Participants in the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter will be treated to a selection of award-winning wines during the mountain bike race that finishes after a taxing 614km at La Couronne Wine Estate in Franschhoek on February 10.
Besides providing a tranquil finish venue to one of South Africa’s premier multiday races, marketing and sales manager Eldorette Carinus said they would do everything possible to ensure the riders had a memorable experience off the bike.
“These wines range from our red and white varieties to rosé and will be offered complimentary to the competitors,” said Carinus, who will be at the TransCape to provide information on their brands.
“Winning awards for various wines assists us with our marketing goals, allowing us to showcase them to the public, while providing an indication of the quality of our brand.
“It also shows that we are able to compete with other wines in South Africa, which has a reputation for producing high-quality products.”
La Couronne’s wines will add further value to the seven-day mountain bike race, which was granted UCI status in October.
The organisers have also opened the race to e-bikes, the first event of its nature to do so in the country.
“Our mission is to motivate as many people as possible to ride,” said ASG Events chief Wynand de Villiers.
“This falls in with our philosophy to spread the message of wellness, fun and family time through the privilege of riding.”
Carinus said grapes had been cultivated on the mountain slopes surrounding Franschhoek for over 300 years and they were passionate about continuing the legacy.
“The estate covers 40 hectares, of which half is under cultivation for wine production. Wine-maker Henk Swart uses only the best viticultural technique to produce top-quality wine from the grapes that are hand-picked on the farm.”
She invited the community to join them at the finish to welcome home the riders, who include former Springbok captain John Smit and Proteas batsman Gary Kirsten.
“We will be offering picnic opportunities, pizzas, a variety of other food and live music.” She said there would also be designated play areas for children.
La Couronne’s wines that received gold-medal recognition this year are their 2015 chardonnay (Vitis Vinifera), 2014 portside red (Goldwine Awards) and this year’s merlot rosé (Vitis Vinifera, Michelangelo Awards, Rosé Rocks and Goldwine Awards).
The fourth Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter starts in Knysna on February 4.