In this weeks must visit wineries we move over the Stellenbosch mountains to Franschhoek, and take in all the amazing South African wine, food and culture of this “French“ influenced region.
You don’t have to be a foodie or wine connoisseur to enjoy Franschhoek, but if you are then you have lots to enjoy. This region is big on great wine and foods and for this reason it has dubbed the name “culinary capital” of South Africa.
Let’s get cracking!
Haute Cabriere – Home of Pierre Jourdan, where great wines are grown.
The farm was established in the Franschhoek Valley in 1694 by French Huguenot, Pierre Jourdan.
Custom in the Champagne Valley of France dictates that champagne created from the vines of the land is named after the landowner. True to this tradition, founder of Haute Cabrière, Achim von Arnim, named the first range of exceptional Cap Classique wines Pierre Jourdan after the original landowner.
This range remains the perfect ode to the original owner in South Africa’s ‘French Corner’, Franschhoek. The portfolio has since grown to include two more beloved wine ranges, Haute Cabrière, housing the iconic Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and our Haute Collection, our maverick collection of site-specific wines.
With roots that extend deep into not only the soils but also the community of Franschhoek, they hope to grow the legacy of Pierre Jourdan in all that they do and be a winery of which their community and valley are exceptionally proud. Their wines are a true celebration of terroir – the marriage of sun, soil and vine – together with man’s passion and fearlessness.
Top things to do:
– Wine tasting: Pop in for a wine tasting and sip your way through the ranges of Haute Cabrière. Open 7 days a week, Monday to Saturday 10AM -5PM and Sunday’s: 10AM- 4PM. Daily Cellar tours are also available at 12pm
– Eat at Haute Cabriere: With arguably the best view overlooking the Franschhoek Wine Valley. As with their approach to wine, their food philosophy centres on moments to be enjoyed together. They believe that coming together around the table, as family is a celebration of life, stories, togetherness and of course, wonderful food and wine. Their
menus are inspired by classic French dishes with a twist – combining local ingredients and the von Arnim family’s love of innovation.
– Bakery: From freshly baked breads, pastries, jams, and more. Be sure to pick up something delicious from their Bakery on your next visit to Haute Cabrière.
– Events & Conferences: Whether you’re hosting a special birthday or a multi-day conference, you’re guaranteed an event that your guests will never forget. Choose from their modern glass-enclosed terrace, romantic underground barrel cellar, classic in-door areas, underground Cellar Gallery or their meeting rooms for your private function.
Chamonix Wine Farm
Steeped in history and boasting some of the highest planted vineyards in the Cape, Chamonix is set amongst 300 hectares of pristine natural beauty on the Eastern slopes of the Franschhoek mountains. Chamonix Cape Chamonix Wine Farm once formed part of the historic Huguenot Estate, La Cotte, which dates back to 1688.
Since being acquired by German-born entrepreneur and adventurer Chris Hellinger three decades ago, the estate has undergone tremendous improvements, and offers visitors a host of culinary and recreational options in spectacular surroundings.T
From the secluded Forest Lodge overlooking scenic Franschhoek Valley to the renowned Arkeste restaurant, from their diverse facilities to the wide array of fine wines, spirits and other delights on offer, everything they do at Chamonix is done with love, passion and an unwavering attention to detail.
- Top things to do:
– Wine Tasting: Taste the wide variety of wines and spirits on offer at Chamonix. Located in “The Blacksmith’s Cottage”, built in the late 18th Century and converted into their comfortable tasting venue, a wine tasting at Chamonix is an educational and social treat for all lovers of “the fruit of the vine”.
Sample a selection of your favourite varieties, enjoy a light meal and then take an optional cellar tour to see where it all happens. Available for individuals, couples or groups – booking advised.
– Enjoy lunch: At Arkeste, they present an a la carte menu in a casual fine dining style. They are located on Chamonix Wine Farm in a characterful heritage building on the edge of a forest. This sets the scene for a tranquil dining experience and delicious food by Richard Carstens, who revisits some of his classics alongside his new dishes which showcase seasonal and local ingredients. Their wine list features Chamonix wines and a curated selection from the Cape region.
Leopards Leap Family Vineyards
Leopard’s Leap was conceptualized at the turn of the century by winemaker and businessman Hein Koegelenberg.
With an initial international focus, the brand’s exceptional performance in the global market today sees it represented in more than 40 countries with dedicated marketing teams and distribution across Asia, the UK, Europe, North America and Africa.
While consumers worldwide enjoy Leopard’s Leap wines as an outstanding example of South African quality, it is at its Franschhoek home where guests are introduced to the accessible and versatile wine portfolio and the ways in which Leopard’s Leap wines can be enjoyed as part of an everyday quality lifestyle.
The combination of modern design, relaxed ambience, innovative food and wine experiences explains the popularity of Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards as a family-friendly tourist destination and an alternative option within the esteemed culinary offering of Franschhoek.
Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards is strongly committed to the conservation of the magnificent Cape Mountain Leopard through a sponsorship of the Cape Leopard Trust, seeking to protect this endangered predator from extinction.
- Top things to do:
– Wine Tasting: Taste their versatile range of wines
– Dining at Rotisserie Restaurant: In their food offering, the focus is on relaxing, family-orientated enjoyment, exciting and occasionally experimental, exposing our visitors to interesting ways of exploring thier wines in a culinary context – uncomplicated and slanted towards fresh and seasonal food.
– Leopard’s Leap South African Table: This venue presents guests with the opportunity to taste authentic South African dishes and to learn more about the food heritage while sharing a meal.
– The inviting Family Table: The ideal way to celebrate special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, family get-togethers or feasts with friends.
– Family Fun: Make the most of the Franschhoek Valley’s fresh air and sunny climate with a fun and adventure-filled activity for kids.
– Day spent outdoors: The Leopard’s Leap Bicycle Pump Track is a dirt track, located next to the Restaurant’s outside seating area.
Rupert & Rothchild Vingerons
The story of two eminent families from France and South Africa who came together in a partnership of wine that combines the rich experience of the old world with the exceptional potential of the new world begins in 1997 in South Africa’s Cape winelands.
A shared friendship in wine gave rise to Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, a prestigious joint venture between the late Dr Anton Rupert of South Africa and Baron Benjamin de Rothschild of France – both with deep interests in wine and owners of private vineyards in their respective countries. Both men later relinquished the reigns to their respective sons: Anthonij Rupert and Baron Benjamin de Rothschild. Following the passing of Anthonij Rupert in 2001, his older brother Johann Rupert and sister Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg assumed his position.
The wines are produced on the historic French Huguenot farm, Fredericksberg located at the foot of the spectacular Simonsberg mountain in the Franschhoek Valley. The estate is a delightful destination welcoming guests into tranquil surroundings with a luxurious French-South African inspired interior showcasing contemporary artwork from the Rupert Art museum in Stellenbosch. The sophisticated setting of the restaurant and tasting room create the perfect setting to experience fine food together with their three exceptional wines.
- Top Things to do:
– Wine tasting: Their refined tasting centre welcomes you to sip your way through both the Rupert & Rothschild trio and a selection of prestigious wines from their partner properties across the globe.
– Dine at Rupert & Rothschild: The Rupert & Rothschild restaurant invites you in to savour memorable mealtime moments in a serene setting – part French, part South African in aesthetic; all warmth and class and comfort in aura. Set against a backdrop of vineyards and mountain views, the venue champions intimate, elegant dining, with a focus on dishes that reflect Head Chef Adrian Hadlow’s love for honest food, simple food – food that’s crafted with integrity, and plated with an artist’s eye.
– Meeting venue: Discerning business people will find that they have poured as much attention – as much time and zeal and care – into crafting the ideal meeting space as they have into cultivating their wines.
La Motte Wine Estate
Situated in South Africa’s beautiful Franschhoek Valley, La Motte is home to the finest wines, recognised internationally for their exceptional quality. With its picturesque setting and historic charm, La Motte is an enchanting choice for those who appreciate authentic Cape Winelands hospitality.
La Motte was acquired in 1970 by the late Dr. Anton Rupert, an internationally respected industrialist who established a global business empire and was held in high regard as a committed conservationist. Dr. Rupert and his art-devoted wife, Huberte, also played an immense role in the preservation of art. La Motte is one of three wine estates owned by the Rupert family. Hanneli’s brother, Johann Rupert, owns L’Ormarins, formerly owned by the younger brother, Anthonij, who tragically died in a car accident in 2001. Hanneli and Johann are in partnership with the De Rothschild family of France, producing wines on the Fredericksburg farm under the Rupert & Rothschild label.
- Top things to do:
– Wine Tasting: Enjoy an introduction to La Motte’s internationally acclaimed wine portfolio, produced to express distinctive varietal character in a style that is classic and elegant.
– Visit their Artisinal bakery & Garden Café: Share in the delight of simple pleasures such as freshly brewed coffee and artisan bakes, just out of the oven. Join them for breakfast, brunch or lunch or stay for afternoon drinks.
– Dine at JAN Franschoek: La Motte invites you to JAN Franschhoek, an exceptional food and wine experience presented from a charming historic cottage, the Veepos, right in the middle of the Franschhoek Valley’s most picturesque lavender fields. Based on the popular TV series, JAN RSVP, this seasonal culinary encounter shares a nostalgic story with food as told by South Africa’s first Michelin-starred chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.
JAN Franschhoek’s team includes a culinary collective led by Chef Antro Davel, operating under Jan Hendrik as Culinary Director.
– Go on a hike: The La Motte Hiking Trail offers the ideal opportunity to explore some of the estate’s greatest natural assets and breathtaking Franschhoek Valley views.
Grab a glass of wine and look out over a place that has been growing grapes for more than 300 years.
- Haute Cabriere
- Chamonix Wine Farm
- Rupert & Rothschild
- Leopards Leap Family Vineyards
- La Motte Wine Estate