Franschoek in more (sober) detail….
Since getting a car (our delightful “Po” the Fiat panda) and Mother visiting, I have been lucky enough to visit Franschoek twice more. This time I was sober enough to do more than just eat 10 tonnes of picnic food at Rickety Bridge and so we stopped in at Haute Cabriere and La Motte (and then proceeded to eat 10 tonnes of picnic food at Rickety Bridge!).
Haute Cabriere is situated part way up the mountain at the far end of Franschoek village. As a consequence the tasting room for this vineyard is actually in the mountain! Haute Cabriere are famous for their sparkling wines and performance of the “sabrage” – where a bottle of fizz is opened with a sword! Unfortunately we missed the sabrage when we arrived to treat Hazel to a day of wine tasting, but we very much enjoyed sitting outside of the cellar in the sunshine whilst each wine was brought to us to taste along with helpful food pairing recommendations. I was particularly fond of the chardonnay-pinot noir blend, partly I’ll admit due to the beautiful golden rosey colour of it, but besides that it was light and delicious and I could probably drink a bottle for breakfast/lunch with ease! The blanc de blancs, cuvee reserve and brut sauvage were also all very nice, leaving a great impression of Haute Cabriere. So great that we actually returned with Mother and Jon about 2 weeks later!
Next stop on both visits was La Motte. Another beautifully set vineyard with the added delight of being able to walk amongst the barrels in the cellar (cue lots of ridiculous pictures of a somewhat tipsy Hazel and I). A wide range of wines to taste left us with no shortage of new and continually reviewed “favourite wines of the day”. The shiraz-viognier and shiraz-grenache blends were both nice, although I also really like their Millenium bordeaux blend and Ben favoured the shiraz. One of the real highlights here though was the organic sauvignon blanc. I’ve certainly not experienced a shortage of decent sauvignon blanc (or white wine on the whole actually) in SA, but this one is particularly delicious, with their standard Sauvignon not failing to please either. Tasting is R30 at this vineyard, but with the standard sauvignon blanc at R60, you may as well take up their offer of free tasting with purchase and pay that extra R30 for a bottle 🙂
On both visits by this point it was lunch time and so we pottered back to my favourite lunch spot at Rickety Bridge for their picnic barrel (previously reviewed here: LINK). Make sure you ring up before if you would like to indulge, twice we haven’t but upon our third visit we were told we must ring prior. They made us one anyway, and I think it may just be that they had a big party in but to be on the safe side and secure your delicious lunch, I would call.
We did try and get to Graham Beck, which I hear is beautiful however some crazy people in this day and age still insist on doing that crazy wedding thing so they were closed when we visited. It was nothing a gin at Moyo in Stellenbosch couldn’t fix, but I hope to visit their and Boschendal soon. Franschoek also has a huge array of shops and restaurants I have yet to explore, including a recommended chocolatier and the famed tasting room at Le Quatier Francais (LQF). So I’m certain there will be plenty more visits and I welcome any recommendations.