• Boulders Beach (TMNP)

    Nestled in a sheltered cove between Simon’s Town and Cape Point, Boulders has become world famous for its thriving colony of African Penguins and magnificent wind sheltered, safe beaches. Although set in the midst of a residential area, it is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird (Spheniscus demersus) can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment.From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to about 3 000 in recent years. This is partly due to the reduction in commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, which has increased the supply of pilchards and anchovy, which for part of the penguins’ diet. Boulders forms part of the Table Mountain National Park (TMPNP), which incorporates Table Mountain and the Peninsula mountain chain from Signal Hill to Cape Point. The area comprises a number of small sheltered bays, partially enclosed by granite boulders. The most popular recreational spot is Boulders Beach – recently voted one of the best 50 beaches in Africa – see blog. The penguins are best viewed from Foxy Beach, where newly-constructed boardwalks take visitors to within a few metres of the birds.  

  • Bartinney Private Cellar

    Bartinney is set on the dramatic slopes of Botmaskop alongside the Helshoogte Pass overlooking the picturesque Banhoek Valley. Michael and Rose Jordaan repurchased the 27ha family farm in 2006, with a vision to create excellent wines and reawaken the charm of the historic land. “Our belief is that every aspect must work in harmony: agriculture with nature, people with animals, sustainability with excellence.” Bartinney is Carbon Neutral. This means that a zero carbon footprint in both farming and wine making has been achieved. 50% of Bartinney’s power is generated through solar. The farm has had Champion status in the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) since September 2010. Rose is a founder member and Trustee of the Banhoek Conservancy, whose goal is for the social upliftment of the poorer communities in Banhoek and environmental improvement of the natural areas of the greater Banhoek Valley. You might want to try their Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and Vintage Elevage 2010. Wine tasting at the Tasting shed are R30 per person for three Bartinney wines. Mon – Fri 10h00 to 16h00 Cellar tours by appointment only

  • Paul Cluver Wines

    2016 Judges Overall Winner: Unwooded Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest 2014 2016 Leader in Water Conservation This family-owned, family-run wine business is located in the cool-climate Elgin Valley. The property has been in ownership of the Cluver Family since 1896. Their focus is on producing elegant wines that are expressive of the terroir. The wine business forms part of larger holistic farming business called ‘De Rust Estate’. This estate forms part of the UNESCO world heritage site, the Kogelberg Biosphere. Half of the estate has been set aside for conservation into perpetuity. Dr Cluver has been a supporter of conservation projects, officially undertaking projects of his own on the estate since 1970. He was involved in the establishment and development of Groenlandberg Conservancy. Other features include a restaurant, Fresh, open from Wed to Sun; hiking trails; 5 day slackpacking on the Green Mountain trail; and summer open air concerts in the amphitheatre.

  • Vondeling Wines

    2016 Bloggers Overall Winner: Vondeling Babiana 2015 Vondeling is a Champion Conservation wine estate, home to some of the Cape Floral Kingdom’s rarest and most unique plant species. These owners play a key role in driving landowner collaboration to minimise the threats to this unique region known as the Paardeberg. Two of Vondeling`s premium white and red wines have been named for two of these red data listed plants that are endemic to the Paardeberg mountain, namely Babiana noctiflora and Erica hippurus. They are committed to an innovative waste-water management system, a social upliftment job-creating project in alien vegetation removal, a recycling programme and wildfire prevention. The farm offers state of art wine tasting facilities, a country chapel, and wedding or function venue, as well as self-catering accommodation. Visitors can pre-book a generous farm style Vintner’s Platter, which they can enjoy at the tasting room. Booking for Vintner’s Platter or set menu meal options is essential.

  • Gabriëlskloof

    2016 Judges Best Red Gabrielskloof The Blend 2014 Gabriëlskloof is a family owned and run wine estate with sweeping views of the Babilonstoren Mountains and the surrounding wheat fields. The farm and vineyards were established in 2000, with their first vintage in 2009. It has 70 hectares under vine and 50 hectares set aside for conservation, mostly consisting of Overberg Sandstone Fynbos and some critically endangered Western Ruens Shale Renosterveld. They have rehabilitated the fynbos in the area below the winemaker’s house by collecting fynbos seeds over a period of time and then scattering them across the slope. A variety of birdlife has returned to the farm to delight birdwatchers young and old. Taste their wines and olive oil, accompanied perhaps by a hearty meat and cheese platter, or as part of their food and wine pairing. Restaurant, @Gabriëlskloof, entices with mouth-watering, sincere cuisine and a deli filled to the rafters with all things handmade, homemade, delicious and fresh.

  • Graham Beck Wines

    Situated 10 km outside of Robertson on Route 62, the Graham Beck Estate’s Madeba farm, is situated in the breathtaking Breede River Valley bordering the semi-arid Little Karoo region. An ethos of farming in harmony with nature ensures Graham Beck Wines are making significant strides in protecting our precious natural heritage. The Graham Beck Robertson Cellar is a testimony to inspired vision and foresight. Bordering Madeba is the Graham Beck Private Nature Reserve, an area that extends to the eastern slopes of the Rooiberg. 1885ha of land had been registered with Cape Nature and in 2006 the Riverine Rabbit, a critically endangered species once thought extinct, was seen residing in the Breede Sand Fynbos section, the most endangered veld type on the site.

  • Merwida Wines

    The estate has been in the van der Merwe family since 1840, and home to Merwida wine farm. With 600ha of wetlands conserved on the farm, Merwida is proud of this healthy wetland with its abundant indigenous palmiet covering most of the area. This near pristine wetland, the largest along the Breede river system, supports a unique collection of aquatic insects, as well as many water-dependent birds and animals. The American Colonial Merwida Country Lodge offers an unforgettable stay or to host wedding or other function.

  • Schalkenbosch Wine Estate

    Schalkenbosch Estate is situated on the outskirts of Tulbagh, an easy 80 min drive from Cape Town. The Estate also offers three comfortable, fully equipped self-catering cottages set in the gardens of an old Cape Manor House. The Cape Dutch farm house dates back to 1792 and has been proclaimed a National Monument.

  • Koelfontein

    Koelfontein has been the proud heritage of seven generations of the Conradie Family. Cecilia’s Farm Shop on Koelfontein sells dried fruit & nuts and seasonal fresh fruit. One of the historical farm houses, Die Kloof, recently renovated, offers self-catering accommodation A walking tour of the farm follows a clearly marked-out route, which begins at Die Kelder and exposes visitors to interesting aspects of farm life, such as export fruit orchards, award-winning vineyards and farm animals. Hiking trails extend into the foothills and mountains themselves around Gydo Pass. Two-thirds of the farm is dedicated to the preservation of indigenous Fynbos, which includes the rare, threatened Lowland Fynbos. Flourishing indigenous vegetation makes it a bird-watching paradise.

  • Cederberg Private Cellar

    Dwarsrivier farm – where Cederberg Private Cellar is situated – is surrounded by the Cederberg Wilderness Area. The Cellar belongs to one of eight landowners whose property borders on the Wilderness Area. It offers unique wines with altitude, as SA’s highest vineyards, as well as plentiful hiking options, accommodation and wine tastings. Only about 300ha is used for farming, the holiday resort and staff housing, with the rest of this unspoilt land placed under CapeNature’s care – with 5,200ha under conservation. Cederberg farms sustainably and because this isolated area is virus free it has minimal disease, allowing for little to no chemical intervention. Wine tasting available on farm without reservation required. Accommodation: self-catering chalets and camping available at Sanddrift Holiday Resort on the farm. Access to many of the Ceberberg Hiking trails and rock art features, with permits available from farm shop. Office hours for accommodation bookings and shop (incl. hiking permits and maps):

  • Cloof Wine Estate and Burgherspost

    Sister estates Cloof and Burgherpost co-operate closely in both farming and conservation matters. With a combined total of 1,094ha under conservation, they contribute to the preservation of 611ha of Swartland Granite Renosterveld and 598ha of Atlantis Sand Fynbos – both highly endangered vegetation types. Cloof and Burgherpost believe in the value of investing in conservation strategies such as clearing of alien vegetation, supervised by a full-time conservation manager. On this West Coast land, there is a game camp stocked with locally indigenous mammals, and nature drives are offered to experience conservation in agriculture. Come for lunch, wine tasting, game drive or a nature walk. The Cloof Kitchen restaurant offers light lunches alongside the tasting room.

  • Sir Robert Stanford Estate

    Established in 1855, Sir Robert Stanford Estate is situated on the southern slopes of the Klein River Mountains overlooking the peaceful village of Stanford. This 164ha estate is member of the Klein River Conservancy with more than 200 species of fynbos under conservation, mostly consisting of Overberg Sandstone Fynbos and some Elim Ferricrete Fynbos. Since 2003, indigenous trees have been planted and 32ha have been cleared of alien vegetation. Access to fynbos areas is also strictly controlled to prevent fynbos harvesting, and quarries are being rehabilitated where sand mining once took place. Biological farming methods are used, such as turkeys that are kept for snail control, yearly planting of cover crops, as well as making their own compost and mulch. Visitors can stroll through the vineyards or enjoy a tractor ride to experience nature up close. A delightful country style restaurant, Madre’s Kitchen, uses only free range meats from the Overberg and local produce, keeping the food miles as low as possible.

  • Hermanuspietersfontein Wingerde

    The picturesque 320ha farm nestles in the mountainous valley area close to Stanford and the Atlantic Ocean. The farm is a haven for a variety of fauna including leopard, duiker, reebok, serval and baboon. All freely roaming the land. Untouched slopes are covered in fynbos; as well as concerted efforts in clearing land of invasive alien plant species. The vineyards are planned around fynbos corridors and pathways to connect biomes and provide access for animals and birdlife across all ecosystems. Tilling by earthworms, brings valuable underground benefits such as air, moisture, bacteria and soil-conditioning materials. The happy flock of ducks is in charge of biological snail control. Self-catering cottages are available on the farm. Visit the winery and cellar for tastings and the very popular Saturday Food and Wine Market at the Hemel and Aarde Shopping Village.

  • Hamilton Russell Vineyards

    One of the most southerly wine estates in Africa and close to the Fernkloof Nature Reserve, Hamilton Russell Vineyards – established in 1975 – was the pioneering wine producer in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. The Estate specialises in producing highly individual, terroir driven Pinot noir and Chardonnay. This family-owned farm has a private nature reserve with pristine mountain fynbos and two small wetlands as part of the 407ha under conservation across the adjacent properties owned by the family. Hamilton Russell have also extended the natural biodiversity into the vineyards by establishing biodiversity islands and species-diverse permanent cover crops. The land is also home to numerous species of animals, including klipspringer, caracal and bat-eared fox. By-appointment tours and tastings bring the family-farm experience to life.

  • Bouchard Finlayson Estate

    Located in the wine ward of Walker Bay, the 125ha property currently has 22ha under vines; the rest is covered by the spectacular indigenous ‘fynbos’ flora of the Western Cape.  Farm tour and nature walks guided by Bouchard Finlayson’s very own resident amateur botanist, Frank Woodvine, are available by appointment. A unique wine tasting excursion combines a scenic guided nature walk through the 100ha of protected Fynbos on the Hemel en Aarde Valley wine farm, with a tasting of its latest vintages and a delicious Bouchard Brunch Board with bread, olives, olive tapenade, in the cellar or on the terrace overlooking the vineyards.

  • Wildekrans Wine Estate

    This 1000ha estate is tucked away in the Overberg overlooking Walker Bay. Almost half of this large estate is under conservation, and Wildekrans is passionate about protecting natural habitats on the farm, from restoration of riverine areas, to creating favourable habitat for birds such as the iconic Blue Crane. A scenic drive through the farm boasts indigenous trees replanted and active fynbos restoration underway, with signage to educate visitors of the uniqueness of the natural species and efforts in restoring these landscapes. restaurant: Country themed restaurant, ‘Open’, offers a fresh, modern menu. Dinner by reservation for groups of 10 or more. Enjoy Food and wine pairings by winemaker, William Wilkinson.

  • Wintersdrift Wine

    Wintersdrift forms part of the Fruitway’s Group in the Elgin Valley. A unique feature is the wine tasting and platform eatery at a railway station siding, with a commitment to local and sustainable ingredients. Although primarily an apple and pear farm, the first vineyards were planted in 2004, with approximately 60ha currently under vines and the Winters Drift brand was launched in 2010. The then owners, the Molteno Brothers, set aside 500ha of uncultivated mountain fynbos and were founders of the Groenlandberg Conservancy in 1998. The farm is registered with CapeNature to conserve the remaining areas of unspoilt fynbos. Wines can be tasted and purchased from the Winters Drift Tasting Station and alongside is the Platform 1 Eatery. Trail running also available on the farm.

  • Oak Valley Wines

    Oak Valley Estate in the Elgin valley is renowned for its apples and pears, greenhouse cut flowers and production of high quality, cool climate wines. A hiking trail takes the hiker on a walk across the Groenlandberg Mountains from the Elgin Valley, to Houw Hoek, Bot River and Villiersdorp. It is also the world’s first Bio-diversity wine route, which focuses on eco-tourism. All hikes have guides in attendance and cover a maximum period of 4 days. For more info and charges visit www.greenmountain.co.za There are 3 marked Mountain Bike Trails rated by MTB enthusiasts as one of SA’s top riding destinations: 14km Green Route (Family Ride) 24km Red Route (Stronger Riders) 32km Black Route (Advanced Riders) The Pool Room houses a restaurant, deli, wine tasting & sales counter. Accommodation in the form of a fully equipped self-catering cottage “1902”.

  • Elgin Orchards

    Elgin Orchards, situated on the ecologically sensitive Palmiet River in Grabouw, is the only wine farm on the western side of the Elgin Valley plateau to become a BWI Champion. Elgin Orchards have dedicated 116ha of their 771 ha farm, named Oudebrug, to conservation. Core to their conservation efforts has been the protection and maintenance of 6.6km of the riparian zone on the Palmiet River. The Palmiet Riet (reed), growing in this area, acts as a filtering system, naturally cleansing the water. The dense Riet also creates a lively ecosystem, creating a home for amphibians, insects, birds, reptiles and fish species. The farm is not directly open to public. Wines can be tasted through: Elgin Vintners, 19 Appletiser Road, Elgin, 7160.

  • Eikenhof Wines

    Eikenhof Farm, one of the Fruitways farms, is surrounded by the majestic Groenlandberg Mountains, which forms part of the Kogelberg Biosphere, a World Heritage Site. Eikenhof is situated directly adjacent to the Groenlandberg Nature Reserve, with 55ha of pristine fynbos forming part of the Groenlandberg Conservancy and Green Mountain Eco-Route. Eikenhof is unique in that it has 3 small kloofs on its south eastern boundary where more than 50 species of indigenous trees have been planted, covering an area of about 3ha. Approximately 2 000 protea seedlings were planted back into the 55ha fynbos area after a fire in 1984. Easily accessible contour paths enable visitors to ramble through the area to enjoy this natural beauty spot. Farm not open to public. No tourist facilities are available on this farm – the contour path routes accessible through Green Mountain Trail (contact info@greenmountaintrail.co.za for more information).