We recently had our semi-annual "wine vacation" in Franschhoek and this time did something REALLY different; we booked a guided fynbos walk with Rob Armstrong, managing director at Haut Espoir wine estate. It is such a unique and refreshing thing to do in the valley and we hope more people will take advantage of this resource in the future. Lest you think Franschhoek is "only" about good food and drink, think again ...
Besides making good wine, the Armstrong family has based Haut Espoir on a biodiversity philosophy that includes allowing - and in some instances actively plant - vast tracts of land on the farm to revert to its original fynbos plant ecosystem. A walk on the mountainside reveals so many examples of these interesting plants, including different types of protea. Rob estimates that of the nearly 5,000 fynbos species indigenous to South Africa, at least 500 now grow on the farm. Rob is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about fynbos and will give you a great introduction to what this unique ecosystem is all about; including the numerous dietary and medicinal uses of the plants. It is exercise clambering up and down the mountainside and the walk offers breath-taking vistas of the Franschhoek Valley.
After the walk, Rob does a lovely wine tasting in their beautifully appointed facilities. Please note that the length and level of difficulty of the walk can be adjusted. Our walk was about 1.5 hours long and quite strenuous, but Rob can tailor this to individual needs.
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