The gardens of paradise at no. 37/800 – Babylonstoren, Franschhoek

Moving onto number 37 of 800 now. It is Babylonstoren in the Franschhoek Wine valley. #FHKMCC2016

I have rated this wine farm experience 5 star.

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OVERALL RATING WINE SERVICE FOOD LOCATION
85% 81% 79% 85% 96%

It is everything you have ever hoped for on a wine farm, all in one spot – award winning wines, amazing food, beautiful gardens, a spa, gift shop and even accommodation!

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Excited much? 🙂


ACTIVITIES and OTHER AMENITIES: 

  • Wine tasting – 5 wines for R25. cellar-door-pricelist-oct-2016
  • Food Platters – R150 – R200 tastingroom-platter-menu
  • Guided garden tour daily – starts at 10h00
  • Guided Cellar tours daily on the hour between 11am and 3pm – R50
  • Spa
  • Hotel
  • Restaurants
  • Note that there is a R10 entrance fee which goes to the Babylonstoren charity fund to educate children in the area.

BOOKINGS: The wine cellar room and Greehouse restaurant does not accept bookings however, for the spa and Babel restaurant, booking is essential.

The Tasting Room is open daily – from 10h00 to 17h00 in winter and 10h00 to 18h00 in summer.

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WHEN TO GO: All year round! Due to the nature of the tasting room, you could go in any type of weather.

CHILD/PET FRIENDLY?  I would not recommend this location for the kids as there is not many places for them to play. There is also a strict no pet policy due to the wildlife on the farm. It is nicer for older families couples or friends.

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Spot the horses and hens.

LOCATION: Situated in Franschhoek about a 45 minute drive from Cape Town. Google Map

OTHER RATINGS:  Check out what others say about Babylonstoren on Trip Advisor by CLICKING HERE. 

TripAdvisor

Click HERE to view the ranking of this farm against others I have already reviewed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Visit Franschhoek Wine Valley for more information on Wine farms in Franschhoek. 

 Here is my experience:

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Yes darlings, wine tasting this way! 🙂

Entrance into the farm is R10 which is donated to the Babylonstoren fund for child education in the local community.

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Entrance.

Drive slow, there are pretty heavy speed bumps! There is plenty of parking but I would recommend getting there early (10h00) to get a nice shady spot. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk quite a bit.

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parking.

The Babylonstoren wine tasting room has got to be the most modern I have ever visited. It is a stark contrast considering the farm has been around since 1692. Just over 10 years ago, the farm was purchased and modernized by a Magazine Editor. You can read more about the history by clicking HERE. 

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Glass wine tasting room.

This is the entrance which you need to walk through to get to the tasting room. You will literally be transported from the past into the present.

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Entrance to wine tasting room.

Take a walk to this silver pillar and you will read all the names of the workers on the farm engraved onto glass.

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It is literally like a mini museum.

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Old wine pump equipment & artistic scenes.

This is the wine tasting room which is surrounded by large windows from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. I especially loved that they had large tables for bigger groups of people.

First up was the Chenin Blanc…the bottle is clear as day and the label is printed directly onto the glass. There is something about the logo which says old fashioned charm with a modern twist – I love it!

Next  up was the Rosé.

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Keep pouring 🙂 hehe

Rosé wines are really making a come back this summer because there are so many good DRY ones.
Many people associate Rosé wines with an extremely sweet taste but you will really love the acidity and freshness of this one.

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It is 100% Mourvèdre, Raspberries and rose petal notes – and just look at that beautiful salmon colour.

I ordered a few platters to enjoy whilst sipping on the wine. It is the most artistic, eye pleasing platter I have ever seen. Just look at how fresh and neatly presented it is! <3 All the ingredients are either from the garden or brought in from a specialized delicatessen. It is absolutely delicious!

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Vegetarian platter – R150.

On my first visit, I asked for some more bread (because there is quite a lot of spreads/cheeses and nothing left to put them on) and I was given extra slices at no cost with some delicious olive oil! Check it out! How awesome!

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Olive oil – R110 for the can.

Below is the Winemakers platter (my fav). On my second visit, I was told that extra bread is not allowed – not even if I wanted to pay for it! That for me was a bit of a disappointment 🙁 I wonder if the lady serving was clueless… service is so important in the wine industry.

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Winemakers platter – R170

However when I complained, I found out that if you want to do the olive oil and bread tasting, you have to walk up to the bar and stand there like a bit of a nana. I would have preferred it if they brought a smaller sample to the table and then did a bit of an intro about the olive oil like the first time I visited. I wonder why this changed? Maybe you will be lucky when you visit 🙂

Onto some reds! I love reds and I was over the moon when I read the varietals in the Babel red blend. 39% Shiraz, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot,  10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot! Totally full bodied, full of berries, spice and a hint of chocolate. If you smell carefully, you will get a hint of fynbos. What a marvelous blend!

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2015 Babylonstoren Babel Red Blend – R115.

This Shiraz is one of the top 12 in the SA Shiraz challenge 2016. 18 months in 70% new and 30% second-fill 300 litre French oak barrels. It has a subtle taste of dark cherries, prunes and a pungent exotic spice. Surprisingly smooth. I really like it that you can taste this wine as part of the tasting menu!

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2014 Babylonstoren Shiraz – R160

Some of the wines like this Nebukadnesar below, which is their flagship Bordeaux wine, is not part of the normal tasting menu and comes at an extra cost of R15 per tasting.

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Award winning wines.

Now when you are tasting some wonderful full bodied reds, this meat platter is the perfect companion. The meat platter which had a great serving of different meats. A top tip is to get both the winemakers platter and meat platter, then you can mix and match the spreads, meats and cheeses. YUMMY!

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Meat platter – R180

We decided to spoil ourselves and ordered a bottle of the 2011 Babylonstoren Sprankel MCC. It is 100% Chardonnay and is only produced in small quantities – so this is really a boutique MCC. Just look at the packaging, how wonderful and unique.

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2011 Babylonstoren Sprankel MCC R495 a bottle.

It would make a wonderful Christmas gift!

I would recommend that you take a walk downstairs into the cellar. You can stand on a glass floor and watch a small movie which creates quite a unique experience. You can go on a guided cellar tour for R50 pp which includes a tasting of 5 wines. The tour happens every hour on the hour, from 11h00 to 15h00.

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Lots and lots of wine, just waiting 🙂

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Above the cellar on a glass floor!

To walk off the wine and food, I went on a 20 minute garden walk which was stunning! If you visit, you just have to do this.

 

I eventually came to the much talked about Greenhouse Restaurant. How awesome is this decor and setting!

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Here are some images below. It is not great service and is rather overpriced for what you get but you know what, with ambiance like this – who cares! 🙂

There is just eye candy everywhere!

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Tea – my 3rd love after wine and food 🙂

To end off my visit, I walked into the gift shop and “smelly room” which was full of amazing things to buy.

I loved it!

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So which farm will be next?

x

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