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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

Sipping and cycling through the Cape Winelands

On our ‘Vineyard Meanders’ through Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, the guests are there to soak up the sights, sounds, smells and tastes…

By Quintin Smith
Director and founder of Bikes ’n Wines

On our ‘Vineyard Meanders’ through Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, it’s definitely not a race. The guests are there to spend the day soaking up the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Winelands, stopping for three wine tastings and lunch en route.  Both of the tours are relatively easygoing in terms of distance and cycling expectations, and they’re fully guided the entire way. So, really, all the guests have to do is arrive and enjoy themselves. 

We carefully handpick the estates that we work with and are incredibly privileged to be able to cycle through their private farmland. On any given tour, 80 per cent or more of the riding is through the vineyards and on gravel roads, not just on the main road in between the estates; it’s the sort of exclusive access you’d never be able to get if you were to rent a bike and try to do it yourself. So you cycle right past where the farm workers might be harvesting, where the guys are working with the tractors, where they’re doing the daily manual tasks of a working wine estate. At the right season, from January and April, guests could potentially help with the harvest, picking grapes and then 15 or 20 minutes later tasting wines made from that same varietal, so it’s very interactive as well. 

It’s a sensory experience all round. We encourage our guests to stop and smell the roses, literally, and to dip their toes in the farm dams. And, of course, we’re spoiled for beautiful views in the Western Cape, with towering mountains as a backdrop to the green of the vineyards – and if you’re not looking at the mountains, you’re looking over the ocean. If you’re limited for time, you needn’t miss out as we do half-day tours that go to two estates and you get the same elements. 

Our all-inclusive Luxury e-bike tours are a far more gastronomic experience, where people actually put on weight from all the food and wine, even though they’re cycling. You visit four estates, whether it’s in Stellenbosch or Franschhoek. You do, for example, a private cellar tour; have a vertical tasting, so it’s the same varietals for three or four different vintages; do a chocolate and wine pairing; and have a gourmet picnic on the lawn of a wine estate. 

It’s not just the wines and the scenery that people comment on afterwards, it’s also our guides. Not only do they have a wealth of knowledge, but they’re also entertaining. That interaction between guest and guide, and the whole guest experience, is something that we work really hard on getting right.

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Alfred & Quintin Smith

Quintin Smith grew up outside Durban in the shadow of the Drakensberg Mountains, before moving to the Cape around 20 years ago to study and to indulge his love of cycling. By the time he launched Bikes ’n Wines in 2010, he had also acquired a deep appreciation of the region’s superb wines and the landscapes in which they’re made, a passion that shows no signs of abating. 

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Andy, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

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