Explore vineyards and fruit orchards on foot or in the saddle, enjoy wine tasting or just relax. Discover these and other things to do in Botrivier in the Overberg.
Certainly it’s not a big town centre, just a hotel and a sprinkling of shops. But it has an official wine route and is stuffed with true country style. We recently stayed at Endless Vineyards Boutique Lodge on the Wildekrans Wine Estate. It’s a peaceful enclave where you’ll wake to the sound of birds, go for gentle walks, drink in the views and watch the sun set in a flush of candy floss pink.
Kick back and relax or get busy and enjoy some of the activities on the estate and nearby, the choice is up to you.
- Go for a guided walk through the estate and learn about the vineyards, the different types of fruits that are grown here, like plums and pears, as well as the natural vegetation. Enjoy views of the surrounding mountains.
- Saddle up at the horse stables and go horse riding along a scenic route under wide blue skies. The horses are valued members of the Endless Vineyards and Wildekrans family and enjoy some of the nicest accommodation on the estate.
- Bring your bikes and tackle one or two of the mountain bike trails that cross the estate, giving views of the surrounding vineyards and orchards. Choose your distance from 10km, 21km or 42km.
- If fishing is your thing, you’re in luck – go catch-and-release fishing in the dam at the top end of the estate. I’m not into fishing but I enjoyed the views around the dam. You might even spot some birds in the area.
- Take a dip in the swimming pool or simply relax on one of the sun loungers in the walled enclosure.
- Don’t miss having dinner (weekends only) or lunch at Forage Restaurant on the estate. It’s not just a meal but an experience. There’s a fireplace for cold days and an open hatch to the kitchen so you can watch the magic happen.
- Enjoy a wine tasting in Wildekrans Wine Estate’s welcoming tasting room, where you can sit inside, outside on the stoep or in a courtyard. You can taste three to six wines, including the intriguing Deep Purple, which is a non-traditional blend of pinot noir, pinotage and cabernet sauvignon. For something more special, ask to do a wine and fynbos honey pairing.
- If your interest in wines goes beyond the mere tasting of them, do a cellar tour at Wildekrans Wine Estate to find out what the winemaker gets up to behind the scenes.
- Plan a country wedding (up to 300 people) to make the most of the country-style serenity of the estate.
- Explore the wider Bot River wine route, which has some ten to twelve estates. We enjoyed a tasting and lunch at Gabrielskloof, and a personal tasting with winemaker Niels Verburg at Luddite Wines on the eastern slopes of the Houw Hoek mountains. A bit of a technophobe, he makes his wines in a low-tech manner with lots of hands-on personal attention. The packaging is unusual (think different kinds of labels and crown closures for the whites) and the name of one of the ranges, Saboteur, reflects his aspiration to be a disrupter. Other wineries in the area include Arcangeli, Beaumont, Goedvertrouw and Paardenkloof.
- If you’re travelling to or from Cape Town, you’ll drive the Houw Hoek Pass, originally built back in the 1830s. Enjoy the mountain scenery, stop for tea or a snack at the Houw Hoek Hotel, which dates back to 1779, or at the Houw Hoek Farmstall for one of their famous chicken pies.
- If you’re in the area over a weekend, don’t miss the art-deco themed Elgin Railway Market. The restored old building is a festival of sweeping staircases and metal archways where you’ll find live music, arts and crafts, clothing, and lots of good food, craft gin, wine and hand-roasted coffee.
- If you stay at Endless Vineyards longer than a day or two, make a day-trip to Hermanus, just 30km away and with lots to do. See 15 things to do in Hermanus on the Cape Whale Coast.
- Another feasible day-trip is to the villages of Greyton and Genadendal about 50km away. See 15 things to do in Greyton in the Overberg.
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