If you are a Capetownian like me, then you are no stranger to the Franschhoek Wine Valley – it is hands down my favourite wine valley. Why? Because not only is it totally fancy and sophisticated, it is also food and wine romance central – yeah, now we are talking!
If you are a frequent visitor to the Franschhoek Wine Valley, then you probably would think that you have seen it all, and this is where Franschhoek will surprise you again. During the off-season months of winter, the Franschhoek Wine Valley has been rather busy preparing a series of new experiences just for you to enjoy this summer, so here they are, five NEW reasons to fall in love with the Franschhoek Wine Valley all over again…
1. NEW Fine-Dining Restaurants
Probably the biggest trend this season is to boast about dining out at venues which have ridiculously good menus and rather long reservation lists. What’s all the fuss about? Well, I don’t think you will experience anything quite like this anywhere in the world for the price you pay. You will literally experience art on a plate with some of the best ingredients your taste buds have ever experienced, prepared by some of the BEST Chefs in the country and the service is top notch too! Yes, guys, all of this food is Instagram heaven.
New to the scene is Le Petit Manoir Franschhoek, Beleef, La Petite Colombe and a rather more casual but still awesome harvest table experience at The Bistro at Grande Provence. What’s good food without good wine? Expect all these restaurants to offer some of the best wine pairings you will ever experience. With the likes of Mulleniux wines and Soldaat by Sadies wines, you are truly going to be spoiled by a Sommelier. Don’t forget to book in advance to avoid disappointment!
2. Garden Sculpture Walks
Invest in some cultural exploration as you explore the picturesque gardens of the Winelands at La Motte and Grande Provence. Every Thursday morning from 10am-11am La Motte hosts a garden sculpture walk complete with a glass of MCC and traditional French Madeleine for just R60. The walk is hosted by the Museum Manager and will take you around the estate gardens and even the barrel room.
To make a booking, contact La Motte on:
The Garden sculptures at Grande Provence are free to view. Wine tasting starts at around R50 for three wines and p.s. they have oysters too!
3. The Perfumery museum
A trip to Franschhoek just would not be complete without a visit to the first of it’s kind, Perfume museum. Explore literally hundreds of antique perfumes and even create a perfume blend of your own from R450 per person.
The museum guided tour is R120 per person. I really didn’t know that there was so much to learn about the art of perfume. Even KWV once produced a perfume – yes the same wine house as it is known today!
To make a reservation:
Tel: +27 (0) 723 424 174 +27 (0) 741 210 012
Something has to be said about the ‘oh so worth the splurge’ accommodation there is on offer in Franschhoek. The biggest drawcard being the absolute location and then, of course, the epitome of luxury. We truly are spoilt in South Africa with luxurious accommodation right on the doorstep of towering mountains complete with premium service.
New to the scene is a botique hotel on the main road opposite the historic church called Le Petit Manoir. There are just 4 luxury rooms available with en suite and swimming pool, a mere few seconds walk from all the activity the main town has to offer.
Another gem to take note of is the accommodation at La Petite Dauphine. Although this is not a brand new wine estate, the estate cottages are rather modern, complete with fireplace, lounge and even shoe polish – I mean they really do think of everything! In the morning expect to receive the morning newspaper and enjoy your coffee amongst the vineyards. Their breakfast menu is top notch and I would even recommend just the breakfast if you cannot stay the night.
5. Wine Tasting & Wine Safaris
Relatively new wineries to the Franschhoek Wine Valley map are Paserene, Le Lude, Mont Rochelle and Haut Espoir. Although they have been open for more than a year, they are still relatively unknown, hidden gems. I would recommend to start the day at Paserene or Le Lude, enjoy lunch at Mont Rochelle Miko restaurant and then end the day with sundowners overlooking the mountains at Haute Espoir.
If adventure is more your thing, Chamonix are now offering unique wine safari and underground cellar tours. Spot zebra, Eland, Ostrich and Springbok as you climb the mountain in an open 4×4.
Stumble across the “smurf house” that sits in solitude underneath a private waterfall or taste wines in the candle-lit, underground cellar.
Franschhoek is best for romance
Although Franschhoek does have kid-friendly farms, you will not see this wine valley’s full potential of utter romance until you use this amazing town that is Franschhoek to get engaged, married, celebrate an anniversary or simply just spend some TLC time with your other half.
So what are you waiting for? Make your booking before the busy season hits! 🙂
To find out more about this wonderful area of the Western Cape, visit the Franschhoek Wine Valley Website.