Franschhoek is a small, Huguenot-influenced town in the Cape Winelands. In case you don’t know already, it is renowned for its festivals, most of which carry a strong emphasis on food and wine – the two things Franschhoek does best! However it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re afanatic of bubbly wine, or better yet, champagne, there is only one festival you need worry about: the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival, dubbed ‘The ‘Magic of Bubbles’. This year it takes place in the picturesque valley from the 30 November and 1 December 2013.
The grand marquee,situated on the lawns surrounding Franschhoek’s iconic Huguenot Monument is where it’s all at and visitors should expect a culinary showcase second-to-none including the finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) to emerge from the wine cellars of South Africa.
Well-known MCC producers participating in this popular festival include Pierre Jourdan, Morena, Môreson, La Motte, Boschendal, Leopard’s Leap, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Graham Beck Wines, Krone, Simonsig, Steenberg and Villiera. Some of France’s best Champagnes will be represented by brands such as Billecart Salmon, Champagne Guy Charbaut and Veuve Clicquot.
With the winemaking methods virtually the same in the Champagne and Franschhoek regions, the success of a winemaker’s labours comes down to the terroir from which they source their grapes and their finely honed skills – something that South African winemakers have mastered throughout the years.
Festival patrons will be treated to an array of gastronomic delights presented by the local restaurants – the same ones which have put Franschhoek on the international culinary map. Participating fine dining restaurants include well-known establishments such as The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Bread & Wine, Roca @Dieu Donné and Huguenot Fine Chocolates.
Strolling down the quaint main street in Franschhoek will reveal an array of classy shops and boutiques where you can explore the multitude of clothes, deli food, gifts, chocolates and more on offer. The many wine farms within easy reach of the village will make your weekend even more worthwhile.
Given the wide choice of accommodation in Franschhoek, ranging from the finest bed and breakfasts to luxurious boutique hotels, all within scenic surroundings, there is no reason not to make a weekend of it and sleep over.
The theme for this year’s festival is black and white, with an emphasis on spots and stripes. In keeping with a tradition that is now as much a part of the festival as is the bubbly, a prize will be awarded to the best dressed couple on each day.
Tickets cost R200 per person and include access to the festival which is open between 12pm and 5pm on 30 November and 1 December, a complimentary tasting glass and tasting coupons. Additional vouchers can be purchased on the day. Children under 18 years will be allowed free entry to the festival.
Tickets are available from webtickets.