Green Mountain Eco Route
Did you know?
This initiative aims to conserve threatened habitats and to use biodiversity principles in wine production
The Green Mountain Eco Route is the world’s first biodiversity wine route, located within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, the epicentre of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Most of the Cape’s wine cultivation takes place within the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest and the third most biodiverse region on the planet. In the last decade or so, local wine exports have increased steadily, threatening more and more of this globally unique habitat.
The Green Mountain Eco Route falls within the Groenland Mountain Conservancy, in the greater Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, and covers the villages of Botrivier (Bot River), Elgin Valley, Grabouw, the Houwhoek mountains and Villiersdorp.
In keeping with its philosophy, nature is of utmost importance on this biodiversity wine route. Current wine tasting glossaries don’t include the terms fynbos, renosterveld, endemic fauna and red data flora, but if the vintner-conservationists here have their way, perhaps they soon will.
Wine lovers who visit the Paul Cluver, Beaumont, Oak Valley and other wine estates, taste world-class cool-climate wines, that thrive because their makers nurture biodiversity(all living eco-systems and species) with the same passion as they blend vintages.
When you go slackpacking in the mountains, or trundling gently along the roads of this eco wine route, stopping at farm stalls, and the wine estates of the Groenlandberg Conservancy aka the Green Mountain Eco Route, you won’t need much convincing that these biodiversity champions are on the right track.
Verdant flower farms, orchards heavy with fruit, pristine mountain biking, walking and hiking terrain, trout fishing, birding trails, organic gardens and farmers' markets bursting with fresh produce, bear testimony to the generosity of Mother Nature’s spirit when humankind respects her.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Green Mountain Eco Route
Tel: +27 (0)83 229 4630
How to get here
Access the Green Mountain Eco Route via the N2 from Cape Town International Airport and Sir Lowry’s Pass, or via Route 62, en route to the Overberg and the Garden Route.
Best time to visit
The vineyards, magnificent gardens and flower farms in the area blossom October to December. Harvest occurs between January to early April. September to October is when Elgin residents open their magnificent gardens to the public.
Around the area
A number of resident artists offer art classes. Follow the old Cape ox wagon trail, visit historic farms, drive 4x4 trails and enjoy a variety of adventure sports.
Tours to do
The region offers wine tours, the four-day Green Mountain ‘slackpack’ hike, flower farm tours, country food trails and exceptional birding.
To explore at your leisure, a car is a necessity. Or contact Tri-Active Event Management, a local, community-based tour operator that knows the route intimately.
Length of stay
There are activities and attractions to keep you busy for a weekend, a week, or a longer stay.
Where to stay
Choose from boutique hotels, country and guest houses, B&Bs, self-catering cottages, and tented camps. Accommodation is available at all towns on the Route. Luxury options include Exner Boutique hotel, Porcupine Hills and Wildekrans Country House.
What to eat
Pears, apples and grapes in season, along with fresh trout, local cheese, sustainably harvested fynbos honey, and venison.
KOBIO Fynbos Festival annually in December; summer music concerts from December to January at Paul Cluver Wine Estate; Beaumont's annual Port Stomp, usually in March; the Apple Blossom Mountain Bike Classic, usually in October.
The region is known for its flowers, fruit, organic wines and fresh farm stall produce.