The magic of the Franschhoek winelands
My husband and I got engaged and married in Franschhoek, so this area holds a very special place in our hearts! It’s impossible not to be enticed by the breathtaking scenery, warm hospitality, gourmet offerings, fine wines, distinctive artists and small village atmosphere. These are the hallmarks of the picturesque Franschhoek, situated in the heart of the winelands.
The valley was originally settled in 1688 by Huguenot refugees who brought with them their age-old French traditions and knowledge in winemaking and viticulture, and transformed the wilderness around them into one of the most beautiful valleys showcasing their wine and food culture. Most of the Huguenots who settled in the area were given land by the Dutch government in a valley called Olifantshoek (“Elephant’s Corner”), so named due to the vast herds of elephants that roamed the area. The name soon changed to Franschhoek, where this proud heritage can still be seen and felt today in the village and surrounding farms.
There are a variety of cellars, from small boutique wineries that cater for those in search of something unique, to large cellars that offer organised tours and conducted tastings. Award-winning wines range from plump reds to elegant whites and delicious sparkling wines. This longstanding tradition of winemaking is a perfect complement to the excellent food that is served in any one of Franschhoek’s more than 40 restaurants headed by truly talented chefs, several who have been awarded the highest national and international culinary honours.
2 unique aspects to this wine region are:
· Wine Tram Tour – a combination of tram and tram-buses transport passengers around a loop of stops with a narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley, along with complementary wine tastings and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards.
· Cap Classique Route – regarded as one of South Africa’s leading Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) producing areas, the Valley has relaunched its MCC route. The route now hosts a total of 18 producers, including newcomers Grande Provence, Plaisir de Merle and La Motte. It extends from Backsberg all the way through to Franschhoek Pass Winery, the home of Morena, giving visitors to the area an all-round experience of what Franschhoek has to offer.
At Checkers we bring the Franschhoek wine route right to your door. Try some of our wines from the following award-winning estates:
Boschendal, La Motte, Leopard’s Leap, Porcupine Ridge, Haute Cabrière, The Wolftrap, La Bri and Boekenhoutskloof.