Franschhoek Wine Valley

Tag Archive: Rickety Bridge

  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. Are You Ready For Chenin Blanc Day?

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    Now that wine sales have reopened best to make sure you have a few bottles of Chenin Blanc in stock as we celebrate this stellar varietal on 20 June.

    A little-known fact is that Chenin Blanc happens to be one of the oldest wine grapes in South Africa, with the first plantings done by the early settlers. Another interesting fact is that it is also most widely used as one of the ingredients in other wine-based products. These include world-champion brandy, Champagne-style MCC, straw wine as well as maturable whites. However, this lesser known variety is also at the cutting edge of the industry, often the focus of study and innovation as well as increasingly at the top end of winery investments. 

    Although the Franschhoek Wine Valley is most widely known for producing superb MCC’s it is also home to many world-class Chenin Blancs.

    One of these is the Cape of Good Hope Van Lill & Visser Chenin Blanc, which finds pride of place within the Anthonij Rupert Wyne portfolio. The Cape of Good Hope range forms part of South Africa’s Old Vines Initiative, which celebrates South Africa’s 350-year-old vinous heritage.

    Cape Of Good Hope Van Lill & Visser Chenin blanc

    Made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes, the Van Lill & Visser displays aromas of oatmeal, macadamia nuts and creamy stone fruit on the nose. The palate echoes those flavours with its richness and breadth. Peach pip, nectarine and stone fruit are fresh and lively while the oak supports it in a well-defined cradle. The oatmeal and nutty flavours are apparent but not overwhelming. The wine is powerful yet refined and structured. 

    Slightly further down the valley is where you’ll find Wildeberg Wines, which is home to their handpicked and naturally fermented Terroirs Chenin Blanc. Made from 100% bush vine Chenin Blanc grapes, sourced from vineyards ranging in age from 40 to 42 years old and grown on Table Mountain granite. 

    When visiting Franschhoek a stopover at Rickety Bridge Winery is without a doubt a highlight as is their popular Chenin Blanc. Also made from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes this award-winning wine boasts inviting aromas of pineapple, stone fruit and lime blossom with underlying floral notes. A full, rich palate of citrus and spice leads into a long fresh honeyed finish.

    Rickety Bridge Chenin Blanc


    The multi-layered Old Road Wine Co. Stonetrail is brimming with gooseberry, white pear and quince aromas followed by an earthy minerality and prominent acidity. The vineyard that supplies the grapes for this wine is 36 years old, unirrigated, and at an altitude of 380 m above sea level. The vineyard started as a trellised vineyard, but over the years it became an improvised bushvine.

    Old Road Wine Co. Stonetrail

    The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc Wine of Origin: Cape Town 2018 has recently been voted Top Ten in the WineMag Prescient Chenin Blanc Report 2020. Grapes from the 1983 Old Vine are spontaneously fermented and matured in a combination of barrel and Foudre resulting in a rich palate displaying plenty of depth and power.

    The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc


    These are a mere handful of the Chenin Blanc producers in and around the Franschhoek Wine Valley, as most (if not all) of our Vignerons have a Chenin (or two) in their ranges.

    Visit our website, for more details on our wine farms and don’t forget to join us in celebrating this varietal on the 20th. 

  3. Franschhoek Reflections

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    The days seem to blend into each other and with our normal being abnormal we are forgiven for sometimes forgetting which day of the week it is. The leaves on the trees and on the vines have changed, and the valley is showing off beautiful bursts of autumnal colours.

    Main Road, Franschhoek

    As we go through the paces of a new week let’s reflect on the week that was in our beautiful valley. Breathing in the fresh mountain air during the 6am to 9am daily walks allows us to really appreciate how spectacular she is. 

    Berg River Dam walking

    Level 4 lockdown regulations have allowed for more shops to trade during these times. We are thrilled that some of our clothing boutiques have reopened to sell their exquisite winter clothing. These include Indian Summer, Peacock Blue, Desray and the Yarn Shop. 

    Huguenot Fine Chocolates has also reopened to provide regulars with their delicious sweet treats again. A list of shops currently open in Franschhoek is available here.

    Image by Alfred Thorpe

    Another bit of exciting news to emerge from our valley is that some of our members have used this opportunity to reopen and offer their services as deli’s. Expect an abundance of fresh deliciousness and home baked goods. Grande Provence, Terbodore, Le Petit Manoir, La Paris Bistro, Boschendal and Babylonstoren are some of the establishments offering this not to be missed service. The Jam Jar Food Stall, situated on the Klapmuts/Simondium Road, is also open to sell their delicious homemade jams once again. 

    Image by Boschendal

    Restaurants are only allowed to operate if they are able to offer a home delivery service. This is a treat for so many who will once again be able to enjoy the delicious food these restaurants are known for. The perfect opportunity to pause your home cooking skills and support local restaurants who will ensure tasty food is delivered to your door. Some of our members who have reopened their doors include Allora Franschhoek, Franschhoek Cellar, The Old Road Wine Co, Good Food & Co, Le Petit Manoir and La Paris Bistro. A list of all restaurants currently open is available here.

    Image by Franschhoek Cellar

    Don’t forget to spoil your mom this Sunday, 10 May as we celebrate Mother’s Day throughout South Africa. Traditionally this day is spent taking mom out for a delicious meal (besides the extra treats), but this year we need to relook how we show our appreciation. Why not treat her to a picnic basket from Grande Provence. Filled to the brim with delicious treats the cost is R400 per double basket and delivered to you for a nominal additional cost.

    For an unconventional breakfast treat mom to a special Mother’s Day Breakfast Box from Boschendal this Sunday. Included in the beautifully presented box is their Farm Style Breakfast together with a selection of freshly baked sweet treats.

    For those with a super sweet tooth why not spoil mom with a sweet treat from Huguenot Fine Chocolates.

    Or why not spoil Mom with an unforgettable overnight (or even weekend) stay at Rickety Bridge. For the next 30 days Rickety Bridge is giving you the opportunity to purchase an accommodation voucher at a 50% discount. Book and pay now to experience later. The perfect opportunity to experience this beautiful region as a tourist.

    Image by Rickety Bridge

    Following on from last week’s mention of EBONY/CURATED’s online silent auction we are so excited to share this amazing bit of news with you. Their piece, a photograph (below) of former President Nelson Mandela, was auctioned off at just over R240 000, which will be donated to the Isabelo Charity, to assist Margot Janse and her team in their efforts to feed the community.

    Image by EBONY/CURATED

    Well done to all at Boschendal for their part in helping to feed those less fortunate. The collective team effort of their volunteers resulted in over 300kg of fresh garden vegetables, 1 000 bread loaves and 12 000 eggs being donated to soup kitchens in the communities, in collaboration with the Pebbles Project.

    Even the artworks throughout Franschhoek are taking COVID-19 seriously donning their face masks to spread the message of safety outdoors.

    Image by Jeremy Astfalck

    A heartfelt thanks goes to everyone who has contributed to the continued efforts of the Together Franschhoek feeding scheme, which provides nourishing food through various distribution points, with the supply of fresh produce and ingredients, the installation of handwashing stations, and ensuring that social distancing measures and guidelines are in place. Just R250 can feed a family in need. To learn more about this amazing feeding scheme follow Together Franschhoek on Facebook for all of the details.