Franschhoek and wine have been synonymous ever since the French Huguenots settled in the valley back in 1688, bringing with them a flair for viticulture that has since seen the formation of one of the most accoladed wine growing regions in the world.
Thanks to its dry and sunny Mediterranean climate, Franschhoek’s grape growing conditions are near perfect, and the valley is home to vast swathes of vines, producing everything from Chenin Blanc to Shiraz.
Visitors flock from across the globe to sample the plentiful spoils of the valley, many of which can be enjoyed in grandiose manor houses steeped in Huguenot history. And of course, there’s a great view to be enjoyed no matter which way you look.
Whether you’re a first-time Franschhoek explorer or a regular visitor, there are plenty of incredible estates to discover and explore, both on and off the beaten track. To get you started, we’ve selected a few of our very favourite spots to enjoy a sip and swill.
Colmant Cap Classique & Champagne
If it’s bubbly you’re after, you’d be hard pressed to find better than the MCC produced at Colmant Estate, a veritable treasure trove of effervescent surprises. Nestled in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, Colmant specialises in wine of the sparkling variety, using the time-tested French method to produce their award-winning MCCs. And the view doesn’t hurt either.
Open Monday – Friday from 11:00-13:00
Situated high above the town with breathtaking views of the valley, Haute Cabrière is a wine lover’s dream, with numerous tasting options designed to suit any palate and preference. Specialising in the ancient art of sabrage, Haute Cabrière produces a wide range of world-class wines and MCCs, as well as a range of newly released wine popsicles – the perfect balm for the Cape summer heat.
Open Monday-Friday 9:00-17:00, Saturdays & Public Holidays 10:00-16:00, Sundays 11:00-16:00
Stony Brook Vineyards
Tucked out of sight at the end of a winding road, Stony Brook is a family-run farm, specialising in high-quality wines created with the connoisseur in mind. Well off the tourist beat, this charming estate is surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, and is a favourite amongst locals and tourists in the know. Don’t leave without sampling the Rosé MCC, which boasts an almost golden hue and an immaculately indulgent mouth feel.
Bookings by appointment only.
Home to some of South Africa’s most highly sought-after wines, La Motte’s history dates back to 1752, making it one of the country’s most established estates. Internationally recognised for its quality products, La Motte is one of Franschhoek’s must-see destinations, thanks to its spectacular setting on the outskirts of town. Enjoy the enchanting old-world ambience, as you sample a variety of easy-drinking blends and reserve vintages, guaranteed to impress even the most ardent vinophile.
Open Mondays-Sundays 09:00-17:00
Vrede en Lust
Boasting breathtaking views across the valley, Vrede en Lust is one of the region’s premier boutique wineries. Home to an award-winning all-female winemaking team, Vrede en Lust’s sustainable and hands-on approach to viticulture can be felt in every signature bottle. Make sure to try the estate’s Jess Rosé, a light and fruity wine that pairs perfectly with languid summer days.
Open Mondays to Sundays, 08:00 – 17:00