The original start venue for the FNB Wines2Whales Lourensford is one of the most iconic destinations for mountain biking in South Africa. With the Switchback the estate has the opportunity to wow riders like never before.
Lourensford is one of South Africa’s oldest estates. That said it has only been an active wine farm, in recent times at least, for about as long as it has hosted mountain biking trails. Though it has always been a world-renowned fruit farm wine making was only revived when Dr Christo Wiese purchased Lourensford in 1998.
There may well in fact be MTB trails which pre-date the winery then. Though none so old are used in FNB Wines2Whales. For 2021 the Switchback riders are to be rewarded with a brand-new trail. Dubbed the Lourensford Ultimate it provides a 6-kilomtre long sweeping singletrack finale to the three days of racing.
Wine lovers will already be familiar with the estate’s spectacular wines. To that end, Lourensford was awarded Top Wine Estate in 2020 at the SA Terroir Wine Awards. Cellarmaster Hannes Nel, who has completed 3 FNB W2W races himself, does all of his riding on the estate.
“I am fortunate to work and live on Lourensford,” Nel explained, of how mountain biking influences his wine making philosophy. “The best way for me to monitor the vineyards is by bicycle. I am able to cover much more ground than I can in a vehicle, and I can cycle in between the rows to inspect the development of the grapes. Cycling brings me closer to the vines, and connects me to the soil from where our grapes are harvested.”
The best way to experience Lourensford’s wines is by booking a “Blind Tasting”. For the gurus among the challenge is to correctly guess at least 4 of the wines in the flight. If they manage to do so the tasting is free. Beyond the cellar and the mountain bike trails Lourensford is also home to clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing, a yoga studio and spa. Beer, vodka, coffee and chocolate connoisseurs are also provided with the opportunities to indulge on the farm, while meals are served at the Millhouse Kitchen, Coffee Roasting Company and in the famous weekend market.
|Lourensford Wine Estate|
|Location:||Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Sunday 10:00 to 17:00|