A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in Franschhoek Valley

Franschhoek Valley
wine tasting tours and winery visits

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Why Visit Franschhoek Valley?

Framed by dramatic mountain scenery on three sides, the Franschhoek Valley sits in the heart of South African Cape Winelands country just a stone's throw east of Stellenbosch. The name 'Franschhoek' is Dutch for 'French Corner', and the town is so-called due to the region's strong French roots - the area was populated by Huguenots in the 17th century, and we have these pioneers to thank for the thriving wine and tourism industries that exist here today. French names are everywhere, from wineries to roads, and the residents of the region are very proud of their European heritage. Take a trip to see the Huguenot Monument and then visit the nearby Franschhoek Museum for a fascinating insight into the modern origins of the area.

Franschhoek is proudly referred to as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa thanks to the incredible variety and quality of its local produce and dining options. Some of the best restaurants in South Africa offer something for every budget and palate, and it is easy to eat extremely well here no matter what your budget. Start with the Franschhoek Food & Wine Route, a handy guide highlighting some of the area's most popular culinary establishments alongside wine tastings and food pairing experiences galore.

Franschhoek Village itself is a quaint, picture-perfect paradise resplendent with traditional buildings housing everything from fashionable boutiques and amazing restaurants to antiques shops and cosy, hospitable coffee shops, and it's easy to spend a day or two simply wandering the streets. However, this is also a thriving wine region and there are no shortage of amazing, welcome wineries offering fabulous tastings against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains. Like many other places in South Africa, a new generation of passionate winemakers are doing exciting things with the traditional grape varieties and the region's wineries are invariably welcoming, exciting places to be. Make sure you indulge in a tasting of the region's famous Cap Classique, a delicious sparkling wine made in the same traditional method as Champagne. Make an advance booking on the Franschhoek Vineyard Hopper for a totally bespoke tour around as many vineyards and restaurants as you please!

When planning your trip to Franschhoek, make sure to consult the region's excellent calendar of events and festivals, including a Bastille Celebration, numerous Harvest Festivals in the autumn months, and a fabulous Cap Classique and Champagne celebration which takes place in late November. Accommodation around the valley is plentiful, but many can tend to be booked up months in advance due to the popularity of the region, so it's always advisable to book your trip well in advance!

Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

There is huge diversity and innovation in the wines of Franschhoek, as innovative young vignerons experiment with new ideas and methods. Shiraz (often referred to as Syrah) Cabernet Sauvignon and South African icon Pinotage form the backbone of the majority of red wines, with meaty, fruity flavours and full bodied texture the order of the day. Pinot Noir is also grown in respectable quantities here, mainly to be included with Chardonnay in the region's traditional method sparkling wine, Cap Classique. White wines usually centre around Chenin Blanc, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, creamy Sémillon and some Chardonnay. 
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Best time to visit

The summer months in Franschhoek ( November to February ) are the most popular thanks to balmy temperatures and a lively atmosphere. However, many people have the same idea and so this can also be the busiest and most expensive time to visit. May to September is known as Franschhoek's Secret Season, and is the best time to visit for those in the know. Accommodation is cheaper, the weather remains moderate and your experiences are often enhanced by a roaring log fire and a cosy blanket!
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How long to stay

There is plenty to keep even the busiest visitors occupied in Franschhoek, and we recommend at least 5 days to truly get under the skin of this beautiful, bounteous region.

How to get there

The nearest major airport is Cape Town , which has excellent connections to both domestic and international destinations. The Franschhoek Valley lies approximately 85km east of Cape Town, and there are a number of options for reaching your final destination - train and bus services are available as is car hire, but often the safest and easiest way to travel is with one of the many private driver or shuttle services.
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