#FindYourEscape: Run away from the city to Rawsonville

2018-04-07 10:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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Accommodation in Breede River Valley

Vineyard looking out on the Slanghoek Mountains in Breede River Valley (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

When it feels like you may start screaming at the traffic in Cape Town, perhaps it's time to escape to the countryside where traffic includes a slow-moving tractor transporting grapes to idyllic wineries and perhaps a roving troupe of bikers.

Driving from the city to the Breede River Valley is quite a scenic meander as you pass through the Huguenot Tunnel and find yourself getting lost in wine farms around Rawsonville.

Known for its agriculture and pleasant weather (with possibilities of snow in winter) the area popular for its wine route and extreme sports events, even has a touch of Italian to make for the perfect farm escape.

SEE: 6 Farm stays perfect for families

What is there do around Rawsonville? 

Discover the winemakers of Breedekloof Wine Route

Off the heavily beaten tracks of the Cape Winelands, the Breedekloof Wine Route offers many a family-owned and managed wine farm where you have a better chance of tasting with the winemaker than at bigger farms.

One wine farm that has the honour of being home to the first Woman Winemaker of the Year award winner - Ivy du Toit.

Her family has been farming grapes for six generations, but only started producing their own wine after Ivy convinced her father to make her winemaking dreams come true. Her wines have won multiple awards and their Izak Bordeaux Reserve Blend 2013 is their most successful wine. 

Their smokey cabernet sauvignon is a must-try, and white wine drinkers will readily enjoy the chardonnay.

SEE: Eat, pray, love at the new Bosjes Winelands hideaway

Wine bottle from Jason's Hill Winery in Breede Riv

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

Learn to make pasta with Picardi Place

Discover Italy at Picardi Place - where your host Jaco Brand will teach you all you need to know to make a classic Italian dish and where you can stay in simple yet stylish accommodation among the farms of the valley.

The day starts off with an introduction from Brand before heading off to his permaculture garden where everything is organically grown and a roving chicken coop keeps the soil fertilised. All the plants have other companion plants that help them grow and stave off pests.

Brand's main background is landscaping, and these days he focuses on creating gardens that are edible. He stumbled upon Italian cooking while taking a class on his European travels, and decided to bring the pasta-making art back home with him.

ALSO SEE: Authentic tastes from around the world

With the picked produce, and a sneaky glass of wine, the pasta-making commences with a few eggs, olive oil and flour - all you need to make pasta. Brand goes through all the technical bits with you, but afterwards you feel like you can take on anyone on Master Chef.

Picardi Place's accommodation is perfect if you feel like you may be too full from the pasta and wine after your workshop. The Camomile cottage is self-catering and focuses on minimalist design, with a king-sized bed and two loft areas with three single beds each - great for families and squads.

SEE: Italy on a plate - tastes from North and South

Home-made pasta with tomato sauce and basil leaves

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

Mountain bike through the Slanghoek Mountains

The Slanghoek Mountains dominate the scenery around Rawsonville, and the most exciting ways to view it is from a bike winding its way through the mountain trails. These mountains played host to the Cape Epic this year, but you don't have to be an epic expert to take on some of the trails.

Slanghoek Wine Cellar's 13km mountain bike trail is mostly gravel road and jeep track with a few stream crossings and suitable for families and beginners. The route even goes through a camp where animals roam freely! There's an extra 4km loop for the more experienced riders and you need to register at the cellar before embarking on the ride.

Du Toitskloof Wines also offers four mountain bike routes - 8.8km, 18.2km, 13.5km and 25km - that winds through farms, vineyards and provides gorgeous views of the mountains. If you're riding in winter be prepared to get wet from the flowing streams and you are welcome to mix up the routes to suit your own needs. The Family D'vine Walk-or-Cycle Loop stops off at various wineries if you're looking for a sip-and-ride experience.

WATCH: How to go mountain biking on the West Coast

*Disclaimer: Traveller24 Content Producer Gabi Zietsman was hosted by Maserati to Picardi Place and Jason's Hill.