S. Africa: Part 2 Wine country Franschhoek

Matt and I spent two days touring the wine country. Amazing time and highly recommend for anyone that visits the area. The first day was mainly spent in Franschhoek, which means French Corner. It is one of the oldest towns of the Republic of South Africa (about 75 km from Cape Town).
History: The area was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 with one single aim: to provide fresh food to the company's merchant fleet on their voyages to India and surrounding areas. But much more evolved than that - the establishment of a trading station led to a flourishing wine industry and later to the birth of a nation.

Jan van Riebeeck, the first governor of the Cape, planted a vineyard in 1655, and on 2 February 1659, the first wine was made from Cape grapes. This led to the planting of vines on a larger scale. There were many setbacks in the beginning, chiefly because of the farmers' ignorance of viticulture. Things improved when Van Riebeeck was succeeded in 1679 by Simon van der Stel (where Stellenbosch got its name), who was not only enthusiastic but very knowledgeable about viticulture and wine making.

First stop was Plaisir De Merle. It was an early start at 10 am so we were the only ones there (not surprisingly)

Estates were fairly close together but the drives up to the vineyards through the gates were gorgeous, long drives to get to the actual estate


The Cape Dutch architecture in much of the area is unspoilt. They are pretty strict on renovations and new construction in order to preserve the original architecture. This was seen in all the vineyards we went to.

Again, it was early

We tried to take pictures with whoever poured for us and educated us on the wines

It was a public holiday that Monday so we popped by another one that wasn't open but it had some great dogs and this  odd porcupine thing

Next stop for the afternoon:

I really liked this place and loved how it had this great gallery space

I realize this is not the most flattering photo for the lady in green...

 Part of the gallery, creepy snake

Time for lunch at La Petite Ferme

Getting artsy with the photo developing


We took some time to explore the downtown area and took a small break from the wine tastings. Cute little town with charming boutiques

Loved how the Post Office had this amazing mountain in the background

 My little men again

 Back to business at Boschendal

These flowers were everywhere, gorgeous

The last vineyard of the day was probably our favorite

I think we both could get used to this

Took the last picture of the day with our guide, Pen. She was great and really made the day. Highly recommend using a guide if you go.

More on our second day in the vineyard soon!


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