It is here that many of the Huguenot religious refugees chose to settle in the late 1680s and lay out the first winelands in Franschhoek. They had fled France in 1685 after King Louis XIV outlawed Protestantism.
While they dispersed to many parts of the world, a large number were recruited to come to the Cape because of their wine growing expertise. Though they became absorbed into the Dutch and Afrikaans culture, many of the Franschhoek wine estates reflect their origin with names like Cabriere, Chamonix, La Motte and Lormarins.
The Franschhoek winelands has more than 40 wine farms, many of which belong to the Vignerons de Franschhoek wine route. These offer a superb variety of wines, both red and white.
Then there are the valley's signature methode Cap Classique sparkling wines. And the harvest of the Franschhoek winelands is celebrated with the Franschhoek Oesfees - a festival of food, wine and music held in April at Solms-Delta Wine Estate.
Food also brings many people to the town, especially the award-winning Reuben's and The Tasting Room at the 5-star Le Quartier Francais. Margot Janse, executive chef of The Tasting Room, was honoured as Winemagazines Best Chef in South Africa in 2004 and won the inaugural Rising Chef Trophy at the 2006 Relais & Chateaux congress in Monaco. And the beautiful Le Quartier Francais has many accolades, including Tatlermagazine's World's Best Small Hotel 2005.
Complementing the food and wine are an intimate theatre and the Huguenot Monument for heritage buffs. For the more active there are hiking trails, horse riding, fly fishing, golfing and paragliding.
Other South Africa DestinationsCape Town | Cape Winelands | Garden Route | Kruger National Park | KwaZulu Natal | Limpopo | Madikwe Game Reserve | Mpumalanga | North West Province | Pilanesberg Game Reserve | Sabi Sands Game Reserve
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