The Wine Enthusiast recently did a special feature on what they think are the World’s Best Wine Tour Destinations for 2016. Here are some more details on one of the destinations on their list: Franschhoek in South Africa.
7. Franschhoek, South Africa
Franschhoek is a fairly small town at the very end of a spectacular valley between mountain tops an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
This is what The Wine Enthusiast has to say about it in their intro:
“This picturesque South African village offers distinctive wines and food plucked from the valley. Franschhoek, or French Corner, gets its name from the French Huguenots who settled there in the 17th century. Fleeing religious persecution, the Huguenots brought their winemaking knowledge to the region, and their heritage is commemorated by the many wineries bearing French names. […] Located just 30 minutes from Stellenbosch, it’s widely regarded as a gastronomic capital. Impressive mountains flank the town. It’s also dotted with both modern and traditional Cape Dutch-style wineries, with vineyards that stretch up the slopes and run down to the river.”
Franschhoek has become one of the focal point for wine tourism in South Africa. When you go there you should combine it with a stop in Stellenbosch, not far away. And if you have the time also some more wine regions nearby.
Franschhoek is on our list of most popular wine tour destinations. Here’s more on what to expect when wine touring in Franschhoek in South Africa.
What to expect
The landscape is beautiful. Charming. You pass through verdant vineyards without end and drive along roads in valleys surrounded by high rising mountains. It is spectacular. It is also very welcoming. Most of the wineries are well-equipped to receive visitors. Many have restaurants and some even have guest rooms.
The charm of it attracts a lot of visitors so on week-ends and in season it can be busy.
Even though they have made wine here for more than 350 years it is a “New World” wine country. There are not much specific regional styles; it is more a question of each winery’s choice of style. Many make wines from a wide variety of grapes so it is a good chance that you will find your favourites.
What you should not miss
Most roads are down on the valley floor. Take one of the smaller roads that lead up on one of the slopes. You will have some beautiful vistas.
In South Africa they also make excellent sparkling wines, what they call MCC, or to give you the long version, Methode Cap Classique. Delicious. And they also have a very big production of brandy, cognac-style spirit.
Most important of all though, if you come all the way here, you must visit some of the other wine regions nearby: the urban Stellenbosch, Paarl, the wild Swartland etc.
Travel with us on a wine tour to Franschhoek in South Africa!