Franschhoek Wine Valley

Franschhoek’s Virtual Bastille Festival A Resounding Success

Not even COVID-19 could keep one of South Africa’s longest running festivals from taking place this year. The Franschhoek Bastille Festival, which was launched in 1994, takes place annually over the same weekend of the French Bastille festivities, and sees thousands of festival goers fill the streets of Franschhoek to celebrate the valley’s French heritage.

However, this year saw a different turn of events, and instead of cancelling the organisers saw this an opportunity to take the festival to the people. A 10-day countdown, which commenced on 1 July, took viewers through a virtual journey of the Franschhoek Valley as each day revealed a new experienced. Some of the experiences included cellar tours, a walk through the garden of Babylonstoren, a guided tour of the village, a sneak peek at the collection of vintage cars at the Franschhoek Motor Museum as well as the highly popular cook along with Franschhoek local and celebrity chef, Reuben Riffel. Linked to the daily reveals were unbelievable offers, affording the public to make use of unforgettable deals. Although only revealed on the day these offers are still available until the end of July.

Chef Reuben Riffel presented an online cooking demo on 5 July 2020.

Saturday, 11 July, which would have been the date for this year’s event, saw the virtual festivities wrap up with a day filled with Franschhoek celebrations. A sabrage, cooking demo, virtual wine tasting and live music show were all part of the day’s line up. 

“With no blueprint to work off we didn’t know what to expect, but we were blown away by the response. We had the opportunity to engage with followers who, in the past, wouldn’t have been able to attend the festival, and simply with the click of a button they were able to experience the valley through our eyes,” says Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO, Reinher Behrens. “Not only was engagement with our followers crucial, but we have also grown our social media following substantially across all of our platforms, which these days is key in getting your message out to the greater public. We reached just over 500 000 people in total via our relevant social media platform with this campaign.”

As one of the country’s leading winelands destinations this has certainly paved the way for future virtual festivals. Watch this space for more details on upcoming Franschhoek events. 

Franschhoek Wine Valley exists to:

  • Develop and implement marketing plans to profile the Franschhoek Wine Valley
  • Arrange and advertise events that support the Franschhoek Wine Valley brand image and which encourage visitors to the Valley
  • Represent the business interests of our members to the Stellenbosch Municipality
  • Aggregate the combined buying power of our members to leverage economy of scale benefits from service providers
  • Coordinate free advisory services and discussion forums to support our member’s businesses

Our Accolades

  • TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2020 - Top 25 Emerging Worldwide Destinations (15th position).
  • Tripadvisor Traveller's Choice Destination Winner 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
  • Most Memorable Wine Route 2014, 2013 & 2012
  • Service Excellence Award - 2015
  • Best Tourism Event 2015 - Franschhoek Bastille Festival
  • Best Local Tourism Authority Information service 2013 & 2012

Tourism Levy

Certain establishments in Franschhoek may levy visitors with voluntary contributions towards the running of the FWV and to support local charities. Should visitors not wish to contribute to these causes, please indicate this to the relevant merchant.


Maintenance & validity of all business operating permits, licences and registration certificates are the responsibility of the business owner. Franschhoek Wine Valley takes no responsibility for the renewal of the required legal business operating documentation.


Contact Us

Franschhoek Wine Valley

Physical Address
62 Huguenot Road

Office hours
Monday: 09h00 – 12h00
Tuesday to Friday: 09h00 – 16h00
Saturday: 09h00 – 13h00
Sunday: closed

Contact Details
+27(0) 21 876 2861