Franschhoek lies in an impressive valley between the Franschhoek Mountains and is one of the country's best-loved towns. It has a proud tradition as the wine and gourmet capital of the region and is one of the Cape's top destinations. The town was founded 300 years ago when French Huguenots fleeing religious prosecution in France were granted land in the area. They brought their traditions – and their expertise in the production of wine – and the town still boasts a strong French character today, as well as many of the country's top restaurants. The Franschhoek area has 42 wine farms, the most notable being:
One of the most grand Franschhoek wine estates, Boschendal boasts fine examples of Cape Dutch architecture and a winemaking tradition spanning 300 years.
This historic wine farm is internationally acclaimed, especially for its red wine, and has also founded an ethereal oils enterprise. It is home to several historic buildings, a fine new restaurant and has a colourful and proud history.
Graham Beck Wines
The wine tasting room at Graham Beck Wines is one of the most impressive and imposing buildings in Franschhoek, designed to delight the most critical wine lover.
This heritage wine estate dates back to 1694 and has a proud history of excellence, which translates into award-winning wines, a fine art collection and of the country's top restaurants.
Vrede en Lust
Set in a spectacular setting against the slopes of the Simonsberg, Vrede en Lust is one of Franschhoek's top estates with a history spanning several centuries, as well a good restaurant and prize-winning wines.
Situated at the end of the Happy Valley road, this estate produces many award-winning wines. Visitors are invited for wine tasting and delicious lunches are served alfresco under the vines.
Val de Vie
A historic estate with award-winning wines as well as polo and equestrian facilities.
Plaisir de Merle
This wine farm traces its history all the way back to 1693 and the manor house is an impressive example of Cape Dutch architecture. After years of family ownership, it now belongs to the Stellenbosch Farmers Winery.
In a beautiful setting beneath the peak of the Groot Drakenstein Mountain lies the farm L'Ormarins where Anthonij Rupert Wines are based. The vintage car museum here is also well worth a visit.
Another historic Franschhoek farm and winemaking pioneer, the wine estate is also known for its wine theatre and superior restaurant.