The Cape Winelands
Award-winning Wine Estates & Gastronomy Capital of South Africa

Franschhoek (“French Corner”), a picturesque valley where large herds of Elephant once roamed, is where the French Huguenot refugees were granted land by the Dutch in the late 1600s. The French names of the valley’s regions were offered by the Huguenot settlers who cultivated the land into farms that later developed into vineyards. Today Franschhoek is a sleepy spa & wine town by day and a glamorously-bustling gourmet capital by night. The Huguenot’s heritage carries on still with the local Bastille Day festival, delectable Cabernet Sauvignons, innumerable French Provençal cuisine served in cute street-side bistros (many of which make the South African Top 100 list) and of course, the beautiful Huguenot monument at the end of Main Street.

When to go

Franschhoek changes with the seasons; warm and romantic in winter from May to August, breezy and chilled in the hot summer months of September to April. Some vibrant events in the Franschhoek Valley include:

JULY In South Africa’s French Quarter, Bastille Day features a local French Film Festival, Special Bastille Day menus, a Chef & Waiters Race, Pêtanque, and an exhillirating barrel racing competition. A colorful experience of the Valley.
SEPTEMBER Marking the end of Winter, Franschhoek’s wineries and restaurants honor the first day of Spring by celebrating life with fine food and new vintage releases. Enjoy perfect weather and a vibrant buzz at the wineries all month long.

NOVEMBER Stroll through ten gardens in full summer bloom in Franschhoek.

MARCH Franschhoek’s Oesfees Festival – Oesfees is the local Harvest festival highlighting the best of local Jazz with an outstanding showcase of musicians.

DECEMBER Franschhoek’s ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Festival is a social highlight in its fifth year running. The event is hosted in the gardens of the Huguenot National Monument showcasing French Champagne (Taittinger is an attendee) and local South African Cap Classique, served alongside culinary delicacies catered by the best local restaurant scene. Hosted by Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourist Association.

Where to Stay: Hot Picks

Franschhoek - Where to Stay

La Residence, Franschhoek

A hidden gem in the Cape Winelands, La Residence is a luxury boutique hotel fashioned in the style of Tuscan and French Country Villas. The 11 suites at La Residence are spectacularly appointed with oriental antiquity and original South African artworks. The French-style boudoirs open to opulent bathrooms with extraordinary views of the working vineyards and towering mountains. All the living areas are open to these views of the country, where rose scent and fresh fountain air create a romantic ambiance for an unforgettable winelands experience. In the serene evenings, a fine selection of wine complements the extraordinary French Provençal cuisine of the region.