Soak up the last rays of Summer in Franschhoek
With a slight chill in the air in the mornings it is a gentle reminder to us that Summer is drawing to a close and Autumn is dusting off her coat to make a brief appearance before Winter sets in. With the seasons changing what better excuse to linger longer in Franschhoek and make the most of the last Summer days.
This time of the year the Vignerons are frantically finishing off what can only be described as a busy harvest season. Most of the grapes have been harvested and the next stage is spending time in the cellar where they will be crafting superb wines the valley has become renowned for. Whilst this requires patience and time, there is still a vast selection of superb Franschhoek white and Rosé wines to sip, sample and savour during the warmer days. Discover a plethora of superb bubblies as you create your own tailor-made experience with Franschhoek’s Cap Classique Route – the first of its kind in South Africa. These range from large traditional estates to the smaller lesser-known niche producers. Some of the producers include L’Ormarins, Noble Hill, Colmant, Le Lude, Topiary Wines and My Wyn, to name but a few.
The last days of Summer makes for perfect picnic weather. Boschendal is renowned for creating showstopper picnic baskets for you to enjoy on its sprawling lawn shaded by towering trees. Rickety Bridge and La Bri have recently launched their picnic experiences and from what we’ve heard they are not to be overlooked. Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards’ rotisserie lunches offer the perfect alternative to a picnic experience and is suited to young and old.
Besides its world-class food and wine offerings Franschhoek is also known for its spectacular views, with dining establishments and wine farms putting this to good use in creating a flawless visitor experience. A leisurely drive along the Franschhoek Pass to the lookout point will take your breath away as you are presented with the enchanting views. Sip on a glass of Franschhoek bubbly as you watch the sun set. Most establishments provide outdoor seating offering panoramic views of the area. Magnificent views of the mountain act as the backdrop as you’re enjoying a leisurely wine tasting or High Tea on the Anthonij Rupert Tasting Room’s verandah. They may be off the beaten track, but GlenWood Vineyards also offers breathtaking views in a tranquil environment, especially when you’re enjoying their superb wines and delicious sushi. A visit to Haut Espoir or Haute Cabrière treats you to a bird’s eye view of the entire valley.
For outdoor enthusiasts the weather promises to play along perfectly as you enjoy a leisurely hike in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. The Berg River Dam is the place to be if you’re an avid Mountain Biker. If you prefer a more relaxing walk the garden tour at Babylonstoren is where you want to be. The kids will have a ball exploring the garden whilst munching off fruit they’ve picked themselves. Make the most of this time to enjoy the last of the delicious Summer fruits.
A leisurely stroll along the Main Road uncovers a range of other Franschhoek experiences. These include art galleries, restaurants and stylish clothing boutiques. Franschhoek may be known as a village, but with so much to discover and explore a day visit may not be enough to uncover all it has to offer. Embrace the last few warmer days with a weekend getaway to this winelands gem for the ultimate experience.
This is just a taster of what you can expect when visiting the valley. For more information visit www.franschhoek.org.za.