South Africa | Franschhoek Wine Valley
The fertile Franschhoek Wine Valley is home to some of South Africa’s most famous noble grape cultivars and classic wine styles. These range from superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sémillon and Chenin Blanc, to the full-bodied reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The Franschhoek wine district also produces some of the country’s most extraordinary Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wines.
The district of Franschhoek has retained a lot of its distinct French Huguenot character and most of the farms still bear their original French names, some complete with a spectacular Cape Dutch homestead, towering oaks and rolling vineyards.
The region is located to the southeast of Paarl and is enclosed on three sides by towering mountains: the Groot Drakenstein and Franschhoek mountains which meet at the top of the valley and the Klein Drakenstein and Simonsberg mountains, found further down towards Paarl. Streams from the higher peaks flow down to the valley floor where they converge to form the Berg River, fast-flowing in winter when snow caps the peaks and a mere stream in summer, fed by the Wemmershoek Dam.
Within the Franschhoek Wine Valley there is an array of wine cellars, ranging from small boutique wineries creating unique wine styles to larger cellars producing a wide range of cosmopolitan wines.
In addition to the quality wine production, Franschhoek is regarded as the culinary capital of the Cape and is a member of The Délice Network of Good Food Cities of the World. It has also established itself as one of the country's premier art destinations with numerous art galleries, installation's and resident artists.