Franschhoek Wine Valley

Tag Archive: La Bri

  1. Celebrating International Cabernet Sauvignon Day

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    The cooler weather is the perfect reminder of what is to come – International Cabernet Sauvignon Day, which is celebrated today across the world. A day in which we pay tribute to this world-renowned red wine varietal, also commonly referred to as the ‘King of Red Grapes’. These grapes are known for producing wines with complex aromas and an abundance of gorgeous concentrated flavors, which include blackberries, crème de cassis, black cherries, coffee, chocolate, mint, cedar wood, cigar box and more….

    Although the Franschhoek Wine Valley is widely known for producing stellar Chardonnay and Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC), the region is also home to a range of outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon producers.

    Home to a range of award-winning wines, Holden Manz is also where you’ll find their Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, which winemaker Thierry Haberer describes as having a rich and full palate with a complex array of dark fruit. The middle palate is full and shows width with complexity and depth leading to a long, full finish. Fine wood tannins combine with well-balanced acidity.

    Boutique estate La Bri is not only well known for their wines, but also their striking wine labels. Each wine depicts a Cape flower on the label, and their Cabernet Sauvignon is the proud bearer of the White Watsonia on its label. A limited release Cabernet, which is only made in exceptional years, and only 1 433 bottles of their current vintage – the 2016 – were produced.

    Rickety Bridge boasts not one, but two Cabernet Sauvignons in their range – the Paulina’s Reserve and the Icon. The Paulina Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 displays classic characters of red cherries layered with herbal notes, hints of pencil shavings and oak spice, whilst the Icon’s Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2017’s nose is dominated by mint, dark cherry, aromatic tobacco and hints of cloves.

    As you enter the Franschhoek Wine Valley you will find family owned Noble Hill, which is also home to their estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, which was left to mature in French oak barrels for 18 months, resulting in a wine with excellent colour and structure.

    With Level 2 regulations allowing for the sale of alcohol again be sure to restock your collection with one of these.

    For more on these Franschhoek Vignerons as well as any of the other Cabernet Sauvignon producers in the valley visit

  2. Cheers To International Chardonnay Day

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    Thursday, 21 May bears great significance on the wine calendar as on this day we raise a glass to toast one of the industry’s noble cultivars – Chardonnay. International Chardonnay Day also serves as a reminder that, in South Africa, the Franschhoek Valley is regarded as one of the leading Chardonnay producing regions. One of the reasons for this is the high daytime temperature variation in the vineyards. 

    The difference between the region’s day and night temperatures during the growing season fluctuate between 13 – 15˚C, and this large fluctuation allows for natural acid preservation in the berries at night (malic acid) and optimal sugar accumulation during the day without prolonged metabolic activity. This gives the area a wider spectrum and diversity of styles to play with when it comes to Chardonnay production, and in doing so creating optimal growing conditions for this popular grape variety.

    Although understanding all the variables can be a challenge, it is difficult to deny that Franschhoek Chardonnay has that special X-factor. The recognisable lime, citrus and cashew nut on the nose, a creamy texture with minerality on the palate and a lingering follow through. And as a tribute to the French Huguenot heritage of our area, Franschhoek Chardonnay often offers that oatmeal character some of the best French examples are known for.

    We caught up with Franschhoek Wine Valley Vigneron’s Chairperson and Holden Manz owner, Gerard Holden to get some insight.

    ‘Chardonnay is the most planted grape cultivar in the Franschhoek Valley, which makes up approximately 16% of the collective Valley’s vineyards. This is more than double the representation of the varietal across the board, where chardonnay plantings account for just over 7% of the total.  Robertson, Paarl and Stellenbosch account for over 60% of all chardonnay plantings in South Africa, while Franschhoek represents just 3% of South Africa’s chardonnay – approximately the same as Elgin and Walker Bay combined!

    Terroir (mainly soil type and temperature) as well as clonal selection heavily influence the qualities of the chardonnay berries while winemaking technique, for example use of wild yeasts, utilisation of different fermentation vessels such as stainless steel tanks, amphorae and oak barrels determine the qualities and characteristics of the finished wine.

    Much of Franschhoek’s chardonnay is used to produce Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) which the Valley is renowned for.  Producers such as Môreson have planted their vineyard with a number of different clones and rely on that fact to generate complexity and structure, while others such as GlenWood, Chamonix and La Bri seek to exploit the interesting terroir they occupy while using winemaking techniques to stamp their own brand on this eponymous grape.

    A number of local producers without access to Franschhoek grapes source chardonnay from outside the Franschhoek Valley.  An example of one of these producers is Paserene who sources its fruit in Elgin, while Platter’s Chardonnay of the Year producer Leeu Passant has a special block in Stellenbosch.  In the case of Holden Manz our Franschhoek site is highly suited to our red varietals, so we focus on sourcing our chardonnay grapes from cooler climate sites – one being next to the cooling influence of False Bay and another being high on the slopes of the Simonsberg.  

    It is evident that Franschhoek Vignerons are crafting fine examples of Chardonnay whether from fruit grown in the region or sourced from special parcels elsewhere in the winelands.  Recent accolades and competitions confirm this.  There is a passion for the grape amongst the Franschhoek Vignerons, which translates into a healthy range of expressions all of which combines into a great tasting experience for our visitors to the valley,’ says Gerard.

    Whether your Franschhoek Chardonnay started its journey in the valley or was sourced elsewhere you are guaranteed of only the best. Handcrafted wines made to be enjoyed at any occasion. 

    Cheers to celebrating Franschhoek’s Chardonnay producers as well as those around the world.

  3. Order online and continue to enjoy your favourite Franschhoek Wines

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    Support our wineries and continue enjoying your favourite Franschhoek wines by purchasing it online and get them delivered safely to your door. Many of our wineries are delivering their wines for free at the moment!

    Have a look at some of the value-added offerings our wineries are offering at the moment in terms of online wine purchases and delivery.



    La Bri Wines are offering free delivery on all online orders in SA at the moment. Buy your wines online here.



    Black Elephant Vintners offers 10% discount (using the code SD10) & free deliveries on all orders over R800. Visit their online store here.



    While our estate remains closed due to our recently-announced precautionary measures, all of our wines are available for purchase and delivery across South Africa. All orders of 12 bottles or more will be shipped free of charge until 15 April 2020.

    We’ve taken additional steps to ensure that our national delivery service meets the strictest standards for health and safety, including fastidious adherence to hygiene codes by drivers and new contactless delivery.

    Shop our full range with complete peace of mind at



    Order 6 bottles or more from and they’ll deliver for free!



    Free shipping anywhere in South Africa on all online orders.



    Get free shipping for orders of 12 bottle or more to all major cities in SA >



    Shop local and get our award winning wines delivered right to your door. Buy two cases of our Angels Tears and get 1 case free! Shipping from only R135 to anywhere in the country. (Delivery only takes 1-3 days.) Stay home with your favourite bottle of Grande Provence or Angels Tears.



    Our wines are available for sale on  or by emailing We are currently offering free delivery on all orders of either 6 bottles or a minimum order of R1,000.



    Free delivery an all orders in South Africa. Purchase their wines online here.


    Thank you for supporting your favourite Franschhoek wineries during this difficult time!

  4. 10 Year Old Wine Awards 2019 winners announced

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    Congratulations to Haut Espoir and La Bri who were amongst the winners announced at the 2019 10 Year Old Wine Awards, which was hosted by 92 entries from 42 producers were received, and the entries were tasted blind, by a three-person panel, with the scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale. The judging panel was chaired by Christian Eedes who was joined by Roland Peens and James Pietersen. According to Eedes and his fellow judges they felt that the 2009 vintage was generally considered one of the greatest of the modern era – the 2008 winter was cold and wet facilitating good moisture reserves in the soil while unseasonably cool weather in late December and early January meant a late start to harvest. Fruit came into cellars in superb condition – ripe but with high acidities. These conditions made for the production of award-winning wines, which was the case for Haut Espoir and La Bri, respectively.

    In the Shiraz category, Haut Espoir scored 93 points for its 2009 Shiraz, whilst in the Red Blends category La Bri also scored 93 points for its 2009 Affinity.

    Image by La Bri

    To read more about the awards and to download the full report click on the following link

  5. A Stellar Year For Franschhoek

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    Regarded as one of South Africa’s leading wine producing regions as well as the country’s premier culinary destination, the Franschhoek Wine Valley has every reason to raise a glass to a stellar year. Earning top accolades has once again placed this picture perfect valley at the top of visitors’ minds.

    Herewith a sampling of this year’s highlights:


    • La Motte Wine Estate was recognised as the Cape Winelands District Municipality Wine Tourism Destination of the Year.
    • For the 2nd year running, Petit & Grande Plaisir Self-Catering Cottages was named as one of the winners in the 2018 Western Cape Lilizela Tourism Awards.

    La Motte, Franschhoek

    Wine Competitions

    • At the 2018 Novare SA Terroir Awards Dieu Donné Vineyards was recognised as the Top Shiraz producer for its 2016 Shiraz;
    • La Bri earned a well-deserved Platinum for its Syrah 2014 at the 2018 Michelangelo International Wine Awards;
    • Well known British wine authority, Tim Atkin MW only had rave reviews for the Franschhoek Vignerons in his 2018 South African Wine Review, which saw the likes of Chamonix, Black Elephant Vintners, Bellingham, Anthonij Rupert Wyne and others scoring an impressive 90+ points for wines in their respective ranges;
    • Colmant came out tops at the 2018 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge, with their Brut Chardonnay NV being named the Best Blanc de Blancs at this prestigious industry event ;
    • The launch of the much anticipated 2019 Platter’s Wine Guide was met with great excitement, especially by Mullineux Wines, Allée Bleue, Colmant, Rickety Bridge and Plaisir de Merle receiving 5-star ratings for their wines. Plaisir de Merle was awarded the Bordeaux Style Red Blend of the Year Award for its Signature Blend 2012, with Rickety Bridge announced as Semillon of the Year for its Road to Santiago 2016. Mullineux Wines not only received the award for Straw Wine of the Year for its Straw Wine 2017, but also walked away with the title of Chardonnay of the Year for its Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016. Furthermore, this was the 2nd consecutive year that Colmant was awarded the sought after 5-star rating in the Méthode Cap Classique category;
    • On the international front Boschendal was awarded Gold as well as the Trophy for Best South African Chardonnay at the 2018 International Wine Challenge for its Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2016;
    • At this year’s Rosé Rocks competition Holden Manz, DGB Bellingham and Boschendal each received Double Gold for their Rosé wines entered;
    • At the 2018 Top 100 Wines of South Africa, La Motte and La Bri each secured a spot on this coveted list for their respective wines.

    Colmant  Brut Chardonnay NV


    • With fine dining playing a pivotal role in what makes Franschhoek a truly memorable experience, our chefs and restaurants were once again honoured at South Africa’s top culinary awards ceremony. Franschhoek restaurants have been winners in the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Top 20 Restaurant Awards for many years, on a consistent basis, and 2018 is no exception. This year La Petite Colombe, Le Coin Français, Chefs Warehouse at Maison and Foliage were included on the list of Top 20 restaurants to dine at in South Africa. The Werf Restaurant at Boschendal was this year’s recipient of the Eat Out Woolworths Sustainability Award. In addition Chris Erasmus of Foliage was one of two recipients to be awarded this year’s Eat Out Graham Beck Chefs’ Chef, which is voted for by the chefs of the 30 nominated restaurants.
    • Marigold Restaurant, headed up by highly acclaimed chef Vanie Padayachee, was acknowledged as a Platinum Class Winner at the 2018 Fine Dining SAWI Awards.

    Le Coin Français


    • Babylonstoren secured 11th position on the  prestigious 2018 Conde Nast Traveller list, while according to the World’s Best Boutique Hotels for 2018, Akademie Street Boutique Hotel was voted as the World’s Most Romantic Retreat;
    • For the second year running, World Travel Awards named Leeu Estates,the Leeu Collection’s flagship property as South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel. 

    Akademie Street Boutique Hotel


    In November Môreson’s Clayton Reabow was announced as the 2018 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year in the Chardonnay category for his Môreson Mercator Chardonnay 2017. Clayton is no stranger to this competition, winning the Diners Club Young Winemaker of the Year Award in 2009.


    Ending the year off on a truly high note, up-and-coming young wine writer Llewellyn Lambert, general manager of the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel,clinched the coveted Veritas Young Wine Writer title for 2018.

    Llewellyn Lambert. Image by Wineland Magazine

    ‘It has been a bumper year for us, and we’re extremely proud of our members, who strive to keep Franschhoek the preferred destination for local and foreign tourists. Franschhoek is priceless!’ says Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO Reinher Behrens.