Do you know what goes really well together? Wine and weary muscles.
This weekend we had the best time cycling the routes of Muratie wine estate with Cape Adventures, and then capped off the fun with a fantastic wine tasting and a charcuterie board that was quickly polished off.
It’s a fantastic way to spend the day, combining adrenaline and the fun of a challenge with stunning views, good company, and good wine. Let’s get into the details!
Need to know: Cycling trails at Muratie Wine Farm
- Trail permits are R60/day — you can get yours at the Muratie Tasting Room or at Dirtopia Trail Centres
- You need to fill in a basic indemnity form before you set off
- You can ride up to 35km of trails in a range of difficulties
- Like in the rest of SA, green means beginner, blue means intermediate, and black means advanced. Challenge yourself but don’t take unnecessary risks!
You can cycle here with or without a guide — if you’re an inexperienced mountain biker and/or you don’t have a good bicycle with you and want to be shown the best routes for your skill level, we recommend joining Philip on a private tour.
Our experience mountain biking at Muratie
Philip picked us up at our place and we drove to Stellenbosch — nice and early, so that we’d have the whole day to explore. You can always tell when you’re getting to Stellenbosch. It’s the land of farms and fruit trees. The excitement grew and then we got there, and all piled out to stroll about the food garden while Philip set the bikes up. It’s so beautiful doing these things in Spring — we could watch the chickens corral their newborn chicks, making sure no fluff-ball gets left behind, and the geese tracking about honkingly.
When the bikes were ready, we checked seat height, found helmets that fit our big heads, got a bit of a briefing from Philip, and set off!
We were a bit wobbly at first, and there were a few pile-ups where I stopped (on purpose or by accident) and Kura and Glenn behind me had to come to their own sudden halts. We cycled along the hillside, up through the pine forest, and faced some hard-core switchbacks (for us beginners), which Philip taught us how to handle. It was so fun starting the ride walking each of those switchbacks and ending it leaning into and out of them!
The track flows between forest and open fields overlooking the wine valley and the mountains surrounding it — and far in the distance, our Cape Peninsula. The forest was beautiful, but the fields of native fynbos were our favourite parts.
The downhills, of course, were the best part. Philip showed us exactly how to handle them — standing, legs bent, leaning your weight back, arms soft and low. With that information in our pockets we could take them on confidently, and woosh down despite the drop on one side of us, rather close by. Kura took a little convincing and we all had our fingers ready at the breaks, but we could do it! It is incredibly thrilling, and gets your heart pumping and your head full of adrenaline and happy endorphins like little else I’ve experienced. Whether you’re an experienced rider or beginner like us (not new to bikes, but very new to mountain bikes), it’s such a great adventure. It really feels like flying.
Wine tasting after a beautiful cycle
When we pulled in from our ride we could have a quick cold shower at Muratie’s rustic semi-outdoor bathrooms, get changed, and go for a wine tasting and charcuterie at the vineyard. And it is just what you want after getting up a sweat and adrenaline rush.
It’s a beautiful location overlooking different parts of the farm (depending on where you sit) and they have a few different tasting options available. We all got the flagship tasting with 5 wines for R150/person (cheaper option for R100, also 5 wines). Here we got to hear about the history of the estate and about the wines from our lovely sommelier, and gush to each other about our adventure!
We had the option of heading on to another wine farm or three, but felt so content and wiped by the experience, we opted to head home. Next time, we’ll be ticking off a few more of those tastings.
Cycling tours you can do with Philip of Cape Adventures
Cape Adventures has three exciting cycling tours that suit different preferences. Whether you’re into challenging trails, scenic rides, or a relaxed pace with wine tasting, Cape Adventures has you covered.
Local Trails — There are some stunning MTB trails in Cape Town, and if you’re looking for a guide and bike to tackle them with, Philip’s your guy! You can take on the trails of Tokai Park, famous for its diverse flora. There’s also The Missing Link above Camps Bay and trails like Hoogekraal and Contermanskloof in Durbanville, offering a mix of challenges and beautiful views.
Stellenbosch & Elgin — Famous for its wine, this area has awesome mountain bike trails too. Explore trails like Eden and G-Spot. Nearby areas like Helderberg, Jonkershoek, and Banhoek have incredible routes, and Oak Valley is a must for cross-country enthusiasts.
Trail and Wine Tours — If you prefer a relaxed experience, Cape Adventures offers Trail and Wine Tours in Durbanville, Stellenbosch and Elgin (Oak Valley). These tours combine easy cycling with wine tasting, perfect for families and groups who want a leisurely ride. This is the tour we did!
Get on the trails
There’s nothing left but to strongly recommend you get out there! Whether you join a tour or dust off the mountain bike that’s been sitting in your garage for the past 3 years, the important thing is to go out and do it. Your wobbly start will be rewarded with such a rush. And you could always top that rush off with some wine!