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New Vintage Release of La Motte’s 2019 Bordeaux-Style Millennium

With a successful Franschhoek Bastille Festival still fresh in the public’s minds the timing is perfect for the release of La Motte’s 2019 Bordeaux-inspired Millennium.

The 2019 La Motte Millennium consists of 48% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot – four of the six varieties (the other being Cabernet Sauvignon and very rarely Carménère) traditionally blended in France’s famous Bordeaux wine region.

The classic blend of predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Franc is prominent in some of the world’s most iconic wines and in the 2019 La Motte Millennium they offer aromatic dark berries and plum with nuances of fruit cake and toffee providing subtle sweetness. The Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute intensity in colour, hints of spice as well as complexity and depth to the blend. Barrel-derived spice and charred oak flavours are well integrated for a medium-bodied wine with soft, but lively tannins and a lingering berry aftertaste.

A celebration of women, wine and some gourmet gold

“Where there is a woman, there is magic.” No simpler but truer words have been spoken and so- this July, and all month-long, we raise our glasses to the wonderful women of SA; the mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends, colleagues, teachers, leaders and business women that make our valley a whole lot more magical… happy Women’s Month to all!

Festivities aside, our beautiful village is abuzz with winter activities, alive with ambiance and a diverse beauty that comes from stark trees and vines preparing for the next sprout of seasonal growth and change.

Mystery weekends are also back in action and for all those itching for a little adventure with none of the usual planning pressures, this one is for you!

Set those calendars and get booking as the latter stretch of 2022 promises to hold high hopes for much goodness in our abundant valley.

For the Vignerons’ diary, the 16th August is set for the ‘Trade and Media tasting’, hosted at the exclusive Sandstone House with Chefs Reuben and Darren Badenhorst preparing culinary delights to accompany the finest wines from the valley with lunch.

We’re signing off with the proverbial ‘cherry on the top’ with recent news of our town making Time Magazine’s prestigious list of ‘World’s Greatest Places’ for 2022!

This collection includes 50 destinations from around the world that Time’s correspondents and contributors nominated for exploring because of the destination’s offer of “new and exciting experiences.”

As if you needed any further reasons to soak in the spectacular views, fine wines & quintessential Franschhoek gourmet gold… All that’s left to consider is the choice company you’d like to share it all with.

See you soon in the valley of dreams!

Franschhoek makes Time’s ‘World’s Greatest Places’ list for 2022

Autumn in the Franschhoek Valley

Franschhoek has made Time Magazine’s prestigious list of ‘World’s Greatest Places’ for 2022.

This collection includes 50 destinations from around the world that Time’s correspondents and contributors nominated for exploring because of the destination’s offer of “new and exciting experiences.”

Franschhoek at Decorex

Stuart Douglas, Cindy Douglas and Vuyisa Potina at the Potina Ceramics stand at Decorex Cape Town 2022.

Three Franschhoek creative businesses took part in Decorex Cape Town 2022 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre form 16 – 19 June 2022.

Bastille Day: a Historical Occasion worth Commemorating

The Storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, as painted by Jean-Pierre Houël.

Franschhoek’s Bastille festivities are back on the social agenda this year! This occasion has been on hold for the last two years, and so it is with renewed excitement that we are, once again, able to engage in these celebrations. Franschhoek welcomes all those who pour into the town for this French-inspired festival; complete with excellent food, wines, music, and fun activities. Oh yes, and don’t forget the berets: blue, white, and red. Certainly, it is easy to see why this tradition is upheld and sees visitors flooding in. It is, however, easy to forget what this occasion is all about, and why Franschhoek celebrates it at all.

Ten Years of Honouring Cape Winelands’ Inspirational Women

Albernita Francis and Christiana Leonard

The Cape Winelands is rich in inspiring women doing good in their communities.

For the past ten years, Valcare, a nonprofit operating throughout this region, has run a women’s empowerment initiative honouring such women.

The Proteas of the Valley initiative spotlights everyday women doing extraordinary work. These women run soup kitchens, provide social services and safe spaces or initiate community development.

Previous Proteas of the Valley are fierce women who conquer challenges and flourish despite facing difficult conditions. This initiative aims to give women a platform to share their stories.

Music for Our Time

The Cape Chamber Music Collective presents one of the most important chamber works of the 20th century – Olivier Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ at the Franschhoek Dutch Reformed Church on Thursday 23 June at 19h00. Entrance is R140 per person and includes a glass of wine.

To complement this iconic work, the CCMC commissioned Grant McLachlan, Cape Town based composer of several scores for film and TV, to write a work which would converse with the Messiaen, and thus the Quartet for the Beginning of Time came in to being.

Soul Barrel Brewing Tops in Africa

Soul Barrel brewer Devin Kendricks accepted the award for Best Beer in Africa 2022.

Simondium brewery Soul Barrel Brewing has taken the top spot in the 2022 African Beer Cup, Africa’s biggest beer competition. The brewery took the coveted title of Best Beer in Africa with their Live Culture Grand Cru, which beat 250 entries from 14 different African countries.

(Cutting) EDGE African at Tapasco

Left: Wood fire roasted cabbage, poached mussels, zamalek broth, with apple & dill. Right: Chef Vusi Ndlovu

Before dinner I wondered whether Chef Vusi Ndlovu, whose surname means elephant, knew that Franschhoek was first known as Oliphantshoek (Elephants Corner). He did. Anyway, I digress before I’ve properly started… I missed his restaurant’s residency at Pasarene earlier this year, so was happy to finally fit in a visit to EDGE in mid-May.

Vusi attained chef stardom by placed as one of Top 7 in the San Pellegrino Young Chef Grand Finale in 2018 and being awarded best chef in Africa and Middle East. Bucking his mother’s wishes to study for an engineering degree he started his culinary journey at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria. Hard work and passion saw him working under the likes of Peter Tempelhoff, David Higgs and Luke Dale Roberts. After a stint in Belgium at the highly-acclaimed ‘In de Wulf’ and heading up kitchens at The Saxon and the trendy The Marabi Club, it was time to be master of his own domain. The result, in collaboration with siblings Absie and Mandla Pantshwa, was EDGE – “a holistic celebration of Africa” and a most welcome addition to the Franschhoek culinary scene.


The CCMC pays homage to two South African Composers

The Cape Chamber Music Collective, in collaboration with the renowned Amici Quartet, celebrates two Cape Town based and South African composers who both died last year – Thomas Rajna and Allan Stephenson.

This programme is the fifth offering by the CCMC this year in a series of concerts in and around Cape Town:

Franschhoek: Friday 27 May 19:00 at the NG Kerk. Tickets are R140, including a free glass of wine.

Thomas Rajna was born in Budapest and settled in South Africa in 1970, where he held the position of professor of piano at the South African College of Music and also lead a very active career as a composer.

Allan Stephenson left England in 1973 to take up the position of sub-principal cellist with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. He was a prolific composer with in excess of 100 works to his name.

Stephenson’s Miniature String Quartet and Rajna’s String Quartet No.2 are reminiscent of their major compositional influences:  for Stephenson, his love of African and Jazz rhythms; and for Rajna, his Hungarian heritage.

Puccini’s short Crisantemi/Chrysanthemums is very apt since chrysanthemums are associated with funerals in Italy. Parts of it were reworked by Puccini for some of the most poignant moments in Acts III and IV of his opera Manon Lescaut.

The programme concludes with Ravel’s String Quartet in F maj. This was Ravel’s first substantial multi-movement work and displays influences from Debussy’s quartet, composed ten years earlier. The work demonstrates Ravel’s skillful ability to use classical form and structure to present unified melodies and themes, complex rhythmic patterns, and a wide range of tone colours and textures.

Student tickets available at the door for half of the full price on the day of the performance.

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