Set within 3,5 hectares (8 acres) of cultivated fruit and vegetables, the big garden at Babylonstoren is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town, which supplied sailing ships of the Dutch East India Company with fresh vegetables and fruit during the days when the Cape was a halfway station between Europe and Asia. But we also link back to the mythological hanging gardens of Babylon. Those were thought to have been created by Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BC, for his wife who longed for the mountains and valleys of her youth.
With the changing of the seasons the warmer weather is a welcome relief. Perfect for exploring one of South Africa’s premier lifestyle destinations, namely the Franschhoek Wine Valley. Home to award-winning wines, internationally acclaimed restaurants, exquisite art as well as an array of cultural and outdoor offerings. This October make the most of your visit as it coincides with Art Franschhoek, Franschhoek Open Gardens and the Classic Music Festival.
On 23 and 25 September the Franschhoek Wine Valley gets the opportunity to showcase its wide range of stellar wines to the semi-finalists competing in this year’s triennial Sommelier Cup competition, presented by Wines of South Africa (WoSA). Representing countries from across the globe the sommeliers will spend the day in the valley, meeting with the Vignerons, attending a series of tastings and experience our village atmosphere.
Franschhoek is one of the handful of regions selected to host this year’s group. Their visit to the valley is part of an all-expenses paid trip to a Cape Winelands region during their stay. During these visits they will get the opportunity to attend master classes and tastings with the Franschhoek Vignerons, affording them the chance to be truly immersed into South African wine, food and hospitality.
Since its inception in 2002 female agri worker participants have increased significantly, which has resulted in 13 women moving forward to the next round. At total of 43 finalists from Franschhoek were selected. Another noticeable factor was the women’s level of knowledge and passion for their respective responsibilities, which impressed the panel of judges.
By including female finalists at this level of recognition undoubtedly showcases the strength of women and their unseen contributions towards agriculture in the Western Cape.
The women have been selected as finalists in the following categories:
The winners in the respective categories will be announced at a special event on 23 September 2019 at Môreson Wine Farm.
This year’s Novare SA Terroir Wine Awards saw a staggering 328 wines entered for the 2019 competition, with the results of these announced at a special awards ceremony on 1 August.Judged by a panel of highly esteemed industry role players, , the Franschhoek Wine Valley excelled in the district winners category, scooping 16 awards handed out on the day.
Not only does August symbolize Winter drawing to an end, it’s also a month of great importance to South African women. On 9 August we celebrate National Women’s Day, which commemorates a significant day in our country’s history. In 1956 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s controversial pass laws, and in 1994 the first National Women’s Day was celebrated to remember this day and pay tribute to the courageous women who fought for freedom. Here in the valley we are proud of the remarkable women who call Franschhoek home. They represent the various sectors in the valley – from wine, accommodation, retail and restaurant – and we greatly appreciate their efforts.
Bid farewell to the Winter blues and swing into Spring by heading off to the picture perfect Franschhoek Wine Valley over the weekend of 14 and 15 September for this year’s Franschhoek Uncorked Festival. What better excuse to explore one of South Africa’s premier wine destinations, whilst uncovering a fine selection of wine gems from the Franschhoek Vignerons.
Participating wineries in and around the valley welcome the fresh, new season, using the opportunity to showcase their exciting new vintages and releases, as well as putting on a string of special events for visitors. New release line-ups range from MCC’s, white wines and rosés to red varietals.
Pack the car and set off for the winelands with its fresh country air and exquisite views whilst travelling from farm to farm. Be sure not to miss some of the live entertainment on offer as you plan your voyage of discovery of the region’s great wines and delectable culinary treats. With most of the Franschhoek wineries participating in this fun two-day festival, there promises to be something for everyone, which includes cellar and vineyard tours, barrel tastings, food and wine pairings, old school lawn games, to name but a few
Unfortunately, due to recent heavy rains, which has resulted in unforeseen rockfalls, the Franschhoek Pass remains closed until further notice. Please note that Franschhoek is still accessible via the Helshoogte Pass from Stellenbosch, the R301 from Paarl and the R45 from Simondium as per normal. This route closure only affects visitors travelling from Hermanus or Elgin and Villiersdorp, with the pass closed on both the R45 and the R321 T-junction at Theewaterskloof dam. We advise that visitors from these areas use the N1 via Paarl or the N2 via Somerset West to reach Franschhoek.
We have been directly in touch with the Premier’s Office last week with the request that urgent attention is required to assist with a solution. The Premier, Mr Alan Winde responded that they are working on it and will endeavor to have it open as soon as possible.
We will keep you posted.
We look forward to welcoming visitors to our valley during the Winter months and showcase our range of world-class offerings. For more info contact our offices on 021 876 2861.
After two weeks of judging the results are in for the 16th annual Decanter World Wine Awards, which saw France scoop 13 of the 50 Best In Show medals. South Africa earned six Platinum medals, which included the 2012 Vintage Le Lude Cuvée – the first South African MCC to receive this prestigious accolade.
This award-winning MCC comprises 83% Chardonnay and 17% Pinot Noir grapes, and is whole-bunch pressed with only the cuvee used in the Vintage blend. It’s matured on the lees for 56 months, of which only 2,361 bottles were released.
Winter brings out the best that Franschhoek has to offer – cozy warm fireplaces, robust red wines, soul comforting food, memorable experiences, breath-taking scenery and so much more. Traditionally a quieter time in Franschhoek there are also a number of establishments in and around the Valley who are offering Winter inspired packages too good to refuse. Catering to most experiences what better excuse to breakaway for the weekend to a luxury guesthouse or boutique hotel. Snuggle up to their cozy fireplaces while enjoying a good book and sipping on local wines.
We recently invited a number of influencers to the valley for a 24-hour winter experience in Franschhoek. Based on their experiences which you can read all about below, Winter is a truly magical season in Franschhoek and one of the best times to explore the area.