It was my first official wine festival since March and this years’ Franschhoek Uncorked Festival was really rather good. Tickets were just R180 per person and are valid for the entire weekend. The concept of “uncorked” literally means just that… no limits!
11 farms participated in this years’ festival of which I visited four on the Saturday. A rather handy app was available for download to help you navigate the different farms and events. It was so much better than carrying around a crumpled piece of paper.
Stop 1: Boschendal
I decided to start the day at Boschendal to enjoy the beautiful setting and Chard/Pinot Rose wine. What I didn’t read on my Webtickets ticket was the “collection point” of my glass and armband…it was the tourism office and not Boschendal…oops. However, the Webtickets guy was super understanding and said don’t stress about it and manually checked me in which I thought was rather good. Good social distancing was adhered to, as you can see Boschendal has quite a lot of space!
Stop 2: Leopards Leap
After some lovely glasses of Rose at Boschendal, it was time for lunch so I headed on over to one of my favourite foodie spots, Leopards Leap. Before entering, we were asked to sign in, sanitize and get our temperature checked which I thought was really rather good and helped me feel a bit more relaxed that no one with a high temperature was being allowed in.
I got a fabulous pizza for only R85 and washed it down with three tastings of the Leopards Leap Merlot. Bargain of note! Leopard’s Leap also had a DJ on site keeping the mood very festive!
Stop 3: Paserene
And then it decided to rain but that didn’t stop me snapping the below photo at Paserene. Two wines were up for tasting at Paserene, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Rose. Red wine was available for tasting at an additional fee of R35 per person. For those that have not been to Paserene before, know that it is a very exclusive boutique estate and wine tastings are normally rather pricey. I was actually super impressed that they were able to participate in Franschhoek Uncorked.
Stop 4: Plaisir de Merle
The final stop for the day was Plaisir de Merle where I spent the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the absolutely divine Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (R250 a bottle) with live entertainment by the 1925 band. I also had some Chardonnay and some oysters (five for R100). Again, my temperature was checked and I was allocated a place to enjoy the afternoon.
The verdict: Franschhoek Uncorked 2020
I have been to Franschhoek Uncorked before a few years back and was put off going again by one of the farms allowing way too many people into the venue and it essentially turned into a “drunk fest” which is fine for some but not so great for others wanting to taste the wine in sophisticated joy.
This year, thanks to social distancing, the wineries were not over crowded and in turn, everything was a lot more sophisticated and enjoyable. I was able to taste all the wine at the various venues as well as comfortably find a spot to sit with food to enjoy.
Despite the rainy weather, I absolutely enjoyed this years festival and would consider going all three days in the future by staying over in Franschhoek with friends.
If you’re keen to go next year, keep a look out at https://www.franschhoekuncorked.co.za/