From lunches and carols to markets and meeting Santa
Segway Tours at Spier Wine Farm
Take a two-wheeled tour of one of South Africa’s most innovative farms
As a property that both holds tight to its heritage and pushes forward with a commitment to innovation and sustainability, Spier in Stellenbosch is hands-down one of the coolest farms in the Cape Winelands. And a guided Segway tour of the property is without a doubt one of the coolest ways to explore it.
Not only is a ride on one of these two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicles (the sort you see in the movie Mall Cop) a whole lot of fun, but it also gives guests a chance to get out and experience Spier’s vineyards and pastures and witness first-hand how the winery is making a positive impact with its pioneering biodynamic farming approach (a holistic, organic agricultural method that focuses on natural cycles and the connection between soil, plant and animal life).
Spier offers two different tour options: a one-hour excursion that covers the heart of the farm and a two-hour trip that heads further out into wine and agriculture country. The shorter of the two zips participants through the stunning Protea Garden and also takes them past the wastewater treatment plant, where the farm recycles 100% of its old water using art, nature and technology.
The longer option includes both these stops but also weaves its way up dusty paths, past happy hens and free-range cattle that are ethically reared by farmer Angus McIntosh and into the neat rows of vines. Once riders have tasted a grape or two (in season) and taken in the spectacular leafy scenery, they move on to farmer John’s organic vegetable patch, where cabbages, radishes, peas, asparagus, onions and more are grown for Spier’s on-site restaurants. They then head back home to enjoy a complimentary sampling at the farm’s elegant wine tasting venue. Both excursions are peppered with interesting facts from the friendly guide and both leave guests feeling exhilarated and at one with nature.
Of course, not many people have had the chance to glide along on a Segway – the novelty is part of the thrill – so the guides start the excursion with a training and orientation session to calm the nerves of anyone who’s a little fearful of these futuristic transporters. Visitors will learn how to start, stop and turn, and will also perfect their skills on an obstacle course, so that they’re more comfortable with the bumps and dips on the gravel roads.
Then, after the preparation is done, it’s all about taking to the property’s dirt paths and enjoying the wind in your hair, the breathtaking views and the invigorating feeling of spinning around on two wheels – just be sure to pack some sunscreen, a hat, some comfy shoes and your spirit of adventure.
Price and booking information for the Segway tours at Spier wine farm
The one-hour tour costs R375p/p and departs at 9 am, 10:30 am, 12 pm, 1:30 pm/2 pm; 3 pm/3:30 pm daily; the two-hour option is priced at R575p/p (this includes a complimentary wine tasting) and departs at 9am, 12pm or 3pm daily. When the weather allows, there is also a later sunset tour that gives participants the chance to see the vineyards bathed in vibrant colours as the sun goes down (this costs R700p/p).
Booking is essential and can be done by visiting Segwaytours.co.za, phoning +27 (0)21 809 1157 or emailing email@example.com. Guests must then meet at the farm’s main visitor centre 30 minutes before the excursion is set to start. No kids below the age of 10 are allowed on the one-hour tour and no children younger than 12 can participate in the two-hour trip.
Keen to spend the night at this fascinating age-old farm? Read about a stay at the four-star Spier Hotel.
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