The sun may be hiding behind the clouds but the Franschhoek Wine Valley remains a rich, diverse, and deeply enchanting place to visit all year around. Winter food and wine festivals, fun family activities, and food-lovers workshops are a dime a dozen in the French Corner so to heck with the weather: let’s have a little fun!
Franschhoek Winter Wines
From Barbera to Bordeaux-style blends, Franschhoek Winter Wines is a celebration of the single varietal and blended wines that are best enjoyed on a chilly winter’s day. This year’s instalment of this popular festival takes place at the Franschhoek Cellar, the perfectly cosy and atmospheric setting in which to sample the best of the valley’s winter wines while chatting with the passionate winemakers behind them. Also expect soul satisfying seasonal inspired food, such as artisanal sourdough pizzas, grilled sirloin paninis, and pulled pork tacos.
When: Saturday 15 June (11:00 – 16:00)
Where: Franschhoek Cellar, R45, Main Road, Franschhoek
Tickets: R295 per person (www.webtickets.co.za)
Website: Event page
Franschhoek Bastille Festival
Prepare for the charming town of Franschhoek to be transformed by decorations of blue, red, and white for the annual Franschhoek Bastille Festival! Set against the backdrop of the historic Huguenot Monument, The Food & Wine Marquee is the place to be with its exquisite mountain views, superb Franschhoek wines, and generous selection of delicious gourmet fare. There’ll also be a barrel-rolling competition, live music, and a quirky caricature artist adding to the pizzazz of this already memorable winter winelands festival, which honours the town’s French heritage.
When: 13 – 14 July 2019 (Saturday 11:00 – 17:00 | Sunday 11:00 – 15:00)
Where: Franschhoek Huguenot Monument
Tickets: R350 – R395 per person (www.webtickets.co.za)
Explore Franschhoek by Bicycle
Winter in Cape Town isn’t all gloomy skies and blustery weather. On those gorgeous clear days, why not explore Franschhoek by bicycle and work off all those calories you just know you’re going to be consuming later? Franschhoek Cycles offers guided bicycle tours with a qualified and knowledgeable guide to explain all the historic sites and attractions. The tour also includes a wine tasting at local winery, a picnic, and a complementary bottle of wine (told you there would be calories).
Where: Shop 6, Le Roux Des Roses, 2 Main Road, Franschhoek
Contact: +27 (0) 21 876 4956
Hiking at Mont Rochelle
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve is part of the UNESCO declared Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve. Situated in the Franschhoek Mountains, the reserve offers spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley, diverse plant life, and over 30 km of safe, well-maintained hiking trails ranging from two-hour walks to full day hikes. Permits are available online from www.webtickets.co.za, at the entrance to the reserve, and at select outlets in Franschhoek. Dogs and drones not permitted.
Contact: email@example.com, +27 (0) 83 270 7291
Permits: R50 per person (www.webtickets.co.za)
Visit the Huguenot Memorial Museum
Get to know the history and legacy of the 1688 French Huguenots after whom Franschhoek is named with a visit and tour of the Huguenot Memorial Museum. Not only is the iconic monument absolutely beautiful to behold, with its backdrop of dramatic mountains and lush, manicured gardens, but the museum also offers a thorough education on the people that first settled this part of the Cape. It’s a great way to work up an appetite before heading to one of Franschhoek’s restaurants or wineries for lunch!
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 09:00 – 17:00 | Sunday: 14:00 – 17:00
Tickets: R20 entrance fee | Students R10 | Children R5
Contact: +27 (0) 21 876 2532, firstname.lastname@example.org
Attend Boschendal’s Meat-Curing Workshop
Master the art of meat curing with Boschendal Wine Estate’s talented butchers! Chef Christiaan Campbell will be hosting the insightful, two-day workshop, sharing Boschendal’s philosophy of raising pasture-fed livestock and their rotation policy that builds fertility in the soil so that the farm can thrive. Head butcher Rainer Raschbichler will then teach you all the techniques for salting, cold and hot smoking, and curing at home for the creation of delicious bacon, bresaola, salami, coppa, and pork sausage. The workshop also includes a tour of Boschendal’s butchery and a forest walk to visit the Duroc pigs.
When: 15 – 16 June 2019 (Saturday 14.00 – 17.00 | Sunday 08.00 – 12.00 – followed by a light lunch)
Where: The Retreat, Boschendal Wine Estate
Tickets: R1,450 per person (excluding accommodation – if you wish to stay on the farm, a 25% discount can be arranged, subject to availability)
Reservations: email@example.com, +27 (0) 21 870 4200
Website: View Event Page Here
Urban Food Growing Workshop
Hosted by Megan McCarthy, agro-ecologist and manager of The Werf Food Garden at Boschendal Farm, this workshop teaches students the basics of starting a home food garden. Megan will share her knowledge of organic food production and permaculture in an urban environment, covering topics such as seedling production, managing a worm farm, and using chickens in your garden. The course includes a seedling starter kit, companion plants, beneficial microbes, loads of fun and laughter, plus a light lunch.
When: 20thJune | 22ndJuly 2019
Where: The Werf Food Garden, Boschendal Wine Estate
Tickets: R995 per person
Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 (0) 21 870 4274
Website: View Event Page Here
Peruse Franschhoek’s Art Galleries
Franschhoek bears a formidable reputation for its wine and food scene, but the fine arts are just as honoured in the French Corner as their culinary counterparts. Art galleries practically line Huguenot Street – Franschhoek’s main road – making it too easy to kill a few hours perusing beautiful artwork, from oil paintings and sculptures to prints and beadwork. A few noteworthy galleries running fascinating exhibits this month and next include:
Art in the Yard
Contact: email@example.com, +27 (0) 21 876 4280
Everard Read Gallery
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 (0) 21 876 2446
La Motte Museum & Gallery
Contact: email@example.com, +27 (0) 21 876 8850
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 (0) 21 876 4402
Contact: email@example.com, +27 (0) 21 876 3301
Visit the Franschhoek Motor Museum
The Franschhoek Motor Museum is home to a staggering collection of vintage vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles dating back over 100 years. Displayed in a cluster of historic buildings on a breathtakingly beautiful estate, anyone with an appreciation for cars, engineering, or just nostalgia for bygone eras will love this experience. Please note that visits must be arranged beforehand.
Address: R45, Main Road, Franschhoek
Contact: +27 (0) 21 874 9000, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets: R80 for adults | R60 for pensioners click HEREto purchase tickets
Enjoy a (cost effective) winter-inspired meal
With winter settling her icy coats over the Cape, Franschhoek’s constellation of restaurants has redesigned their menus to warm the cockles of our hearts with hearty, winter-worthy meals. And, in a bid to seduce people to the winelands, even in the cold, many restaurants are offering exceptional deals on multi-course dining experiences so you can treat yourself to a wine-paired feast without putting a serious dent in your budget. Some winter restaurant specials to try include:
Le Coin Français
+27 (0) 74 126 0022, Lecoinfrancais.co.za
Specials: R295 for a lunch of Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq au Vin with a side and a glass of French Quarter Red or French Quarter White
Old Road Wine Co.
+27 (0) 21 271 0379, Oldroadwinecompany.com
Specials:R100 for a delicious, 100% beef burger, potato wedges, aioli, and glass of Pardonnay-Moi Cinsaut or Juliette Sauvignon Blanc. Available every day except Tuesdays, 12:00 to 18:00 until 30thSeptember 2019
Pierneef à La Motte
+27 (0) 876 8000, La-motte.com
Specials:A hearty winter soup with accompaniments and a glass of wine, or a beautiful selection of local cheese and charcuterie for R150 per person. Available Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00 to 16:00
The Dining Room, Leeu Estates
+27 21 492 2222, Leeucollection.com
Special:R350 for 3-course lunch or dinner and glass of wine, available Monday to Sunday