treatment. Chat to us if you need help with transport to the airport or anywhere nearby.

Accommodation venues

Our list of accommodation venues includes: Cape Winelands Riding Farm accommodation, Station House, Laborie Jonkershuis, Uitkyk guest cottages, Knorhoek farm guest house.

We have an extensive list of alternate accommodation venues equally suited for this trail if needed. Although it is highly unlikely that venues will change, final venues will only be confirmed on final confirmation of number of guests booked on the Cape Gourmet Wine Trail.

Should these accommodation options be unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, guests will be accommodated in similar accommodation of equal standard.

Wine Estates visited

Boschendal, Plasire De Merle, Donkerhoek, Vrede and Lust, Drakensig, Uitkomst, Keunenburg, Bloemendal, Le Bonheur, Babylonstoren, Backsberg, Neil Joubert, Anura, Natte Vallij, Mont Destin, Mt Vernon, Marianne, Mitre’s Edge, Arra, Warwick, Leibach, Kanonkop, Uitkyk, Remhoogte, Morgenhof, Knorhoek, L’ Avenir, and many more.

Trails
Special date requests

Although we have only two dates for 2018 published, we can also arrange the full itinerary for a group of four or more on request and subject to availability.

Group size

This package is limited to six guests maximum but we also reserve the right to increase this to eight riders. Trails won’t go ahead if the group is less than four people.

Dietary requirements

Limited dietary restrictions can be accommodated, however this is a gourmet wine trail so it is more suited to guests who enjoy all foods and appreciate wine. Guests do not have to be food and wine fanatics to enjoy the riding on offer. Please note that wine tastings en-route (spittoons available) and good food are part and parcel of this trail.

Price

Bookings confirmed with a deposit paid before 15 December 2017: R39 900 per person sharing.

Bookings confirmed after 15 December 2017: R44 900 per person sharing.

Limited space is available for guests who would like to book as a single traveller with a guaranteed non-sharing room. A 25% single supplement will be applicable on a “first come, first served” basis for this special request.

Included / excluded in the package
  • Seven nights accommodation in mid-range venues is included. Accommodation is true to local traditions and style to ensure a truly authentic horse riding holiday.
  • Accommodation is full board. Dinners consist of a set menu of three-course meals, with wine, water and soft drinks / beer / cider, as well as tea or coffee, with meals, throughout the day. All wine tastings en-route are included. Lunches vary from à la carte menus to fresh cheese, meat and preserves to picnic platters.
  • Premium drinks, dessert wines and any drinks not offered during meals or rides are not included.
  • On Day 4, the ‘off’ day, lunch and dinner is for the guest’s account / not included. On this day, entry fees or Table Mountain cableway tickets are not included.
  • Airport transfers are not included.
  • Staff gratuities / tips are not included. Your guides and all staff are passionate about what they do. They will always go the extra mile to create the holiday of a lifetime and, while they do not expect gratuities, they are still greatly appreciated. Should you wish to leave a gratuity, 10% is customary in the local service industry but this is at your discretion.

The next Cape Gourmet Riding Trail
Book well in advance!

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Looking for a more flexible riding holiday?

Our centre-based riding holidays are a fantastic way to enjoy our valley and surrounds from local trails, visiting wine estates and other venues, returning to the same accommodation each night.