Uncorking Franschhoek

As the rain drizzled down and the clouds gathered overhead, Franschhoek buzzed with bottles being uncorked, wine flowing and food a plenty this weekend, 27 – 28 September 2014. The annual Franschhoek Uncorked Festival brought visitors from far and wide to the valley of fine wine and french cuisine.

The first stop on our wine journey through the Franschhoek Wine Valley was at Noble Hill, where we collected our glasses and was treated to free wine tasting. In the intimate tasting room, guests were invited to try an ice-cream and wine pairing, various charcuterie and scrumptious churros (one of my all time favorites). So in true wine lover style, we filled our glasses, grabbed our ice-cream for pairing and settled down in the intimate tasting room for a taste-bud tingling experience. For those wanting to know some insider tips – the Shiraz Dark Chocolate ice-cream paired with the Noble Hill Shiraz was the definitely the best of the lot.

After an hour of lounging around, chatting and enjoying our ice-cream we moved onto our next destination – Babylonstoren. For the foodie in me, this was a truly spectacular wine farm with fresh herbs and produce from their expansive garden being used in their restaurant. Before any wine was tasted we took a meander through their gardens filled with endless fragrant and fresh herbs as well as vibrant fruits and a chicken or two. The sights, smells and beauty of it all was rather ashamedly the highlight of the festival for myself. In addition, on an also rather important side note – their Chardonnay was truly spectacular as well.

The third stop on our wine trip was the rustic, charming and picturesque Allee Bleue. Walking into the hall we were greeted with bales of hay situated around tables and tasting stations dotted around the outskirts of the hall. The bubbly bar was buzzing while the wine was flowing at the wine tasting stations. Not to mention the food – with the chef tending to all the customers it really put a personal touch into the menu.

All in all our day was simply delightful and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. However, next year I would get there earlier as farms close at 17:00. Although the organizers advise that the festival starts at noon, we would recommend that you get to your first farm earlier than that. With so many farms to attend there just is not enough time in the day to get to them all! Also bring a bit of extra cash with you as some farms charge a little extra for wine tasting and of course, one needs to try the delectable fare on offer.

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