The South Africa Winelands: Franschhoek and Stellenbosch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s one thing that is a close second to my love of travel and that is WINE!   Pairing those two together is my perfect happy place.   Learning about wine, the regions and how they play an integral role in the local culture is one of my favorite parts of travel, which is why I was so excited to spend a few days in the winelands of South Africa.

Did you get to read the previous post about my travels, click HERE to get caught up!

Even if you’re not into wine, the boutique accommodations in the winelands are uber cute and lavish and cost a fraction of what you’d find say in Napa Valley.  About an hour outside of Cape Town, we stayed in the wine region of Franschhoek at the Franschhoek Country House & Villas and loved our time there.

Although we didn’t spend a lot of time on property, the staff made us feel welcomed, taken care of and I loved how peaceful it was no matter what time of day.  Our room was set up like a mini-condo, the downstairs the master bedroom, bath, and outdoor patio and upstairs a loft with sitting area and access to a second floor balcony.

I set up a full day private driver to take us to a few wineries throughout Franschhoek and Stellenboch, another renowned wine region of South Africa.

3 things I love about wine and wineries from this region:

  1. Unpretentious wineries that focus on wine education
  2. Incredibly affordable tastings and bottles for purchase
  3. The food is incredible!

The attention to detail at the wineries and restaurants made the experience better, but not in a pretentious way. What I loved is most of the wineries are family-owned farms and make you feel comfortable with an understated elegance.

Of the wineries we visited, Fairview was by far the favorite for wines.  This particular stop included a private wine pairing with some of the most amazing cheeses – cheeses that are made on site from the Fairview working farm – how cool is that?

Why I loved the Master Tasting over merely stopping in the tasting room is Fairview has one of the most sought-after tastings in the winelands. It is managed by qualified tasting hosts that are well versed in SA wines, the tasting is set apart from the main area, allowing for a more relaxed and quiet atmosphere in an exclusive, educational setting.

Without a doubt this was one of the best wine pairings I’ve ever had in my life!

 

We also stopped at Waterford Wine estate and had the most lovely wine and chocolate pairing and the opportunity tour their beautiful barrel room.

What may not seem unique to the eye, is that the floor of the barrel room was covered in dirt – well that doesn’t seem too special, but it is!  The purpose of having the dirt below the barrels is it allows the natural humidity of the earth to help age the wine – brilliant!

And it wouldn’t have been a complete trip to the winelands without a stop at Delaire Graff Estate where we ate lunch and enjoyed the most sensational views of the Stellenbosch wine country.

And let’s talk even more about the food during our time in the winelands – first, all across SA there wasn’t a bad meal to be found – which became a problem when my clothes started getting a little snug toward the end the trip!   But how was I going to pass up these meals?

Here’s some food porn from Grand Provence Winery and also La Petite Ferme.

Grande Provence Gourmand menu is a unique tasting experience which showcases specific dishes paired with local wines:

La Petite Ferme focuses on the freshest in-season ingredients grown locally in the valley of Franschhoek for a sustainable menu.

 

 

 

Well that about wraps up our short (wayyyyy too short!) time in the SA winelands.  I believe any true wine lover would love the opportunity to try many new unique wine varietals that you can only find in South Africa, which is why I highly recommend this as even a small part of any trip to South Africa – it’s the perfect day trip or relaxing getaway!