This weekend Franschhoek will celebrate its fourth ‘Franschhoek Uncorked’ weekend, and all indications are that the weather will be reasonably kind to the event. Eighteen Franschhoek wine estates invite visitors to Franschhoek to visit them, not only to taste their wines, but also to enjoy the unique food and entertainment at each estate.
The Franschhoek wine estates offer visitors the following:
* Noble Hill: Eat at Cosecha Restaurant, gourmet Tachos on grill, music by The Studebakers. Tel (021) 874-3844
* Vrede en Lust: Cocktails with strawberries, to celebrate Spring. Tel (021) 874-7611
* Plaisir de Merle: One of the wine estates capturing the French heritage of Franschhoek the best. Serving pancakes, live music. Tel (021) 874- 1071
* Allée Bleue: Live jazz, free wine tasting, French foods (Flammkuchen, Bouillabaisse, cheesecake with strawberries), fresh herbs for sale, new vintage Brut Rosé, picnics at R145 per person, meals at The Bistro. Tel (021) 874-1021
* Solms-Delta: Celebration of ‘van die Kaap’, with Cape music, food, wine and traditional music. Pairing of ‘Cape fusion cuisine’ with Cape wines. Tel (021) 874-3937.
* Anthonij Rupert Wines: Complimentary tastings of Protea and Terra del Capo wines. Boules. Franschhoek Motor Museum displays and demonstrations, as well as drive in vintage and classic cars. Tel (021) 874-9000
* Graham Beck Wines: Fresh oysters, fresh basked breads, cheeses, charcuterie, from Oude Bank Bakkerij to complement tasting of wines and Mèthode Cap Classique. Master classes by winemakers Pieter Ferreira and Erika Obermeyer, at 11h00 on Saturday and Sunday, at R75 per person. Tel (021) 874-1258.
* Lynx: Spanish fiesta includes tapas, live Spanish band. Tel (021) 867-0406
* La Chataigne: Live music, Boules. Tel (021) 876-3220
* La Motte: Live music, Special menu for the weekend Festival at Pierneef à La Motte. Tel (021) 876-8000
* Rickety Bridge: Live band, Boules, chipping competition, braai. Tel (021) 876-2129
* Grande Provence: Marimba band, Boules, art exhibition, Oriental Tapas. Tel (021) 876-8600
* Franschhoek Cellar: Truckles cheese tasting, Huguenot Fine Chocolate Tasting, La Bourgogne olive oil and olive tasting, Pick ‘n Pay sushi bar, cheese lunches at R85, live jazz band. Tel (021) 876-2086
* Dieu Donné: Cellar tours, live music by Adagio, Micro Brewery beer tastings, bridal exhibition, freshly baked produce stall, Sunday Brunch 10h30 – 15h00. Tel (021) 876-2493
* Haute Cabriére: Ratafia ball throwing competition, Unwooded Pinot Noir 2011 tasting, cellar tours and sabrage Saturday and Sunday at 11h00, and at 14h00 on Saturday. Special ‘Uncorked’ menu at re-opened Haute Cabriére Cellar Restaurant. Tel (021) 876-8500
* La Bri: Art by Hamlin, sale of plants, bulbs and seeds, fresh baked breads, cheeses, soups, picnics, three course dinner with winemaker on Saturday evening at R350 per person. Tel (021) 876-2593.
* Holden Manz: Live band, cocktails, fun activities, Official Uncorked After Party, Saturday, from 5 pm. Tel (021) 876-2729.
* Boekenhoutskloof: Release of Chocolate Block 2010. Barbeque Extravaganza by Reuben’s. Kitchen Jamming Blues Band. Tel (021) 876-3320.
Franschhoek Uncorked, 3 – 4 September. R100 allows multiple entries to the wine estates over the weekend. Book via www.webtickets.co.za Franschhoek Wine Valley supports responsible drinking, and has a number of shuttle services listed on its website www.franschhoek.org.za. A number of wine specials are available this weekend, and are listed on the Franschhoek Wine Valley website too.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage