South Africa is a magnificent country of wine, rugby, and … cycling. It has a wealth of vineyards, which cover much of the country. But for cyclists who love good wine (and we know a few of them), nothing can be better than to explore the Cape Town region. For the cycling part, you can follow the route of the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
Every March, which is the end of the southern summer over there, the prestigious, 40-year-old Gran Fondo follows the route to the Cape of Good Hope, a 100km loop that is one of the world’s most spectacular coastal trails. It’s open throughout the year as well.
Or you can choose one of the many ‘wine routes’ in the area surrounding Cape Town. The British newspaper The Guardian has classed the one that runs along the Franschoek Valley as among the top 10 most beautiful vineyard trails in the world. The Groot Drakenstein hills offer many routes for a cycling tour or for more athletic adventures. You can stop off to sample top quality pinot noir wines along with a braai Afrikaner barbecue.
Franschoek Valley is an hour’s drive east of Cape Town, at the far side of Stellenbosch. Further south, in greater Cape Town, the Constantia Hills is another renowned wine growing area, its merlot and syrah producing one of the best South African reds.
In Cape Town you can find specialist tour operators such as Bikes ‘n Wines, Bike and Saddle and Awol Tours.
All of them offer visits to vineyards and private tastings. Back in the city, don’t miss a visit to The Handle Bar Cape Town’s most popular cycling café.