There are so many reasons to take the road less travelled. For starters, it provides you with the opportunity to support local hidden gems that suffered the most as a result of lockdown. Secondly, it is usually a way in which to take sustainability more seriously. Finally, it will help you to avoid crowds and maintain social distancing while you’re away – great news in current times!
Not quite ready to head off on an interprovincial holiday that spans over a few weeks? Scratch those itchy feet with a day trip to Stellies instead. We’ve done the research for you and found some of the most eco-conscious activities and venues for a memorable 24 hours in stunning Stellenbosch.
Start your excursion off at Spier where being kind to the earth is engrained in the enduring culture of the estate. The minute you arrive, you’ll notice the smell of freshly cut grass and the sounds of enthusiastic livestock and chickens as they roam freely in the pastures. Further to this, anything produced on the estate, be it livestock, fruit, or vegetables are free from any antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and artificial fertilisers. Let your gaze dance across its landscape as you marvel at the hundreds and thousands of thriving plants – all of which are indigenous to South Africa.
Spier is also known to be big on recycling, with over 98% of solid waste and every last drop (100%) of black- and grey-water being re-used in some way. If all of that isn’t enough reason to stop by, Spier invests in the Growing for Good learning initiatives, too – these are all dedicated to empowering communities to bring about positive environmental and social change, including the alleviation of poverty.
Begin your adventures on a Saturday or Sunday morning (between 9am and 11am) with an abundant selection of traditional favourites at Spier’s legendary Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery*. All of the mouth-watering additions to your plate are locally sourced, much of which are produced on the estate itself. From flavoursome mushrooms and crumbly sourdough toast to sunny eggs and smoked trout, you’re in for a real breakfast treat.
Longridge employs biodynamic viti-cultural methods when maintaining its vineyards, and this includes steering clear of using any artificial fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides on their crops. Instead, they have set free a flock of peckish ducks who waddle freely through the vineyard in search of hunger-busting insects and other pests.
Under the watchful eye of experienced winemakers, each cultivar is tended to only through natural approaches and no commercial fining agents, enzymes, or yeasts are used. The Longridge restaurant is dedicated to sourcing local produce and only that which has been grown organically.
We suggest navigating your way to Longridge for a decadent lunch at the resident Longridge restaurant*. Along with an inviting menu, you and your travel party will also be treated to sweeping views of False Bay and Table Mountain.
You can’t go wrong with a bowl of comforting butternut soup, topped off with pumpkin seeds and croutons for extra crunch for starters, followed by a succulent free-range steak slathered in green peppercorn sauce and a side of your choice for mains. If you’re hoping to tuck into something light and refreshing for dessert, be sure to take a look at the selection of homemade sorbets in all of your favourite flavours, or opt for the vanilla panna cotta embellished with a sweet strawberry puree and fruit salsa. It’s farm-fresh dining at its finest!
It is impossible to document all of the reasons why Waterford Estate is such an environmentally-friendly choice to add to your day trip itinerary. The owners of the estate have made the conscious decision to farm only half of their land in an effort to protect the area’s animal life and natural vegetation. They have embraced sustainable farming practices and have been awarded an Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) certification, along with a Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIETA) accreditation. Finally, the estate is one of 37 wine brands with WWF Conservation Champion status.
Close off a mesmeric day out with a Wine Drive Safari at Waterford Estate in the afternoon. The trip lasts approximately three hours and takes you across the expansive 120-hectare estate as you explore what makes the area so biologically diverse. If the views aren’t enough to keep you interested, they’ll be topped off with plenty of thirst-quenching wine tastings and a few light snacks. You’ll also be perfectly placed to take in the majesty of the sunset as it dips slowly and gracefully behind the surrounding mountains.
*Part of the Restaurant Rewards Campaign
See? You can have the time of your life while still being kind to the earth whenever you decide to visit Stellenbosch. Here’s to taking sustainability seriously. Cheers!