With its strong French heritage, striking natural scenery, beautiful architecture and forward-thinking vignerons, Franschhoek is a must-stop destination for visitors to the Cape.
Franschhoek fact file:
Planted area: 1,226ha
Main grapes: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Semillon
Main soil types: Alluvial, sandstone and decomposed granite
Further information: franschhoek.org.za
Franschhoek is incredibly picturesque, the road through the valley flanked by imposing mountains that loom ever closer as one approaches the town.
The Huguenots settled in the valley in the 17th century, after fleeing France and the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Vineyards and wineries bearing the names of many of these Huguenot pioneers line either side of the road, continuing up the slopes and then over the Franschhoek Mountain Pass at the end of the valley. Pause at this turn-off to explore the graceful arched monument and museum recording the Huguenots’ past. From the mouth of the valley, lavender fields, olive groves and fruit orchards intermingle with the vines, providing an ever-changing sea of vegetation.
Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦
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