You can’t really travel in the Western Cape and not visit a winery, even if you’re a hard-core adventure-seeking individual who doesn’t drink (grape juice is always an option). Driving through the province leaves you ogling at the elaborately named century old vineyards with their lusciously green, perfectly laid out grape vines, and it soon becomes more of a test of will-power.
On a whirl-wind tour of the Western Cape, myself and two mates (John and Travis) decided we would honour the wine Gods with a day of wine-tasting in Franschhoek. Sifting through the incredible choice of vineyards in the Franschhoek Valley was a little overwhelming, so we handed over the baton to the ‘Franschhoek Wine Tram’ to narrow down our choices. At first sight, it did seem a little touristy and bit of a lazy option; however, it was practical in the sense that we could drink wine at a bunch of vineyards without the worry of who’s driving. Definite winner there.
In total there are four “Tram Lines” to choose from (Red, Green, Yellow and Blue), which take you to varying combinations of well-known and smaller family-owned wineries, and the choice is yours when it comes to where you want to hop-on or hop-off. Avoiding all decision making, we let the tram staff choose our tram line and even the vineyards that we intended to visit. Hopping onto the Blue line at a very amicable 10.30am, we were transported around by the surprisingly musical tram-bus, and newly constructed tram (modelled after the trams of the 1890s), and sipped our way through the day at various vineyards.
With their endless choice of wines and award winning restaurants, the larger wine estates (Grand Provence, Mont Rochelle etc) were undoubtably impressive; however, our favourite had to be La Bourgogne, a small family-run estate. Arriving at the perfect time for lunch, we decided not to turn down the offer of a homegrown-homemade food platter, which paired with the wine and the setting (a beautifully kept farm house shaded by oak trees), was a pretty idyllic way to spend a couple of hours.