Modern fun at 58/800 – Leopard’s Leap, Franschhoek

What a perfect location to celebrate a birthday at number 58 of 800, Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards in Franschhoek.

In fact, it seemed like everyone was celebrating their birthday that day! Four of us were asked to stand on chairs, enjoy a glass of bubbly, and the entire restaurant broke out into song! This encapsulates the entire experience at Leopard’s Leap. You can certainly expect to have loads of fun, great wine and amazing food!

Leopard’s Leap  was conceptualised by Hein Koegelenberg, CEO of Leopard’s Leap Wines, with guidance from his late father-in-law, Dr. Anton Rupert who is of course internationally recognized as a leading businessman.

You can expect great food and wine at a price you can afford. This was an excellent Pork Belly meal served with the Bordeaux-style Grand Vin Red.

BOOKINGS: bookings are definitely recommended, but  you can also just walk in for a wine tasting at the bar, provided there are seats available. Email:
WHEN TO GO:  Summer or Winter. This venue will keep you entertained in all types of weather, no problem.
SERVICE: Excellent! Quick, friendly and relaxed.
CHILD/PET FRIENDLY? You can definitely bring the kids because there is a jungle gym however, leave any animals at home – no pun intended here 🙂
LARGER OR SMALL GROUPS? The world is your oyster! This venue can accommodate people on their own or groups as large as you can book it!
LOCATION: About a 50 minute drive from Cape Town in Franschhoek. Google Map
OTHER RATINGS: CLICK HERE to view what others have rated on Trip Advisor.

Here is my experience:

It was a dramatically cloudy day and I just loved how the modern architecture complimented it.

The inside space is incredibly well laid out and designed for different seating preferences. Yes, there is even a library by the fireplace! Leopard’s Leap is in fact actively involved in the promotion of local authors and literature as well as sponsorship of book launches and literary events across South Africa. They are also a founding sponsor of the annual Open Book Literary Festival.

Leopard’s Leap also happens to be a sponsor of the Cape Leopard Trust. There are actually many Cape Mountain Leopards that live in the surrounding Franschhoek mountains. Leopard’s Leap helps to fund the protection of these animals by means of cameras and regular check ins to ensure they are protected.

Inside, the wine bar is casual which is great for fellow wine tasters to mingle – friends and strangers alike!

Leopard’s Leap wines are extremely good value for money ranging from as little as R40 a bottle. Taste any five wines from the Family Collection, Classic or Lookout ranges, for R25 per person.

Their premium range, the Culinaria Collection, costs R40 per person to taste 6 wines and they are exceptional too with the most expensive being just R140 a bottle (their MCC).

I started off with the MCC. It’s a fabulous blend of 59% Chardonnay, 29% Pinot Noir and 12% Pinot Meunier. On the palate, enjoy fine cranberry notes with a great balance of acidity! Just look at that elegant colour!

Next up were the Chenin Blancs. If you have the time, I would recommend that you take both the R25 tasting (Classic) and R40 tasting (Culinaria) so that you can taste the varietals side by side. It was great tasting how different the wines from the same cultivar were. You can see how the influence of the wood changed the colour on the Culinaria Chenin 2016.

I then moved onto the Pinot Noir, again, tasting the two ranges side by side. The classic was delightfully refreshing, 75% Chardonnay (sourced from Durbanville) and 25% Pinot Noir (sourced from Elgin). At only R46 a bottle, it is perfect to enjoy without food on those long summer days.

The Culinaria collection Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2016 was noticeably darker in colour and would be wonderful to pair with Asian cuisine. Due to the higher Pinot Noir content (55%), it has a wonderful berry flavour, plus the 45% Chardonnay adds that rounded depth to a lingering dry finish.

Onto the reds! I am a big red wine fan and I was absolutely blown away by their Grand Vin (I think because it had Malbec in it) – my favourite!

It’s a bordeaux-style blend of 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 21% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec.  It spent 14 months in 40% new french oak barrels and at only R110 a bottle, you are in for a bargain. An excellent food wine!

The restaurant has a great atmosphere and is surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Franschhoek.

Leopard’s Leap has a Rotisserie style restaurant which means you pick your food and they weigh it.

Download Leopard’s Leap Rotisserie Menu

Again, it is great value for money – I filled my plate with salads/veggies and it only came to R55. I added the Pork Belly for R75.

This is definitely how you should spend an afternoon in Franschhoek!

Please note: Leopard’s Leap’s rotisserie lunches will be closed for a winter break from Monday, 19 June and will reopen on Friday, 14 July, just in time for the annual Franschhoek Bastille Festival. The wine tasting room and shop will stay open as usual.

If you are interested in cuisine, why not book a cooking class at Leopard’s Leap in their state of the art, open kitchen? Morning classes start at 10h00 and evening classes at 18h00. Due to some rennovations, cooking classes are on hold until further notice but keep a look out on their website if you are interested.

I had an excellent experience and I am sure you will too!

So which farm will be next?




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *