Wine Cultivars

Time spent in Franschhoek isn’t considered complete without at least some time spent tasting the offerings produced by the surrounding wine farms. It’s worth knowing a little something about the varietals available before you venture off to taste.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet is known as the king of reds. Cabernet grapes yield rich wine which capable of great depth. Typical flavours associated with Cabernets are plum, chocolate and mint.

Merlot

The smoothest red wine. It’s soft on the palate and very easy drinking. If you’re traditionally a white wine drinker this is a good place to start with reds.

Pinotage

A local cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut (Hermitage). Spicy and smoky it can produce complex and fruity wines with maturation, but is also very drinkable when young. Generally bottled as a varietal wine it is now the signature component of the ‘Cape Blend’.

Pinot Noir

A silky red which generally has a big nose and much lighter taste. If your strongest sense is smell then this is the wine for you.

Sangiovese

This red wine variety originated in Italy. It is most famous as the main component of the Chianti blend, but winemakers have started to experiment with using it by itself. Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavours with hints of strawberry and a little spice.

Shiraz

A spicy, full-bodied and extremely sexy red wine. Due to its luscious and mysterious taste it will have you begging for more every time. A love affair with Shiraz lasts a life time. Just remember we did warn you!

Chardonnay

This is a heavier white which is often wooded – meaning that it’s spent some quality time in oak barrels before bottling. There are a few Franschhoek wine farms the produce a lovely lighter unwooded versions of this traditional upscale lunch time wine. The wooded version is the white wine of choice for most men while women prefer the lighter unwooded variety.

Chenin Blanc

This is a fresh, fruity white wine. It is presently the lunch time wine of choice in South Africa. It’s incredibly easy drinking and you’ll easily find your way through a good bottle of Chenin.

Pinot Grigio

The style of wine made from this variety varies greatly. From some farms you get a rounded, fuller wine and from others a much lighter wine. They only share one common factor which is a delicate aroma often with a hint of honey.

Sauvignon Blanc

This is a tangy, tart, crispy dry white. It traditionally has overtones of gooseberry and guava. It’s another easy drinking white and a favorite among women.

Semillon

A classic grape producing wine with a distinct fig like character. It is made in both dry and semisweet styles. Because it is susceptible to Botrytis Cinerea it is one of the grapes most often used for noble late-harvest wines and other dessert wines.