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Intimate wine estates in Franschhoek

It’s easy to be swept away by grand buildings, fancy labels and well-known names – but, did you know that you could be missing out on a few hidden gems?

With over 50 estates in the Franschhoek Valley, choosing a wine estate to visit can be near impossible – so, to help you make your decision, we’ve found three lesser-known estates that you should add to your “must-visit” list.

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Le Lude

A family winery situated on the edge of town, Le Lude specialises in bottle fermented sparkling wines – Méthode Cap Classique – and, in their own words, “Le Lude is also the first winery in South Africa to produce the artisanal Agrafe bottle fermented sparkling wine. This is the method of fermenting the wine under cork instead of crown cap”. The estate also offers a beautiful, greenhouse-style restaurant and cottage for overnight guests.

Find them: Le Lude, Lambrechts Road, Franschhoek | 021 100 3465

La Bri

Established in the late 17th century, La Bri’s modern history began with their 2008 harvest – the first to be crushed in the new, modern 120 tonne cellar on the estate. Using a gravity-fed winemaking process, the estate produces limited volumes of superior quality, elegant wines. Complete with a spectacular backdrop and tasting balcony, their range of wines includes: The Affinity Blend (Bordeaux blend), a barrel fermented Chardonnay, Shiraz-Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Find themLa Bri Estate, Excelsior Road, Franschhoek | 021 876 2593

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La Petite Ferme

La Petite Ferme is a small wine estate that only produces enough wine to sell on the property – if you’re looking for limited edition, then, this is it. Says their winemaker, Wikus, “The thing about wine making is that some bigger wineries don’t have the opportunity to go out and pick individual parcels that are specific to the area and to the farm itself, but because we are fairly small and everything is done by hand I can go out and find these unique spots within La Petite Ferme’s vineyards and showcase what we can do”. Offering luxury accommodation and an award-winning restaurant, it’s the perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon in the valley.

Find them: La Petite Ferme, Franschhoek Pass Road, Franschhoek | 021 876 3016

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Looking for a child friendly wine estate?

Last weekend saw the end of the Cape Epic. 8 days on their bikes, 739km and 16000m of climbing! An incredible week watching super fit athletes cycling in mountainous, dusty and very hot conditions.

Monday was time to relax! A day to reflect on the week, and celebrate with friends and family! So the question was posed,  “Where are we going to enjoy a day out in a relaxed environment?”  The only stipulation was to find a beautiful, child-friendly, wine estate.

The unanimous decision was Warwick Wine Estate. On Sunday we called to order the gourmet picnic for our party of 12 and on Monday we headed for the winelands.  I can’t think of a better way to start the week and as we parked the cars we knew we had made the right choice!

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When we booked we mentioned we had toddlers in our party so a table had been reserved right next to the water feature. An immediate hit!  T-shirts off and nappies on, the water amused the toddlers for hours.

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With the rolling lawns and beautiful views of the Kanonkop and Simonberg mountains, Warick certainly lends itself to the perfect picnic venue. Our party immediately chose a comfortable spot. Some sat around the table, other chose to relax on the grassy areas with blankets and cushions.

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The gourmet picnic was outstanding. Pretzel rolls (delicious!), cheese, trout, biltong pate, baby potato salad tossed in olives, sundried tomatoes & fresh basil vinaigrette; and for those with a sweet tooth, a cheesecake pot for dessert.

Plenty of delicious fresh food, chilled Warick wine and happy children certainly allowed everyone to relax after a tough and challenging week.

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Warwick is open 7 days a week.  Enquire online, 24 hours in advance or call  directly to make a booking.+27 21 884 4410

 

 

Rated the number 1 place to visit in Stellenbosch!

Waterford Wine Estate definitely has the WOW factor! It’s hardly surprising that it’s recently been voted the number one place to visit in Stellenbosch.  Beautiful scenery, award winning wines, friendly staff and great service are some of the reasons why the estate always seems to have a special spot on the agenda when we plan our wine tours.

The 120 hectare property is owned by Jeremy and Leigh Ord and managed by partner and cellar master Kevin Arnold. The minute you arrive at the estate you know that you will have a special experience.

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“The Estate boasts old citrus groves, rolling lawns, water features and fragrant lavender and rosemary beds. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the heart of Provence or the Spanish countryside” Bronwyn H, Front Office Manager at Waterford Estate.

I would definitely recommend the wine and chocolate tasting. This really is a unique tasting experience and who doesn’t love chocolate and wine?

Three wines are paired with three chocolates specially crafted by the Greyton-based chocolatier, Richard von Geusau, all beautifully displayed on a wooden board.

The Kevin Arnold Shiraz is paired with a Masala Chai Dark Chocolate, the Waterford Estate Cabernet with a delicious Rock Salt Dark Chocolate, and the Heatherleigh Noble Late Harvest with a Rose Geranium Milk Chocolate.

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When we visited last time we noticed that a young child was offered a milk and chocolate pairing! Now that’s how you enjoy a memorable family trip to the winelands.

Waterford’s wine and chocolate tasting is open Monday to Friday 09h00 – 1700 and Saturday 10h00 – 17h00. The more limited combination of three wines with three chocolates costs R45 per person, whereas the full tasting of eight wines with the accompanying chocolates costs R65 per tasting.

 Every guest to the farm is made to feel a part of the Waterford Way, and those who have visited are drawn back often not only to the sumptuous wines, but to the heart and soul of Waterford.

 

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Download the Sideways app on your iPhone and explore the winelands, or if you want to kick back and enjoy your day, find out more about our personalised tours with a registered tour guide.