Franschhoek Wine Valley

Tag Archive: La Motte

  1. Shops open in Franschhoek during level 3 lockdown

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    Below is a list of shops and delis that are currently open in
    Franschhoek during lockdown in South Africa (currently on level 3).

    UPDATES AS PER 30 JANUARY 2021

    If you are looking for a list of restaurants offering food delivery services in Franschhoek, please visit this page.

     

    FOOD

    HUGUENOT FINE CHOCOLATES
    Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00
    Saturday to Sunday 09:00 – 17:00
    Email: huguenot@wol.co.za
    Address: 1 Daniel Hugo Street, Franschhoek
    Tel: 021 876 4096

     

    CLOTHING

    DESRAY
    Open from Monday to Sunday
    Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00
    Saturday 10:00 – 17:00
    Sunday 10:00 – 15:00
    Tel: +27 21 448 2887 (extension 103)

    EMPORIO LORENZI
    Operating Monday to Sunday
    10:00 – 16:00
    Tel: +27 21 876 2715

    INDIAN SUMMER
    Open Monday to Friday from 09:00 – 16:00
    Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 – 17:00
    Tel: +27 21 876 2992

    LUISA SPAGNOLI FRANSCHHOEK
    Open Monday to Sunday
    09:00 – 17:00
    Tel: +27 21 876 2707

    PEACOCK BLUE
    Open Monday to Sunday from 09:00 to 18:00
    Tel: +27 21 876 4691

    THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER
    Open Monday to Sunday
    Monday to Friday 09:00 – 5:30
    Saturday 10:00 – 17:00
    Sunday 11:00 – 15:00
    Tel : +27 21 300 5868

     

    ART GALLERIES

    ART IN THE YARD
    Monday to Saturday 09:00 – 18:00
    Sunday & Public holidays 09:3 – 17:30
    After hours of private viewings by request
    Address: Heritage Square, 9 Huguenot Street, Franschhoek
    art@artintheyard.co.za

    ABE OPPERMAN GALLERY
    Open Monday to Friday 09:00 – 17:00
    Saturday & Sunday 10:00 – 17:00
    For more details email info@abeopperman.com

    EBONY (FRANSCHHOEK SQUARE)
    Days Operating: Monday – Sunday
    Opening Times: 10h00 – 16h00
    For more details contact them on 021 876 4477 or email us at info@ebonycurated.com

    EBONY (BORDEAUX STREET)
    Days Operating: Friday – Sunday
    Opening Times: 10h00 – 16h00
    Rest of the week by appointment on 021 876 4477 or email us at info@ebonycurated.com

    AFRICAN ATTITUDE
    Operating Sunday to Saturday
    Opening times: 09:00 – 18:00
    Sunday 09:00 -17:00
    For more details email info@afriattitude.com or phone 083 564 9069.

    EVERARD READ FRANSCHHOEK
    Our current opening hours:
    Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 16:00
    If you would like to make an appointment outside these hours, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
    021 876 2446 | fgallery@everard.co.za
    Tayla Hoepfl – tayla@everard.co.za
    Lulu Read – lulu@everard.co.za

    FARM SANCTUARY SA
    Open Monday to Sunday
    11:00 – 15:00
    Book your visit on 061 499 5006 or email info@farmsanctuarysa.org

    LA MOTTE MUSEUM
    Open Tuesday to Sundays
    09:00 – 17:00
    For bookings or enquiries contact them on 021 876 8850 or email museum@la-motte.co.za

    VINEYARD GALLERY FRANSCHHOEK
    Open Monday to Sunday (Weather dependent)
    10:00 – 17:00
    For more details email info@fineartportfolio.co.za

     

    OTHER

    FRANSCHHOEK PHARMACY
    Open Monday to Sunday
    Monday to Friday 08:30 – 17:00
    Saturday 08:30 – 13:00
    Sunday 10:30 – 13:00
    Tel: +27 (0)21 876 2261
    Email: franschhoekpharmacy@gmail.com

    TAP AND CORK FRANSCHHOEK
    Open Monday to Sunday
    Monday to Saturday 09:00 – 16:00
    Sunday 09:00 – 14:00
    Get your sanitizing hand gel and all-purpose sanitizer on tap! Remember to take your own bottle. All subject to availability. For more details contact them on 021 876 4120 or visit https://www.facebook.com/tapandcorkfranschhoek

    MASQUERADE
    Open Monday to Sunday from 09:00 – 17:00
    A unique collection of homeware and gifts that flirt unashamedly with all the senses. The Rare, The Beautiful and the Unexpected. For more details contact them on 021 876 3944 or email shop@masquerade.co.za

     

    DELI’S AND FARM SHOPS

    HAUTE CABRIERE

    The Bakery & Deli is open Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00 – 17:00
    Sunday and Public Holiday 10:00 – 15:00
    Offers fresh bread, coffee, and items for the pantry.
    Pre-orders welcome, 72 hours prior to collection.
    Please wear your mask, strict social distancing and hygiene rules apply.

    BABYLONSTOREN FARM SHOP & DELI
    Open Monday to Sunday
    09:00 – 17:30
    For more details contact them on +27 (0)21 863 3852 or email enquiries@babylonstoren.com

    BOSCHENDAL FARM SHOP & DELI
    Open Monday to Saturday 09:00 – 18:00
    Sunday 09:00 – 17:00
    For more details contact them on 021 870 4281 or email farmshop@boschendal.co.za

    DALEWOOD FROMAGE
    Open from Monday to Friday 09:00 – 16:00 and on Saturday’s from 09:00 – 15:00
    For more details contact them on 021 200 2580 or email cheesery@dalewood.co.za

    THE JAM JAR
    Tuesday to Saturday 09:00 – 16:30
    From October 2020:
    Tuesday to Sundays 09:00 – 16:30
    For enquiries you can email jill@thejamjar.cc

    FOLIAGE
    Freshly baked breads, pastries, coffee, fresh veggies, homemade cooking and ready made frozen meals.
    Open daily from 9h00 to 16h00.
    Contact Foliage at 021 876 2328 or restaurant@foliage.co.za for more information.

    GOOD FOOD & CO
    Open from Monday to Sunday
    Monday to Saturday 09:00 – 17:30 ; Sunday / Public Holiday 09:00 – 16:00
    From October 2020
    Monday to Saturday 08:00 – 18:00 ; Sunday / Public Holiday 08:00 – 16:00
    For more info contact them at goodfoodco.franschhoek@gmail.com | 021 876 355

    LE PETIT MANOIR
    The Deli and Bakery
    Monday Closed
    Tuesday to Sunday 09:00 – 20:00
    Fresh produce, cold meats and cheeses, variety of meats in our cold room, variety of home made foods and stock and frozen goods.
    𝑅𝑒𝑚𝑒𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑤𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 5% 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑓𝑜𝑜𝑑 𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑒𝑓!

    TERBODORE COFFEE ROASTERS DELI
    Open Monday to Friday from 07:00 – 17:00
    Saturday and Sunday from 07:00 – 16:00
    Get your favourite Terbodore coffees along with some deli delights.

    LA MOTTE FARM SHOP
    Open from Monday to Sunday, 09:00 – 17:00
    Closed on Christian Religious public holidays.
    Please note that La Motte requires photo identification (Passport, Identity card/document or Driver’s license) for security check-in.
    For enquiries contact them on 021 876 8840 or email farmshop@la-motte.co.za

    LA PARIS BISTRO & DELI
    Open Monday to Sunday 09:00 – 17:00
    Full grocery & deli food selection available. Visit in-store or www.shop.laparis.co.za
    Shop from familiar favourites to everyday items.

    LEOPARDS LEAP FAMILY VINEYARDS GIFT SHOP
    Open from Monday to Saturday 09:00 – 17:00
    Sundays from 11:00 – 17:00
    Buses by appointment only.
    Shop Contact Details Tel : +27 (0)21 876 8002 or culinarystore@leopardsleap.co.za

     

     

  2. Nearing the end of harvest 2020

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    With the harvest nearing completion it’s been interesting to receive feedback from some of the Vignerons. Although the temperatures have been quite extreme, the winemakers have been happy with the quality of the fruit. The weather has been advantageous for the ripening factors, and their outlook is positive as they remain hopeful that this harvest will result in excellent wines. 

    Photo by Alfred Thorpe

    We chatted to some of our Vignerons to get their responses on this year’s harvest:

    “The quality of the white wines in the cellar were extremely good with great acidity throughout. I was actually quite surprised as I thought the intense high temperatures would have had a negative effect on the acids. The flavours were intense with the only downside being that all the white varietals were ready for picking at the same time. We feel confident in that with the correct viticultural approach the red cultivars will be an excellent vintage,“ says GlenWood Cellar Master DP Burger.

    DP Burger

    Mark van Buuren, winemaker at Anthonij Rupert Wyne for their white wines in the Protea, Terra del Capo and Cape of Good Hope ranges as well as the Jean Roi Rosé had the following to say about this year’s harvest: “It’s been a ‘strange’ summer, with some really hot days, and then some very cold wintery conditions as well as heavy rainfall. The ripening period has been spread out nicely, and there wasn’t the mad rush we experienced last year, which has allowed us to take a bit more time about things. Although it’s still too early to predict my favourite I am positive that our varietals across the portfolio will be superb.”

    Mark van Buuren

    According to Irene de Fleuriot who heads up the winemaking team at La Bri, it’s been a fantastic harvest to date, and the weather on the farm has really played along favourably. Although their yield is slightly down the quality is outstanding. The heat has definitely had an effect, causing high Malic levels, but she’s confident that they will be able to manage these accordingly. The white wines came in at lower sugars and perfectly ripe, which is a bonus. Next to come in from the vineyards is their young block of Cabernet Sauvignon, which she’s extremely optimistic about. 

    Irene de Fleuriot

    Closer to the village is where you’ll find Le Lude, which is home to winemaker Emma Bruwer and her team who have also been busy in the vineyards since beginning January, which is the earliest they have ever started. After a cool December they were able to pick grapes at their optimal ripeness with beautiful acidities and structure. The cool weather and chilly evenings slowed down the ripening process of the grapes and allowed the sugars to increase steadily. This in turn preserved the acidity in the grapes which is so important for Cap Classique’s. They managed to pick a total of 196 tons of which 113 tons were form various producers in Franschhoek. The unseasonal rains at the end of January slowed down production a bit, but not too long as they were able to finish with all their pickings by 30 January. Currently they have just a few more tanks finishing up their fermentations, and she’s excited to taste the base wines once they’re ready. Although it’s difficult to say which wines she’s most excited about, she’s confident that their vintage wines will definitely stand out.

    Emma Bruwer

    “On trend with the bigger industry, we started the La Motte harvest one week earlier than in 2019. In our case on 14 January with Pinot Noir for the La Motte Méthode Cap Classique,” says Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche. With the focus currently on Sauvignon Blanc, he reports that their volumes from the Franschhoek property are currently 100% up on the same time last year. He expects the alcohol to be lower and is happy to report healthy grapes with fresh and lively flavours. “With February heat kicking in, it’s important to carefully monitor ripening and ensure all the hard work done in the vineyards is honoured during the harvesting and winemaking processes. After the January rain, the season is dry again and we don’t have exceptional challenges with the harvest. We expect all the whites to be finished by end of next week. Volume-wise the reds are also currently more than the expectation. I am very happy with colour, analyses and flavours. The grapes are ripening gradually without putting us under too much pressure,” adds Edmund.

    Edmund Terblanche

    With most of the hard work out of the way it’s now a waiting game to see what the end result produces, and we’re confident that our winemaking teams will once again produce world-class wines. We wish them all of them best in this final stretch. 

  3. Twenty-four Adventurous Hours in Franschhoek

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    An article by Alfred Thorpe

    Nothing slows down and as we enter 2020 life just gets busier. A weekend away is a luxury and finding a suitable time in busy schedules can be difficult. My wife and I decided that one night away is better than nothing.  Twenty-fours hours might not sound like a lot but you can squeeze in lots of adventure, food and wine when you plan ahead. A day in Franschhoek is never enough, so we decided to head out there.

    Franschhoek village

    If you head to Franschhoek, try and access it via one of the passes. The Franschhoek pass might be a bit of a drive  but views from Helshoogte pass is just as rewarding, as you drop down into the valley with the sun rising over the mountains. The valley welcomed us with cooler, windy weather as we arrived on the Saturday morning. La Motte was our first stop and needs no introduction as winery but what you may not know is that there is a beautiful 5km hiking route that you can do.

    La Motte Wine Estate

    As the gates opened at 9am we grabbed our maps and headed up the mountain. This is not an easy stroll so take water and closed shoes with you. Some sections of the trail are technical and you would not enjoy it in a pair of flip flops. After 1.5km of walking you will be surrounded by a wide variety of indigenous fynbos.

    La Motte Hiking Trail

    The route follows the contour for about 2km as the Franschhoek valley reveals itself from this unique view, as sunlight rolls down the hills and chases shadows into the Elephant’s Corner*. 

    This hike will take you two to three hours to complete but don’t rush back as soon as you are down in the vineyards. If you know where you are on the map, you will be able to locate the buchu plantation. Stop and smell the leaves of this medicinal plant before you head back to the restaurant for a light lunch and a chilled glass of La Motte wine.

    La Motte Wine Estate

    The Franschhoek Wine Tram needs no introduction but you might not be familiar with their guided walking tours. The main road is not long but I think we are all guilty of looking for a parking spot and heading to the closest shop or restaurant, without paying attention to the detail. On foot you will be able to explore the finer detail of the architecture and learn more about the rich history of Elephant’s Corner when doing it with a knowledgeable and qualified guide.

    Not only did our guide (Sikanyiso Tshaya) share his knowledge about every unique building we passed. He also treated us to a chocolate tasting at Huguenot Fine Chocolates and we saw how truffles were made.

    Huguenot Fine Chocolates

    This experience is not just for the sweet tooth, as their dark chocolates are really good. And while you are there, you have to try the latest trend, called ruby chocolate. 

    After an early start and being active all day, we headed to our hotel for the evening. We were welcomed by horses in a picture perfect setting, with white picket fences and lush green fields. The Mont Rochelle Hotel surpassed every expectation I had of it. Our spacious suite with a private pool overlooking the Franschhoek valley was phenomenal. There were a significant amount of small details that made us feel special. We were tempted to lock ourselves in our suite, drink champagne and drink the views over the valley. But we only had 24 hours and so much more to explore.

    Mont Rochelle

    Each lounge in the hotel is uniquely decorated, with a different feel to it. I could see how you could spend hours on end at the hotel, just reading a book and enjoying a glass of wine. But those who know me probably know that sitting still is not a strength of mine. I do however sit still for a while when food is getting served. The Miko restaurant overlooks the valley and you could just stare out of the window for hours, as the sun was setting, with clouds rolling in over the mountains.

    Service was swift and we tried slowing them down, as we wanted to savour every taste. We enjoyed a bottle of Mont Rochelle wine with our meal and continued drinking their wine the next day, as we just could not miss out on this tasting experience.

    For me personally the highlight of our stay was the staff at Mont Rochelle. I believe that people, not things, is what sets one hotel apart from the rest. It was not just the friendly and helpful manner that they engaged with us but an authentic and honest way of connecting and caring. 

    Running with a buddy on Sunday morning meant an early start. Tagging a peak at the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve was voted out, as the mountain peaks were completely overcast and extra windy. Instead we stopped at Hey Joe Brewing Company and headed out with my two golden running buddies and a friend.

    The Matoppie peak next to the Berg river dam is an accessible and fun playground for trail runners and mountain bikers. There is a great variety of jeep track and single track and you can choose to stick to the lower contours along the dam or get your heartrate up, crossing contours to the top. Be sure to take water with you, as there’s not a lot of flowing water on this “koppie”.

    After a post run breakfast and an ample amount of coffee back at the restaurant, we went to Hey Joe Brewing Company for a tour of this interesting new brewery. The main feature is a copper kettle that was built in 1961 in Belguim. The whole building is a beautiful blend between old and new. In contrast with their old and shiny copper kettle, the rest of their brewing operations get managed with state of the art computers with touch screens. An old cement mixer, that was used during the building process, was converted to the fireplace. Stained glass windows add to that old feeling in a new building. The whole process was really well thought through. We spent the day inside, drinking lager and eating bitterballen but the lawns outside is perfect for families. This venue is going to be the place to be this year.

    Hey Joe Brewing Co.

    We ran out of time quicker than expected. There is just so much to do and twenty four hours in Franschhoek will fly by when you visit. I will be back for more adventures soon, as there are still a few peaks to tag in the area. I might even get back on my mountain bike, as there is as much to explore on bike. Cheers to cold beers and more adventures in 2020.

  4. Tourism Top of Mind for Franschhoek Service Providers

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    The Franschhoek Wine Valley certainly packs a punch when it comes to tourism service delivery. Not only is the region regarded as one of the country’s leading wine producing areas as well as SA’s Culinary Capital, but tourism is also key in their continued efforts to stay ahead of the game and strive for what they believe in.

    The passion and dedication of some of Franschhoek’s members were recently recognized at two leading industry events, reaffirming the valley as one of the country’s leading tourism destinations.

    In September delegates from around the country came together for the annual Wine & Food Tourism Conference in Stellenbosch, which was also the venue for the inaugural Wine & Food Tourism Conference Awards. The awards, which took place on the closing date of the conference, honoured nine of SA’s top wine and food tourism service providers. The winners (aka honourees) were selected from Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek, the Overberg, the West Coast and Karoo, and included a mix of well-established favourites and hidden gems. The deserving recipients were selected for having created outstanding and positively memorable tourist experiences, and in doing so were an inspirations to others in the industry.

    The awards consisted of three categories, and in each of these categories the best of three contenders were acknowledged as honoureers. Leeu Collection was named as one of the honourees in the Service Excellence category, with La Motte securing a position as one of three in The Authentic South African Experience category.

    Leeu Estates

     

    La Motte Harvest Experience

    Prior to the Wine & Food Tourism Conference the winners of this year’s Lilizela Tourism Awards were announced a special gala event on 13 September. Regarded as South Africa’s premier Travel and Tourism Awards, its aim is to recognise and reward tourism players and businesses who work passionately and with pride to deliver a world-class product and service, and whose delivery grows the country’s global destination competitiveness. Franschhoek shone at these awards with Ashbourne House announced as the winner in the Best 4 Star Guest House in the Western Cape for 2019.

    Ashbourne House

  5. Sommelier Cup Finalists Treated To Some Of Franschhoek’s Finest

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    Last week, on 23 and 25 September, the Franschhoek Wine Valley and Vignerons in particular, had the opportunity to host the semi-finalists competing in this year’s triennial Sommelier Cup competition, presented by Wines of South Africa (WoSA). Representing countries from across the globe the sommeliers spent the day in the valley, enjoying a full day’s itinerary.

    With the primary focus on wine, the group started their Franschhoek experience at La Motte Wine Estate for a tutored tasting presented by some of the Vignerons. The tasting was an opportunity to showcase the diversity of the region’s Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The sommeliers were treated to a range of old and new vintages, which reaffirmed why Franschhoek is regarded as one of the country’s leading wine producing regions.

    After the tutored tasting the group made their way to the NG Church grounds for an informal ‘meet and greet’ and wine tasting with the rest of Franschhoek’s winemakers. The weather played along perfectly creating the ultimate outdoor wine tasting experience for all. An al fresco style lunch followed under the shade of the trees, which allowed for something out of the ordinary yet very welcome.

    Franschhoek was one of the handful of regions selected to host this year’s group. Their visit to the valley was part of an all-expenses paid trip to a Cape Winelands region during their stay. The finalists in this year’s competition represented the Netherlands, Sweden, Kenya, Zimbabwe, USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Greater China, Singapore and Germany. Their visit culminated the announcement of the overall winner, which was announced at a special gala event at The Vineyard Hotel & Spa on 21 September. Richelle van Gemert, from the United Kingdom, was crowned as this year’s winner.

  6. Franschhoek Vignerons once again included in the ‘ultimate’ wine list

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    The Sommeliers Selection Wine Competition, which was conceptualized in 2015, has revolutionized local wine competitions. It is a competition with a difference, as it is judged solely by top South African Sommeliers, and the winning wines for 2019 were recently announced with seven Franschhoek vignerons shining in their relevant categories.

    The vignerons who secured spots on the prestigious ‘ultimate’ wine list were the following:

    ECONOMICALLY SAVVY PINKS

    Anthonij Rupert Wyne Protea Rosé 2019

    ELEGANT & CLASSY WHITES

    Anthonij Rupert Wyne Protea Cape of Good Hope Serruria Chardonnay 2017

    PINKS

    Boschendal The Rose Garden Rosé 2019

     ELEGANT & CLASSY REDS

    La Motte Pierneef Syrah Viognier 2017
    Babylonstoren Babel 2018
    Plaisir de Merle Grand Plaisir 2014

    VOLUPTUOUS & RICH REDS

    Old Road Wine Co. The Butcher and Cleaver 2015

    VINTAGE FIZZ

    La Motte Méthode Cap Classique Brut 2016

    Furthermore, Plaisir de Merle was named as one of the Stand Out Wines for the Grand Plaisir 2014 in its relevant category, which reaffirms Franschhoek as a leading wine region.

    The panel of sommeliers taste the entries blind in their relevant categories, only knowing vintage and price point, before discussing the wines and deciding if they fulfill the criteria of being placed on the Sommeliers Selection “ultimate” wine list.”

    This year, the Sommeliers Selection Competition Chairman and current board member of The South African Sommeliers Association, Joakim Hansi Blackadder chaired the judging panel. Joakim was joined on the panel by:

    • Wikus Human
    • Tinashe Nyamudoka
    • Chantelle Gous
    • Wayve Kolevsohn
    • Esmé Groenewald
    • Barry Scholfield
    • Pearl Oliver-Mbumba
    • Joseph Dhafana

    This year more than 400 wines from the country’s top wine estates were entered into the contest.

    For a full list of the results and more info visit www.thesommeliersselection.co.za.

  7. Franschhoek Vignerons excel at 2019 Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards

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    This year’s Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards saw a staggering 328 wines entered for the 2019 competition, with the results of these announced at a special awards ceremony on 1 August.

    Judged by a panel of highly esteemed industry role players, , the Franschhoek Wine Valley excelled in the district winners category, scooping 16 awards handed out on the day. The Franschhoek Vignerons who excelled at this prestigious event were the following:

    Top Cabernet Sauvignon
    2017 Dieu Donné Cabernet Sauvignon

    Top Red Blend
    2016 Dieu Donné The Cross Collection Shiraz/Viognier

    Top White Blend
    2016 Glenwood Grand Duc Sémillon/Sauvignon Blanc

    Top Shiraz
    2016 Glenwood Grand Duc Syrah

    Top Noble Late Harvest
    2014 Glenwood Noblesse Grand Duc

    Top Chardonnay
    2017 Glenwood Vigneron Selection Chardonnay

    Top Pinot Noir
    2016 Haute Cabriere Pinot Noir

    Top Malbec
    2016 La Couronne Malbec

    Top Rosé
    2019 La Couronne Merlot Rosé

    Top Shiraz
    2017 La Motte Syrah

    Top Shiraz
    2016 La Motte Syrah

    Top Merlot
    2017 La Petite Ferme Merlot

    Top Viognier
    2018 Lynx Wines Viognier

    What makes this competition stand out from the rest is that not only does it honour the wines which truly reflect South Africa’s different wine growing areas, but all wines entered must be a certified Wine of Origin from a specific single vineyard, estate, ward or small district not divided into wards.

    This year’s competition was chaired by Jeff Grier who was joined in the judging process by David Biggs, Narina Cloete, Sandile Mkhwanazi and Anton Swarts.

  8. Celebrate today with a glass of Chardonnay!

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    There is no excuse not to open a bottle of your favourite Chardonnay today. So let us all raise our glasses to International Chardonnay day!

    Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV

    Chardonnay’s popularity makes it one of the most planted white varieties in the world – about 160 000 ha. It is also planted in more wine grape areas than any other grape variety.

    Together with Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay is one of the three most planted varieties in Franschhoek, and together with Semillon, it is regarded as the future of wine production in the Valley.

    Franschhoek Vineyards

    The Franschhoek Wine Valley is renowned for producing excellent Chardonnay, and one of the reasons for this (and possibly the single biggest differentiator) is the high diurnal 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.

    So now that you have opened that special bottle of Franschhoek Chardonnay, what exactly is the best way to serve and drink this wine? Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche from La Motte offers this great advice:

    “Chardonnay, like all wines, should be served in the correct glass and correct temperature. The classic Chardonnay glass has a big rounded bowl and a wide rim. This will decant the wine in the correct places on your palate. The temperature should be around 10 degrees celcius for wooded wines and maybe a little cooler for unwooded wines.” Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche

    La Motte Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche

    We have also asked Edmund to tell us a little more about the Chardonnay that they produce at La Motte:

    La Motte’s Chardonnay, like many other in Franschhoek is slightly wooded, with a creamy texture and juicy lemon citrus, nuts and out meal flavors. We pick it in different stages, ferment partly in different oak barrels and age it for 12 months to get a well balanced and integrated, complex wine. We aim towards a light to medium bodied wine to maintain finesse and freshness.” Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche.

    La Motte Chardonnay

    And if we look a little bit further than Franschhoek to our French counterparts, it seems like the Domaine Coche-Dury from Meursault, France has impressed GlenWood winemaker, DP Burger, the most! When we asked him what makes this specific bottle of wine so mindblowing and one of his favourites, he explained the following:

    I encountered this wine during my travels in Europe and it was truly a memorable experience when I tasted it for the first time! Beautifully integrated with an excellent strong yet subtle minerality. The 2008 vintage stands out in my mind and even this wine still had many years to reach full potential.” DP Burger (GlenWood).

    DP Burger (Glenwood Vineyards)

    So back to Franschhoek, we all know that this area is pretty serious about their food! As the gourmet capital of South Africa it is no doubt that you will find some of the best food and wine pairings around. So what is the best food to enjoy with a Chardonnay?

    Edmund Terblanche, Cellarmaster at La Motte said the following:

    “Chardonnay is very versatile with food but preferably those that contain cream, butter, cheese or something lightly smoked. Pastries and creamy fatty cheeses does well and any vegetarian dish which is not too acidic.”

    Try your hand at this delicious recipe created by La Motte for chicken with sorrel and lemon. Not only is it perfect for winter, but it is more than 300 years old! It comes from a cookbook titled De Verstandige Kock (ca. 1668) and has basically stayed unchanged.

    Chicken with sorrel and lemon (La Motte)

    Billet Magara, sommelier and tasting room manager at Paserene in Franschhoek, recommends that Chardonnay works particularly well with seafood dishes with a creamy sauce. In addition, creamy dishes with an Asian twist are also a great option. Billet’s favourite dish to enjoy with a glass of Chardonnay is butter chicken, but for the perfect pairing he recommends the Paserene Chardonnay with poached crayfish in tangy mayonnaise.

    Paserene Chardonnay

    Though it is nearly impossible to single out only a few Chardonnays from our Franschhoek producers because they are all so good, we have below highlighted some of our favourites that we know you will enjoy too!

    The Moreson Mercator Chardonnay 2017

    In 2018, 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. Clayton regards the Mercator as their benchmark white wine forming the pinnacle of Chardonnay production on Môreson Wines. With over 20 hectares of small vineyard parcels planted exclusively to Chardonnay, the Mercator has been grown and produced from two mature vineyards for the last 11 years. Only the cuvee juice is used in the production of this wine ensuring absolute pure fruit with delicate oak integration after being matured in French oak for 11 months. Like all great Chardonnay’s, the purpose is to produce a wine with focus, energy, precision and restraint.

    Moreson Mercator Chardonnay 2017

    Glenwood Chardonnay Grand Duc

    Regarded as their flagship wine, GlenWood’s Grand Duc Chardonnay has raked in an impressive number of awards. Amongst other it has received the Decanter Trophy for the best South African Chardonnay, the Old Mutual Wine Trophy Gold and Second Best Chardonnay in SA, Veritas Gold and Double Gold, Mundis Vini International Gold, Winemakers Choice Best White and Top  3 Chardonnays, numerous Veritas Double Gold awards and was listed on the 2017 Sommeliers Selection Wine List. Winemaker, DP Burger, who has been at the helm of this boutique wine estate for 25 years, describes the wine as showing outstanding oak and fruit integration. On the palate the wine displays a full, rich, creamy mouth feel of almonds and vanilla, resulting in a lingering aftertaste of smoky peach and citrus. The GlenWood currently produces three styles of Chardonnay, Grand Duc, Vignerons Selection and an Unoaked Chardonnay.  The grapes sourced for their wines are all vinified on GlenWood, thereby reflecting the unique terroir of the Franschhoek Wine Valley. The 2016 Grand Duc Chardonnay is available at R3300 per case of 6. 

    Glenwood Grand Duc Chardonnay 2016

    La Bri Chardonnay 2017

    Irene de Fleuriot, General Manager and Winemaker of La Bri and her team, produce a range of the most sublime wines, one of which is the La Bri Chardonnay 2017. The wine outdid itself in the Prescient Chardonnay 2018 Report in October by being scored 94 out of a hundred. The grapes for the La Bri Chardonnay 2017 come from a single 26-year Chardonnay block on the Estate. 

    La Bri Chardonnay 2017

    Haut Espoir 2018 Chardonnay

    In celebration of International Chardonnay Day on the 23rd Haut Espoir’s 2018 Chardonnay will be released and available to order. This 2018 Chardonnay was produced from a single vineyard, sourced from neighbouring farms in the Franschhoek valley. Typical flavours of citrus and lime are accompanied by a rich textured mouthfeel, due to the barrel ageing. The fresh acidity lingers on the aftertaste and makes this a well-balanced and rounded wine.

    Haut Espoir Chardonnay 2017

    Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV

    This Colmant Blanc de Blanc blend, created from a special selection of Chardonnay, is the epitome of Chardonnay expression – fine, elegant and fresh.  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 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge is the only competition that focuses exclusively on Cap Classique.

    Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV

    Babylonstoren Chardonnay 2018

    The 2018 Babylonstoren Chardonnay is an old world style Chardonnay with a fresh, fine-grained nose of quince, lime and vanilla. It was recently included in the National Wine Challenge’s Top 100 SA Wines and received a Double Platinum award.  

    Babylonstoren Chardonnay 2018

    Holden Manz Chardonnay 2018

    The 2018 Chardonnay grapes are specially sourced and hand selected by Holden Manz’s Cellar Master from a ridge overlooking the ocean in Somerset West and a high-altitude slope on the side of the Simonsberg Mountain. These two locations are both relatively cool but for different physical influences. They combine magnificently to produce a rounded
    well-balanced wine. Grapes were harvested in two separate pickings from Somerset West adding to the complexity. Six month’s lees contact adds a creaminess and complexity, presenting an appealing full mouth and length.

    Holden Manz Chardonnay 2018

    Boschendal Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2016

    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.


    Boschendal Appellation Series Elgin Chardonnay 2016

    Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016

    During the 2019 Platter’s Awards, 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.

    Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016

    With thanks to Edmund Terblanche (La Motte Wine Estate), DP Burger (GlenWood) and Billet Magara (Paserene Wines) for their inputs provided in this article.

  9. Franschhoek amongst the Top 30 travel destinations for millennials

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    With the 2nd half of 2019 fast approaching most millennials make use of this time to plan their next holiday. Whether it’s solo travel or a bucket list once-in-a-lifetime trip, they are chomping at the bit to hop on the next plane (or car) and experience what the world has to offer.

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    Although millennials know what they want they also rely on some guidance, and in doing so travel-planning site müvTravel has made it so much easier for them to plan their next holiday. They have recently released a list of the Top 30 Millennial Travel Destinations for 2019, and Franschhoek is the only listed South African destination. Listed at number 27, Franschhoek shares the spotlight with the likes of Seville (Spain), Utah (USA) and Chiang Mai (Thailand).

    The list was compiled by analysing the destinations which are most frequently added to their millennial users bucket lists. The data showed millennial travellers seek “memorable and original moments,” as well as “activities that focus on sustainable and personalised local experiences”.

    Not only is Franschhoek regarded as South Africa’s Culinary Capital as well as one of the country’s premier wine producing regions, but research has shown that it is also one of the preferred travel destinations amongst local and international tourists. The list compiled by müvTravel reaffirms this yet again.

    To view the full list click on the following link: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/lifestyle/travel/the-30-most-popular-travel-destinations-for-millennials-in-2019/ar-BBWhiZU.

  10. Harvest season in Franschhoek

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    The months of February and March have great significance in the wine industry, in that it symbolises the celebration of the harvest. This integral part of the winemaking process is a carefully curated journey from vineyard to bottle, which requires the focused attention of the winemaker and their teams. Their days start before the sun rises and some days ends as the sun sets. These long hours in the hot sun are worth it, as it allows the winemaker to create the perfect wine, we as consumers get to sip, sample and savour. It is also the time to truly reflect and value the journey the grape embarks on.

    During this time some of our Franschhoek Vignerons will be celebrating the start of the harvest season with a few bespoke offerings. Make your way to Franschhoek during February as farms in and around the valley will be hosting their own harvest celebrations.

    Until mid-April, La Motte will be hosting their Harvest Experience. Enjoy a specially curated vineyard and cellar tour as you get to learn more about the estate’s harvest processes and biologic farming practices, experience the hand-sorting of grapes and other cellar activities, ending off your tour with a tasting of the Pierneef and La Motte collections. Additionally you can also linger a bit longer and try sharing plates from their popular Garden Menu. Read more about the Harvest Experience here

    La Motte Harvest Experience

    On Saturday, 23 February Grande Provence will be pulling out all the stops for their popular annual Harvest Festival. Pick and stomp your own grapes to the jovial beats of the Kaapse Klopse, followed by a sumptuous harvest feast. This is the perfect day out for the young and old. For more information visit this post.

    Amar Mistry, Cassandra Wilson, Kylie Hatton, Kady van der Walt and Amy Scott

    Although it is a busy time for the winemaking team the wine estates are still up and running, ready to welcome visitors with open arms and eager to share news with you on the harvest progress. We invite you to explore the beautiful Franschhoek Wine Valley during the harvest season which is truly magical.