Wine Farms in Franschhoek: 5 of the best!
Franschhoek is quite simply one of my happy places and with its lovely warm climate, stunning mountainous backdrop, incredible restaurants, and of course some of the finest South African wines why would it not be! When living in Cape Town I always take any opportunity I have for a cheeky visit to Franschhoek, given it’s only an hour or so drive. However, there are around 45 warm farms in Franschhoek alone so knowing which ones to visit is a little daunting! Here are some of our favourites.
Boschendal Wine Estate
Situated on the cusp of the Franschhoek wine valley, Boschendal, is more than just a wine farm, it’s a model of sustainability. Offering an array of organic local products, as well as mouth-watering seasonal menus from a team of chefs mentored by Chef Allistaire Lawrence. They have dedicated red and white winemakers who produce particularly good Shiraz and Chardonnay collections as well as Methode Cap Classique which is the South African sparkling wine. So whether you are looking to have a relaxing long lunch in a fabulous setting or simply want to enjoy tasting some delicious wine under the shade provided by the beautiful oak trees, Boschendal certainly won’t disappoint.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Maison with its relaxed, stylish but non-pretentious atmosphere, incredibly tasty tapas, and crisp wines that perfectly compliment the food. Liam Tomlin’s Chef’s warehouse took over the kitchen at the end of 2017 creating an exceptional and very good value 5-course tapas menu that is ideal for pairing with their wine and enjoying the vineyard views. I particularly enjoyed their Shiraz and the honey dessert wine.
A little off the beaten track, but well worth the extra effort to get there. GlenWood Vineyards offers great value wines which you can enjoy a tasting while soaking in their picturesque lake setting. Glenwood doesn’t have a kitchen, although it does offer some decent sushi, typically I’d visit after lunch presuming our group still had the stamina for another tasting!
Established in 1694 by Pierre Jourdan, Haute Cabrière, produce an array of exceptional wines including their iconic Chardonnay and for those who like their Pinot Noir, Haute Cabrière variety is particularly tasty, especially chilled. There is also a lovely, modern onsite restaurant that offers fabulous views of the Franschhoek Valley making for an ideal setting for a long lunch.
Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate
The last of our recommendations is the luxurious Grande Provence Wine Estate and its fascinating gallery which is well worth a look around. There are also some fabulous wines available to taste, from their Angel Tears house collection to their Premium and Flags ship wines which we enjoyed with a cheese platter. Certainly not the cheapest wines you’ll taste in Franschhoek but it didn’t stop our group from buying its share, the whites were particularly popular.
The one thing worth noting where ever you visit Franschhoek is to be mindful that South Africans start wine tasting early and many of the warm farms finish late afternoon so we recommend starting early. If you are interested in exploring South Africa’s Winelands and seeing what else this incredible country has to offer do have a look at our fantastic experiences in Rainbow Nations.