As a wine enthusiast himself, our director, John Holley recently visited South Africa’s most visited wine valley – Franschhoek. He and his family spent time at Leeu Estate, Waterford Estate, Delaire Graff and many other heavenly spots.
After a delightful few days spent in this quaint village John has shared some of his exquisite pictures with us and penned some highlights and tips for you below. Make sure you make note of these for your next trip to Franschhoek!
- La Cotte Farm
La Cotte Farm is uniquely situated a stone’s throw from the charming village of Franschhoek. “Both the farmhouse and little cottages are fantastic options and an easy stroll to town.”
- Leeu Estate
“Leeu Estates is a phenomenal experience! It boasts one of the best gardens and has incredible statues on display. I love that they are pushing South African art.”
Start your day with a tasting on the estate and then stroll into the gardens and enjoy a relaxed afternoon picnic. It’s a sensational experience! The Leeu Estates picnic is a must if you have time in Franschhoek and must be booked 48 hours in advance.”
“The estate is really exceptional and your stay will be magical.”
- Delaire Graff
Delaire Graff Cellar has been making world-class wines since 2008. The flagship Cabernet Franc is the estate’s bestseller and a must-taste. Delaire Restaurant has a world-class team of gifted chefs and sommeliers to take you on a culinary joyride. Savour the food as each plate is served with the utmost care and teeming with fresh ingredients, picked daily from the farms very own vegetable garden.
“This winery really does boast the best views of the Franschhoek valley and will no doubt leave you wishing you could stay longer!”
- Safari Waterford Estate
Taste a bottle of Kevin Arnold Shiraz, planted on the rockiest sandstone slopes of Waterford Estate. This complex array of red and dark fruit flavours pairs well with lean red meats. Or book a wine drive safari, which takes you through the 120-hectare Estate on the beautiful slopes of the Helderberg Mountain by a safari-type vehicle. This unique 3-hour trip allows the chance to taste award-winning Estate wines amongst the vineyards of their origin, and you will be expertly guided through all the aspects of what makes this area so biologically diverse and viticulturally unique.
“I cannot recommend the Waterford Wine Safari highly enough. The owner and wine maker Kevin Arnold is a good friend. They take a drive in an open “safari” vehicle around the estate and try the wines in the fields at the actual vines at lovely settings. It’s unique and magical. Anyone doing a day tour or time in the winelands HAS to do the Waterford Wine Safari. This is beautifully complimented by their wine and chocolate tasting! Just brilliant! Their wine is also some of the best in the Winelands and really should be tasted.”
A few more tips:
- If you’re visiting the winelands during peak season, make your dinner reservations 6 months in advance as getting into restaurants can be tricky!
- Visit Big Dog Café for the best coffee in Franschhoek and a delicious piece of cake too!
- If you’re on a romantic getaway, or simply have a weakness for beautiful sunsets, visit Dieu Donne- whose wine tasting setup is phenomenal or Franschhoek Pass Winery. Both have lovely Cap Classiques – perfect for that crimson sunset!
- Le Lude also have a great Cap Classique.
- Add Babylonstoren to your must-visit list! The gardens are exquisite and they have a fantastic Chardonnay.
- Take in everything the Franschhoek has to offer, from five-star accommodation, delectable food and great wine to the magical red-orange sunsets and the wonderful people.
Scroll down and let John’s pictures transport you to the picturesque Franschhoek Valley even for a few brief moments. For more on Franschhoek and the Cape Winelands click here.