Franschhoek, tucked away in the Cape Winelands region of South Africa, is a small town celebrated globally as South Africa’s hub for food and wine, boasting a diverse range of top-tier restaurants and wine farms. Its name, meaning “French Corner” in Afrikaans, reflects its rich heritage shaped by the arrival of French Huguenot settlers in the late 17th century. These settlers brought with them their winemaking expertise, laying the foundation for the region’s thriving wine industry.
Franschhoek is packed with amazing wine farms, each with its own unique vibe. At the wine farms, you can taste different wines, tour the cellars, and stroll through the beautiful vineyards. Many of these wine estates have wonderful restaurants and picnic areas you can visit, too.
With about 45 wine farms to choose from, ranging from big and traditional to intimate and boutique ones, deciding which ones to visit can be tough. It’s like picking your favorite ice cream flavor – everyone has their own preference. In this blog post, I’ve picked out 5 Franschhoek wine farms that I really like. But remember, it’s just my opinion. Let me know your favorites in the comments below! I’ve also included some helpful tips on how to explore the Franschhoek wine region and where to stay.
To jump straight into the easiest and best ways to visit the Franschhoek wine farms, click here. Or, you can keep reading until the end of this post.
So, first, let’s dive into some of the best wine estates in Franschhoek and what makes them stand out.
- 1. Dieu Donne Vineyards
- 2. Haute Cabrière Winery
- 3. Rickety Bridge Wine Estate
- 4. Eikehof Boutique Wine Estate
- 5. Boschendal Estate
- How to visit the Franschhoek Wine Farms
- But, wait! There's more to Franschhoek than just its Wine Farms.
- Where to stay in Franschhoek
1. Dieu Donne Vineyards
Adding Dieu Donné to my list of Franschhoek Wine Farms for a wonderful experience is a no-brainer! The name itself, “A Gift from God,” beautifully encapsulates the essence of this stunning estate. Perched high on the southwest-facing slopes of the Franschhoek mountains, a visit here feels like discovering a serene hideaway, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The location provides breathtaking views of the Franschhoek Valley, earning Dieu Donné a reputation for offering some of the best views in the area.
When it comes to wine tasting, Merlot is the star, but there are also other fantastic wines to try. You can taste Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, as well as their own Méthode Cape Classique and Viognier. Don’t forget to try their wine and chocolate tasting – it’s a winner in my books!
The terrace overlooking the valley and mountains is a great place for wine tasting. However, the tasting room is equally lovely with an elegant yet simple design.
For those who want to delve a little deeper into the wine-making story, there are also Cellar Tours (by appointment only) on offer.
Restaurant The Country Grand Restaurant lies adjacent to the tasting area and has an extensive food, wine and cocktail menu. The big brick patio offers a great view of the valley, with large café umbrellas shading the seating. Wooden steps lead down to a sloping lawn and a deck lit up with fairy lights sets a great scene for night dining. There are also fun additions like a giant mirror ball, a cool red-lips bench, and bean bags by the vines for playful and stylish photo backdrops. For more information and enquiries, contact the restaurant telephonically at 021 569 9352 or via email at Country@GrandAfrica.com.
Where to find Dieu Donne Wine Estate: Uitkyk Street, Franschhoek Valley, Franschhoek, 7690. Alternatively, click here for Google Map Directions.
2. Haute Cabrière Winery
Next on the list of one of the best wine estates in Franschhoek is the beautiful Haute Cabriere. Founded in 1694 by French Huguenot Pierre Jourdan, this stunning wine farm in the Franschhoek Valley offers unreal views and elegance. The modern estate is akin to French Champagne houses, growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for South Africa’s Cap Classique. The terroir mirrors France’s Burgundy region, and the estate produces two excellent ranges: Haute Cabriere for still wines and Pierre Jourdan for Cap Classique.
Wine Tasting. The tasting room is located in a stone cellar built into the mountain, providing views into the underground barrel maturation room where the magic unfolds. At a wine tasting, you can try Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, family favorites, or the exceptional Pierre Jourdan Cap Classique range. Read more about my wine tasting experience at Haute Cabriere here. The Tasting room is open 7 days a week, Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm. Reservations: To make a booking, click here or contact Haute Cabriere telephonically at +27 (0)21 876 8500 / +21 (0) 21 64 928 1044 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cellar Tours. Cellar Tours run daily at 12pm. Pre-bookings are required.
Bakery. In addition to their excellent wines, Haute Cabriere is also well known for the superb bakery. The Bakery is stocked with a selection of homemade breads, like sourdough, ciabatta and baguettes. You can also buy bread and pastries to take away or order them to enjoy while tasting wine. Their pastries were absolutely delicious also, but their Pastéis de Nata stood out for us with their perfect creamy-flaky texture!
Restaurant. For a fantastic fine dining experience, there’s also the well-loved Haute Cabriere Restaurant. The menu, created by chef Nic van Wyk and his team, is a selection of à la carte dishes and shareable tapas.
Where to find Haute Cabriere Wine Estate: Lambrechts Rd, Franschhoek, 7690. Alternatively, click here for Google Map Directions.
3. Rickety Bridge Wine Estate
A list of the best wine estates in Franschhoek wouldn’t be complete without adding Rickety Bridge Estate. Originally a section of the Grand Provence Estate, this historic farm became the property of Paulina de Villiers in 1797. In the 1980s, it earned the name Rickety Bridge because of the aged railway sleeper bridge spanning the Franschhoek River. This lovely farm is also great for families, offering a playground, restaurant, and even a pizza oven. What’s more, you can have fun creating your own unique wine blends with a wine blending activity and other unique experiences.
Wine tasting. The Wine Tasting Centre is right next to the wine cellar, giving you a peek into how a real winery operates. It’s on a raised platform with big glass walls on three sides, letting you see the vineyards and beautiful Franschhoek mountains. The tasting area extends into the maturation cellar through glass walls on one side and onto floating terraces on the other side. Rickety Bridge offers 7 different wine tastings, from an Estate Tasting to their Icon range. To accompany the wine tastings, they also serve cheese and Charcuterie platters and pizza.
Wine pairings & experiences. What makes Rickety Bridge unique, though, are their variety of wine pairing options. These include cheese and wine pairings, kiddies pairings, non-alcoholic pairings, a sabrage and potjie kos experience. We had an absolutely fantastic panna cotta & wine pairing at Rickety Bridge that I highly recommend, too.
Restaurant. There’s also an onsite restaurant, Paulina’s, which was named in honour of the original owner of the property, Paulina de Villiers. The restaurant features a menu that is a fusion of bistro charm infused with the sophistication of fine dining elements. What’s more, the outdoor section has great views, overlooking the vineyards and mountains.
Where to find Rickety Bridge Wine Estate: R45, Franschhoek, 7690. Alternatively, click here for Google Map Directions.
4. Eikehof Boutique Wine Estate
West of Franschhoek Village, you’ll discover the small and intimate Eikehof Wine Estate, shaded by ancient oak trees. For me, this is definitely one of the lesser-known but still best wine estates in Franschhoek. Owned by the Malherbe family since 1903, this hidden gem is now run by Francois Malherbe, the fourth-generation winemaker. He continues the family tradition, making wines in the same cellar his great-grandfather used. Eikehof has 6 varietals which include a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. In fact, the farm is renowned for having the oldest block of Semillon bush vines in South Africa dating back to 1902.
Wine Tasting. Their tasting menu offers a sample of all their varieties, including the exquisite Premium Bush Vine Semillon. They also have excellent fruit, cheese and meat platters to enjoy with your wine. What’s more, the setting is gorgeous, too, with views of the mountains and vineyards. Read more about my personal account of a wine tasting experience at Eikehof here.
Where to find Eikehof Wine Estate: La-Motte, R45, Franschhoek, 7691. Alternatively, click here for Google Map Directions.
5. Boschendal Estate
Boschendal is one of the most popular Wine Estates in Franschhoek because of its huge variety of things to do. This historic estate, dating back to 1685, exudes both charm and sophistication against the backdrop of lush vineyards, mountains, and manicured gardens. Renowned for its award-winning wines, Boschendal is also a leading winery in the Cape Winelands, producing exquisite vintages.
At Boschendal, you can enjoy a variety of activities, including wine tasting and pairings, dining at the Werf Restaurant & Bar or the Deli Restaurant, picnics, a kids playground, shopping at the farm shop & butchery and homeware shop, exploring the art gallery, horse riding, attending night markets, swimming, hiking, mountain biking trails, and more.
For wine tasting at Boschendal, head to one of their two excellent venues: the Werf or the Deli Restaurant They offer seasonal platters and food and wine pairings, providing a delightful tasting experience.
Restaurants. Boschendal has two restaurants. The first is the Deli Restaurant under the trees, offering casual farm-style meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The second is The Werf, located next to the Manor House’s original cellar, with scenic valley views, providing modern farm-to-table dining.
Where to find Boschendal Wine Estate: Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road, Groot, Franschhoek, 7690. Alternatively, click here for Google Map Directions.
How to visit the Franschhoek Wine Farms
The three most popular ways to do a wine tasting in Franschhoek are self-drive, a wine tour, or using the wine tram. I’ll briefly give the ins and outs of each below:
1. The Franschhoek Wine Tram
In my opinion, the wine tram is hands down one of the best ways to see the some of the region’s best wine farms. The Tram allows you a carefree adventure across the Winelands that is safe and fun! Because let’s face it – who wants to be designated driver on a wine tasting adventure? The wine tram takes care of all your transportation hassles, so all you have to do is hop-on and hop-off wherever you wish! The Wine Tram offers five color-coded routes (blue, orange, pink, red, navy), each featuring 7 or 8 unique wine estates. Pick your color route, grab your tickets and hop on the bus/tram. After that, the only work you have to do is taste excellent wine and keep an eye on the time to catch the tram, which comes every 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the line you choose.
- Full day Franschhoek Hop-on, Hop-off tour (incl. transport to & from Cape Town)
2. Franschhoek Wine Farm Tours
Franschhoek Vineyard Hopper
The vineyard Hopper ticket is a super convenient way to visit the Franschhoek wine farms! No need to worry about arranging taxis between wineries. Instead, this minivan service whisks you between the region’s top wine estates. Once you arrive, the choice is yours—whether to enjoy wine tastings, guided tours, or simply relax in the surroundings.
Guided Franschhoek Wine Farm Tour
If you prefer a guided tour, then this full day wine tour from Franschhoek might be just perfect for you.
A group tour of the Wineland region – from Cape Town and back
Taking a day tour to the Winelands from Cape Town lets you see the whole area, including Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl – three important towns there. You’ll visit well-known estates, try some wines, cheeses, and chocolates, and lunch. Even though you won’t have much time in Franschhoek, it’s perfect for solo travelers to explore different wine farms and learn about the area.
Fun ways to see the Franschhoek wine valley
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, check out some fun ways to see the Franschhoek wine estates . From guided e-bike tours along Franschhoek’s back roads, to a private cycling adventure that includes cellar tours, lunch, and wine pairings too.
3. Self-driving in Franschhoek
Self-driving is a great to explore the Franschhoek wine farms and it means you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. You’re not stuck to someone else’s schedule, and you can easily reach both popular and lesser-known wineries. Plus, you can take in the beautiful scenery at your own pace and maybe even discover some other cool spots nearby.
If you don’t have your own transport, then renting a car is an option. The most convenient way is to rent a car at Cape Town airport, where you can collect it upon arrival and return it before departure.
But, wait! There’s more to Franschhoek than just its Wine Farms.
Besides wine tasting, there’s plenty more to enjoy in Franschhoek! Treat yourself to amazing food at top-notch restaurants, check out cool art galleries and museums around town, and don’t miss the breathtaking views along the scenic Franschhoek Pass. If you love hiking, head to Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve for some awesome trails and stunning vistas of the valley.
READ MORE >>> Best things to see and do in Franschhoek.
READ MORE >>> A Perfect one-day walking itinerary for Franschhoek Town
Where to stay in Franschhoek
- Main Road (Huguenot Street): Staying along the Main Road puts you in the heart of Franschhoek, with easy access to shops, restaurants, and galleries. It’s a vibrant area with a lively atmosphere.
- Winelands Estates: For a more secluded and tranquil experience, consider staying at one of the estates surrounded by vineyards.
- Farm Stays: There are gorgeous farm stays around Franschhoek’s center. My personal favorite is Cabernet Cottage. Even though it’s only a 15 minute walk from the center of Franschhoek Town, it’s far enough away that it feels secluded, safe and peaceful.
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