Franschhoek is called the meals and wine capital of South Africa nevertheless it isn’t at all times straightforward to navigate. Utilizing a automotive could be tough on this little city, particularly should you’d like to go to a couple of farm. There may be a better manner to do that and its referred to as the Wine Tram! I lately visited this lush wine valley with some pals of mine who had by no means skilled it earlier than. Be a part of us on our expedition by way of the vineyards from begin to end under.
How one can Get Tickets
We booked our tickets on-line by way of the Franschhoek Wine Tram web site however should you’re in Franschhoek you may merely e-book on the Wine Tram workplace itself. It’s suggested that you simply e-book forward of time however additionally it is potential to do it on the fly earlier than the following route departs.
There are lots of strains and the small print of every seem on the Wine Tram web site. We determined to go on the Purple Line however as a consequence of time constraints, it wasn’t potential to go to all the estates listed. Our departure time allowed us sufficient time for 4 stops however we ended up solely doing three in order to have time for lunch. The three departure instances are 09:00, 10:00 and 11:00, with fewer stops potential the later you permit. Leaving at 10:00 we solely received again to Franschhoek by 17:00! So be certain that to plan your time fastidiously.
As soon as we had our tickets, we met up with the opposite friends simply earlier than the allotted departure time on the Wine Tram workplace. A pleasant workers member gave us stickers in the identical color of the road we selected together with a card with the each day property specials on it. We have been then informed to comply with the flag color for our chosen line till our information arrived to choose us up.
Solms Delta is a rustic-style wine farm that’s housed by an enormous piece of land. Right here you’ll discover a music academy that connects with the area people (and most of the wines are themed accordingly) as properly a small island the place pre-packed picnics are served with recent substances from the deli.
The nice and cozy tasting room is heated by a wood-burning fire and our skilled gave us a listing detailing the Wine Tram Categorical Vary. She defined to us that the farm may be very particular as a consequence of a strategy of desiccation on the vine that’s an historic methodology not utilized by different wine farms within the area.
I chosen the Way of life Assortment which consists of a Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, Rosé, Cape Jazz Shiraz and the Astor Premium Perry. The final of those is a fizzy pear cider which is slightly scrumptious and we have been informed it festivals properly when paired with one in all their picnics.
Plaisir de Merle
We arrived on the historic Plaisir de Merle, the principle constructing adorned within the type of an outdated gentleman’s membership. The wine tasting takes place both inside or outdoors – which is the place we selected to take pleasure in some recent air. Our hostess introduced us our tasting glasses – the one property we tried the place there was a glass for every wine! We got the property vary which consists of Petite Plaisir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and the Grand Brut.
Our favorite was the Petite Plaisir, a beautiful crimson mix. Whereas none of us are wine connoisseurs, I might positively advocate taking house a bottle of this even if you’re doing a distinct tasting or having fun with a meal on the restaurant.
Vrede en Lust
Vrede en Lust’s historical past dates all the best way again to 1688 when it was Dutch-owned and it’s now operated by the Buys household. The tasting room has probably the most beautiful views of the snow-capped mountains and surrounding vineyards. The estates wines are pretty all-round (which speaks to the standard right here) and have names like “White Mischief” and “The Crimson Girl” which makes these wines not solely a particular addition to gatherings however offers you an perception into the creativity behind the wine-making.
We stopped for lunch at Lust Bistro the place I had the beetroot risotto, a sensational mix of flavours together with walnuts and figs. My companions opted to order pizzas off of the “design your personal pizza” menu which labored out to be half the value of my extra subtle meal. That is the fantastic thing about the bistro; you may order sandwiches, pizzas and pastries which might be extraordinarily reasonably priced however nonetheless made with the identical natural substances and paired with spectacular award-winning wines.
Why Select the Tram?
Whereas the value could seem steep to some, the wine specials together with not having to fret about another technique of transport are extraordinarily handy. Wine can be supplied on the tram whereas a educated information tells you extra concerning the vineyards you might be visiting. A disclaimer is that the tram itself doesn’t service each property however there’s a bus that takes you in between these different stops – this doesn’t embrace info from the information, nevertheless.
The hourly timed service may be very well-orchestrated and on-time and there may be additionally little strain to catch the tram once more on the hour. You may select to remain at a single wine farm for the complete day should you’d wish to and even to get picked up by your resort as a substitute, making it very handy both manner.
Learn our weblog about unconventional wine pairings to strive alongside the Cape Wine Route.
Featured Picture: Simon Watson