Travel

Hop on the Franschhoek Winetram

With century-old vineyards and breath-taking scenery, this fun tram ride takes you through the beautiful town of Franschhoek, best known as the food and wine heartland of the country. It is the perfect way to experience wine tastings, without the hassle of finding a designated driver.

We were very excited to start our day on the wine tram, so in order for everyone to enjoy this wine experience, we made us of Uber. Its the best way to explore Cape Town without having to drive yourself or worry about having one or two wine glasses too many.

The Franschhoek Wine Experience kiosk is located right in the middle of the main road. You can also purchase your ticket online. The tram experience offers two options: the Hop-on Hop-off experience that currently offers 8 lines to choose from depending on the number of wine farms you want to visit or the Curated Wine Experience.

We chose the latter. On route, our knowledgeable wine guide weaved the facts, figures and scientific aspects of winemaking, into interesting stories about Franschhoek’s history of wine and culture. For this, it is best to book online, as the Curated Wine Experience allows for a maximum of 12 guests.

First stop was Rickety Bridge Winery. On the tram there, we already sampled their Foundation Stone Rose, a dry Rosé with juicy red cherries and strawberries intermingled with Turkish Delight and a touch of spice. It is delish.

Rickety Bridge Winery, named after the rickety wooden bridge used to cross the river onto the farm, is nestled against the slopes of the Franschhoek mountains. Established in 1797, it has a fascinating history as the land was granted to Paulina de Villiers, a pioneering woman in the Franschhoek wine industry and to whom the restaurant is named. Today the wine estate offers some of the finest wines, luxury accommodation and an idyllic setting for weddings and functions.

The wine tasting continued with a taste of the Brut Rose, while we learn about the local grape varieties, cultivars and the aspects of viticulture which are unique to Southern Africa followed by a tour of the estate wine cellar. The tasting also included excellent white and red wine cultivars.

After tasting all those beautiful wines, it was time for lunch at the estate restaurant, Paulina’s. Our table was set up on the verandah overlooking the vineyards. Each course was a feast on the eyes and the pallet, excellently accompanied by the estate’s fine selection of wines.

After an eventful morning at Rickety Bridge, our tram ride continued and took us to Grand Provance. Established in 1694, Grand Provence offers wine tasting, dining, accommodation and is the perfect location for a stylish wedding.

The Gallery at Grande Provence is considered to be one of the most highly regarded galleries in the Cape, with a reputation for showcasing some of South Africa’s finest established and emerging artists. The Gallery exhibits a carefully selected group of artists from South Africa, Europe and America.

The Sculpture Garden has a continually evolving collection of monumental works in a variety of media.

Our final stop was at La Bri Wine farm. The farm was established in 1694 and offer a beautiful selection of signature styled wines.

We can highly recommend the chocolate and wine pairing. Dark Belgian chocolate handcrafted by their local chocolatier and carefully selected by the winemaker to complement each of the decadent La Bri wines. If you like something salty you can opt for the Biltong and Wine option that offers a truly unique South African experience!

Our day ended at around 17.00 and it was, a lovely experience. Great for those who wish to learn more about wine, but not taste too many wines to get confused. These three wine farms offer the perfect selection and relaxed experience for beginners and connoisseurs alike, as you get to sample wines, not on the regular tasting list.

Before you head back home, a trip to Franschhoek is not complete without a visit to the Huguenot Fine Chocolate shop. A boutique chocolaterie, in the main street of Franschhoek. They offer a delicious range of chocolates, made from the finest imported Belgian chocolate. I can never leave before I pop in to fill a bag with the Vanilla Cups, it`s my favourite.

But there is still so much left to do. Franschhoek boasts some of South Africa’s ‘Top 100’ restaurants and has become known as the country’s Culinary Capital, providing visitors with a memorable dining experience. With leading chefs that create everything from cutting-edge cuisine to stylish light meals, using only the freshest local produce paired with superb local wines. A weekend stay will provide you with plenty to see and taste.

A wide variety of accommodation is available – from luxury boutique hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts and self-catering establishments. Whatever your choice, you will be guaranteed of a blissful night’s rest.

There is no town like Franschhoek, filled with beautiful art galleries, boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, wineries and fun activities.

So go add that tram ride to your to-do-list for 2019. You won`t be disappointed.

Safe Travels

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