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26 04, 2018

Experience the Franschhoek Wine Tram

April 26th, 2018|Blog|Comments Off on Experience the Franschhoek Wine Tram

Franschhoek is a picturesque destination in the heart of the Cape Winelands.  It is home to award-winning wine, numerous wineries, gourmet restaurants, a quaint, bustling town center as well as beautiful natural scenery. Franschhoek has come to be known as a prime wine destination in South Africa. So visiting some of the cellars around the town is one of the top activities available in Franschhoek.

One of the most unique ways to explore the vineyards and wineries of the Franschhoek Valley is on the Franschhoek Wine Tram. The Tram has several lines which transport travelers around the valley. There are six tour options for travel giving travelers the opportunity to see their pick of 22 wine cellars and estates. It is a hop on hop off tour – making it an incredibly flexible and convenient way to discover the valley. At each stop, travelers can embark on any of the activities on offer at the selected destinations; from wine tasting to memorable dining experiences, and cellar tours or a walk around the estates.

During the actual ride, a combination of open-side trams and open air tram busses are used to get around. Enjoy the stunning scenery as you trundle through the valley as well as a narration of the wine making history of the area. A day spent discovering Franschhoek on the wine tram is definitely an unforgettable one.

Safari365 has an informative video highlighting the Franschhoek Wine Tram experience.

 

 

9 04, 2018

A Dummy’s Semi-aged Perspective on Wine

April 9th, 2018|Blog|Comments Off on A Dummy’s Semi-aged Perspective on Wine

If you are anything like me, your knowledge about South African Wine is basically that you like it. Even if someone gives me a course on wine, I don’t think I will even remember any of it.

I have been to many wine tastings before, and the assistant always says something along the lines of “we have used three different types of grapes” or “this wine has a fruity undertone”. Most of the time I just nod my head without actually being able to taste the fruitiness or any other flavours she says it has.

I don’t know the difference between Merlot and Pinotage or the difference between an oak cask (or is it called a barrel?) and a stainless steel cask. The fact that I know that there are two different types of casks is a miracle in itself. I do know, however, that we have some great South African Wines and most of the time I enjoy it, be it Merlot, Pinotage, Chardonnay, or, of course my all-time favourite, “pink” wine, more formally known as Rosé.

I think what makes South African Wine so great is the variety and history. No two wines is ever the same. How on earth do they do that?

My husband and I have been to a couple of wine farms and wine tastings, and even though I don’t understand most of the technical aspects behind the wine-making process, the amount of work going into the making of a great South African Wine and the history of the farm and the process that has been developed over decades to really make a quality wine has always fascinated me.

I have a great respect for those South African Wine farmers who have persevered, sweated in the sun, spent hours working the earth, planting, sowing, reaping, and who gave so much of themselves, failing and getting up to try yet once again, giving it their all to really and truly create a unique South African Wine. It is truly inspiring.

I must say, I am proud to live in a country with such a great history and such an amazing wine culture. There is nothing better or more beautiful than driving though the Cape Winelands and seeing the vineyard with their beautiful red grapes, and nothing more relaxing than sitting in front of the fire on a cold winter’s night with a glass of red wine.

You really have not lived until you have tasted a true South African Wine.

14 02, 2018

South African Wine Competitions

February 14th, 2018|Blog|Comments Off on South African Wine Competitions

Attending a Wine Competition is one of the best ways to assess a wine’s quality, and there are plenty of South African wine competitions to ensure that consumers really know whether a wine is a good purchase. Some of the competitions attract massive amounts of attention, with hundreds of wine estates submitting their bottles into the event. Despite wine types being divided into different classes of wine (such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon), there is often dozens of entries for each category.

Although being a judge at a wine competition may sound like a dream-come-true to wine-lovers, it is an extremely challenging task. Determining which wines will win awards, especially when the judges are tasting over 100 wines per category, requires more than just having a good palete. In addition to what the wine presents to the eyes, nose, and palate, or the finish, wines win awards for distinctive qualities that separate them from the rest. Sometimes, a full-bodied wine bursting with flavour wins more awards than an elegant, well-rounded rival.

Unfortunately, the good and bad go hand-in-hand. There have been occasions where some wine producers have tried to sabotage South African wine competitions. They have tried to pull the wool over the judges’ eyes by offering a slightly different wine to the one they intend to mass produce, adding ingredients to enhance the flavour of the bottle being shown to the judges.

Nevertheless, South African wine competitions are necessary in order to encourage producers to create the high quality wines the country is known for. By holding these events, organisers are helping to raise the standards in the wine-making industry, holding it to new values and ensuring that South African wines just keep getting better. By holding events to which the majority of winemakers in the country submit samples and encouraging healthy competition, rivalries between the various wine estates ensure that better wines, with new aromas and more exciting flavours, reach the wider public each year.

One particularly well-known wine competition is the prestigious Veritas Awards, where the competition is as fierce as the wine is good. The Veritas Awards is South Africa’s most authoritative and credible wine competition. Experts on the judging panel include winemakers, distillers, researchers, academics, and merchants, and the award ceremony is a unique event to which the public is invited.

Another wine competition that’s gained tremendous traction is the Top 100 SA Wines competition. Despite being relatively new to the scene, this wine competition has already attracted a massive amount of attention from participants from other competitions. The judging panel is comprised of industry specialists from around South Africa as well as other countries, and all scoring is done through a blind taste-test to ensure fair competition.

By running the Top 100 SA Wines competition at a very high standard, South African wines are also getting vast amounts of exposure internationally, giving wine-lovers from around the globe a taste of what makes South Africa the amazing country it is.

7 02, 2018

The Wine Farms of Franschhoek

February 7th, 2018|Blog|Comments Off on The Wine Farms of Franschhoek

When you come to South Africa, you will find out that there are a variety of amazing things to see and do during your time here. With so much to add to your to-do list, there is a good chance that you may feel a little overwhelmed by everything that you need to see and do. However, one thing that you really should take advantage of is the amazing assortment of South African wines.

This is particularly true when considering the wine farms in Franschhoek. So, what does Franschhoek have to offer in the way of wine farms?

The Franschhoek Wine Farms

Known as the wine heartland of South Africa, there is something extra special about arriving in Franschhoek. Set in some of the most beautiful natural landscapes that you could ever hope to see, wine is always on the agenda when visiting Franschhoek.

There is a variety of popular vineyards spread throughout the Franschhoek valley. Some of which are only too happy to offer members of the public the chance to explore the vineyard and find out how all their delicious wines are made.

If you like the idea of a boutique winery then Dieu Donne is definitely a good idea for you, whilst for an expansive farm, you might want to visit Eikehod. There is also the Allee Bleue Estate, known for their cultivation and production of several award-winning wines.

Best of all, regardless of which wine farm you are headed to, in addition to the variety of wines to sample, you are guaranteed to find the perfect local cuisine to enjoy.

The Franschhoek Wines

When it comes to South African wines, there is something to be said of those that are cultivated and produced in the Franschhoek valley. There must be magic in the soil of this area because every type of wine that is developed here is a hit. This includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc, as well as the reds such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Are you concerned about how you are going to fit in all these amazing vineyards? If you are, you may want to consider trying out the Franschhoek Wine Tram. A Hop-On Hop-Off tour that is the ideal way to explore the area that these amazing wines are grown in as well as the opportunity to take in some breathtaking scenery along the way!

With so much to see and do, and over 300 years of history, a trip to Franschhoek should definitely be on the list for any wine-lover.

17 11, 2017

Top 5 Things You Just Have To Do In Franschhoek

November 17th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on Top 5 Things You Just Have To Do In Franschhoek

Whether you’re a tourist visiting Cape Town for the first time or a seasoned local, Franschhoek is one of the places you just need to add to your  “have-to-visit list”. Located about 50 km east of Cape Town, this little gem is one that should not be missed out on. We listed the Things To Do In Franschoek for you.

Franschhoek is a little cosy town, nestled in between vineyards and mountains. You can expect a picture perfect view anywhere you go. And since Franschhoek is known to be the food capital of South Africa, make sure you go hungry. Here are the top 5 things to do when visiting Franschhoek.

Wine Tram

There simply isn’t a better way to do wine tastings than taking the wine tram. Exploring Franschhoek in this way, it allows you to view nature in all its glory while stopping at eight fantastic wine farms. Since the wine tram operates on a hop-on-hop-off system, you can stay as long as you want at each estate, have lunch, take a stroll in the vineyards or even book a cellar tour.

Explore the main street

Park your car and take a walk down Franschhoek main street. It is packed with trendy restaurants, art galleries and artisan shops.

Kogelberg Nature Reserve

If hiking is your thing, why not visit the visit the nature reserve considered to be one of the most extraordinary protected areas of CapeNature. Since Kogelberg is known to occupy an area with the least amount of human interference, getting close to nature doesn’t get easier than this.

Huguenot Monument and Memorial Museum

Located next to each other at the end of the main street, you can visit the Huguenot monument and museum. Take a moment to educate yourself on the history of the French settlers who landed in Cape Town in the 17th and 18th century and the contribution they made to South African history and culture.

Franschhoek Pass

If a breathtaking view is what you’re looking for, the Franschhoek pass is where you need to go. Explore by car or by bicycle – either way, you will be left speechless by the beauty this stretch of road has to offer. Locals are known to take a drive on this route as often as possible in order not to miss out on the spectacular views.

As you can see, Franschhoek is definitely a town not to be missed out on. While the above mentioned are some of the main highlights, there is no shortage of things to do in Franschhoek.

5 11, 2017

The Franschhoek Wine Tram Is A Cape Winelands Tour To Add To Your Bucket List

November 5th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on The Franschhoek Wine Tram Is A Cape Winelands Tour To Add To Your Bucket List

South Africa has only one wine region, located in the Western Cape and while it’s relatively small in comparison to other countries, we produce some of the finest wines in the world. People from all over the globe come to Cape Town, specifically for the wine and they don’t go home disappointed!

There are several Cape Town Winelands Tours to choose from and honestly, all equally fantastic, but if you’re looking for an experience like no other, the Franschhoek Wine Tram is something to consider.

What’s so special about the Franschhoek wine tram you might ask? Well in 2012, the wine tram was launched to run on rail tracks that are over a century old, which farmers used to transport their produce to the market. The idea was to give passengers onboard the wine tram a unique view of the Franschhoek valley while transporting them from one wine estate to another. This way, they could enjoy the scenic route while relaxing rather than missing out on the picturesque landscape while trying to find the wine estates on their map.

Franschhoek has no shortage of natural beauty and is surrounded by majestic mountains. Why not combine your love for wine and nature, climb aboard and enjoy this unusual wine tasting experience. The wine tram offers 6 different route options, visiting various wine estates and each offering a different view of Franschhoek. You can even opt for a curated wine tram tour which includes a wine lecture by an expert wine guide, a pre-booked guided cellar tour and a three-course lunch at an award-winning wine estate. Now that’s a Cape Winelands Tour to put on your bucket list.

What better way to spend a day in the Winelands than tasting world-class wines and eating exquisite cuisine in the food capital of South Africa! Add to that a cellar tour and a stroll through the vineyards and you’ve got yourself a day you’ll always remember! Book your tickets well in advance since they tend to sell out fast and enjoy a Cape Winelands Tour like no other.

12 10, 2017

Explore Some Of The Best Wine Farms In Cape Town By Wine Tram

October 12th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on Explore Some Of The Best Wine Farms In Cape Town By Wine Tram

Every year, Cape Town hosts millions of tourists from all over the world. And with so much to offer, it’s not difficult to see why the Mother city attracts so many travellers. There is something for everyone’s taste and budget. One day you can hike up Table Mountain and have spectacular 360-degree views of the city, the next you could be lounging on the beach or learning to surf. Another reason why people enjoy Cape Town is due to the fact that we boast some exceptional wine routes.

It can be quite the challenge to decide which wine route to take and also which wine estates to visit. Below are some of the many great wine farms in Cape Town, specifically in Franschhoek.

Babylonstoren

With an onsite spa and daily cellar tours, this historic Cape Dutch Farm boasts a 3.5-hectare garden. When it comes to dining, you can expect a modern environment with glass walls and an organic and seasonal approach when it comes to food.

Solms Delta

This wine estate not only produces world-class wines, but you can also enjoy picnics throughout the year surrounded by a magical forest. Explore the wine farm with one of six guided tours and learn more about the history of slavery at the Social History Museum.

Vrede en Lust

At this family-owned wine estate, you can take daily cellar tours but what makes this estate unique is its Lindt chocolate and wine pairing. When you’re ready for lunch, Lust Bistro & Bakery will wow you with their authentic yet simple culinary options.

Mont Rochelle

At Mont Rochelle, you have an option to dine in the Country Kitchen or you can take your food outside in the form of a picnic basket and find a spot down by the dam or under an oak tree on the lawn.

La Bri

This boutique winery stands out above the rest offering Chocolate & Wine Pairing, Turkish Delight Pairing as well as a truly South African Biltong Experience. Enjoy their award-winning, signature wines while savouring a cheese platter from a local supplier, Dalewood.

Why not use the wine tram to explore some these wine farms in Cape Town, since they are all on one of the six routes. Sit back, relax, enjoy the view and the wines. Book your ticket today!

28 09, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should Explore The Franschhoek Valley On The Wine Tram

September 28th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on 5 Reasons Why You Should Explore The Franschhoek Valley On The Wine Tram

So you’re a wine lover and you’re looking for the perfect wine tasting experience in Cape Town. There are so many great wine routes in the Western Cape that it’s hard to pick just one but if you’re looking for a once in a lifetime experience, you should consider the Franschhoek Wine Tram and here’s why:

 

  1. Franschhoek is breathtakingly stunning

If you haven’t been to Franschhoek, you haven’t experienced beauty in its finest form. It’s like something out of a storybook – a little cosy town centre, surrounded by rolling vineyards and mountains. It’s magical!

 

  1. It’s also the culinary capital of South Africa

Franschhoek is home to many award-winning restaurants offering tourists and locals a wide selection of innovative food and wine experiences. These eateries are truly taking cuisine to the next level! In Franschhoek, you’ll be in foodie heaven.

 

  1. The wine is outstanding

With so many award-winning wines from Estates such as La Bri, Holden Manz, Rickety Bridge and many others, it’s crystal clear to see why Franschhoek is a preferred destination for so many tourists from all over the world. You can expect nothing less than world-class wines served with South African hospitality to make your experience one to remember.

 

  1. You can enjoy the view

From the inside of a tram that is – no need to drive yourself from one wine farm to the next. You can sit back, relax and take it all in. And let me tell you there is so much to take in. Nothing compares to the beauty of the Franschhoek valley.

 

  1. You can choose which Wine Estates you want to visit

There are six different routes to choose from when booking your wine tram experience. Each route offers approximately eight wine estates where you can spend as much time as you want since the tram operates on a hop-on-hop-off system. You can even book a curated wine tour for a more personalised experience.

 

Transfers to and from your accommodation can be arranged – If you need door to door transfers anywhere in Cape Town, the team can assist you with that.

 

Book your wine tram experience today and make memories you’ll take with you for the rest of your life.

14 09, 2017

Which Franschhoek Wine Tram Route Should You Take For The Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience?

September 14th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on Which Franschhoek Wine Tram Route Should You Take For The Ultimate Wine Tasting Experience?

When selecting a wine tram route, it isn’t really about making the “wrong” choice as much as it is about picking the best option for you. Everybody has different tastes and craves different experiences and this is exactly why we have six different routes to choose from as well as a curated wine tour. Before we choose a wine tram route, let’s look at what the wine tram is all about.

The wine tram has been operational since 2012, transporting wine lovers from wine farm to wine farm while teaching them about the history of Franschhoek as well as wine making in South Africa. This unique experience enables tourists (and locals) to visit wine estates at a leisurely pace while indulging in the beauty nature has to offer. It’s no secret that the Franschhoek Valley hosts some of the most spectacular scenery in South Africa, if not the whole world. Rolling vineyards and magnificent mountains paired with exquisite wines and fine cuisine – what better way to spend your day?

Wine Tram Routes

You can expect to visit the following Wine Estates.

Orange Line

Noble Hill – Olive oil tasting

Babylonstoren – Cellar tour (pre-booked)

Backsberg – Cheese, Chocolate and Nougat pairings

Glen Carlou – Art Gallery

Solms Delta – Picnics

Vrede en Lust – Lindt Chocolate Pairing

Plaisir De Merle – Fudge Pairing

Allee Bleue – Wine & Cheese Pairing

Purple Line

Vrede en Lust – Lindt Chocolate Pairing

Plaisir De Merle – Fudge Pairing

Allee Bleue – Wine & Cheese Pairing

Noble Hill – Olive oil tasting

Babylonstoren – Cellar tour (pre-booked)

Backsberg – Cheese, Chocolate and Nougat pairings

Glen Carlou – Art Gallery

Solms Delta – Picnics

Blue Line

Mont Rochelle – Canapés and Cellar Tour (pre-booked)

Le Lude – Cap Classique and Champagne Journey

La Bri – Chocolate Pairing, Turkish Delight Pairing, Biltong Experience

La Bourgogne – Olive and olive oil tasting

Holden Manz – Picnic (pre-booked)

La Couronne – Pizza Pairing

Rickety Bridge – Cheese Platter

Grande Provence – Wine Blending (pre-booked)

Green Line

Rickety Bridge – Cheese Platter

Grande Provence – Wine Blending (pre-booked)

Mont Rochelle – Canapés and Cellar Tour (pre-booked)

Le Lude – Cap Classique and Champagne Journey

La Bri – Chocolate Pairing, Turkish Delight Pairing, Biltong Experience

La Bourgogne – Olive and olive oil tasting

Holden Manz – Picnic (pre-booked)

La Couronne – Pizza Pairing

Red Line

Maison – Premium Pairing

Eikehof – Cheese & Meat Platters

Leopard’s Leap – Culinary Food & Wine Pairing (Fridays at noon)

Chamonix – Cellar tour (pre-booked)

Dieu Donne – Cellar Tour (pre-booked)

Franschhoek Cellar – Chocolate Pairing, Cheese Pairing

Rickety Bridge – Cheese Platter

Grande Provence – Wine Blending (pre-booked)

Yellow Line

Rickety Bridge – Cheese Platter

Grande Provence – Wine Blending (pre-booked)

Maison – Premium Pairing

Eikehof – Cheese & Meat Platters

Leopard’s Leap – Culinary Food & Wine Pairing (Fridays at noon)

Chamonix – Cellar tour (pre-booked)

Dieu Donne – Cellar Tour (pre-booked)

Franschhoek Cellar – Chocolate Pairing, Cheese Pairing

As you can see there is no wrong or right route – it all depends on the experience you wish to have. Visit winetram.co.za today and select the Wine Tram Route that works for you!

 

 

28 08, 2017

The Franschhoek Wine Tram Is One Of The Must Do Cape Town Attractions To Add To Your Itinerary

August 28th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on The Franschhoek Wine Tram Is One Of The Must Do Cape Town Attractions To Add To Your Itinerary

If you’ve never been to Franschhoek, I feel sorry for you since you are definitely missing out! Franschhoek might well be the most beautiful little town in Cape Town, if not the entire world. Surrounded by mountains and vineyards, this little gem has so much to offer any visitor.

With its history dating back more than 300 years, when the first French refugees settled here, the culture of Franschhoek is rich and diverse. Walking through the main street, you’ll find many art galleries, gift shops and world-class eateries. When looking for a place to eat, you’ll be spoilt for choice since this place is bestowed with many award-winning restaurants, such as The French Connection Bistro, Reuben’s Restaurant and Bar, Tuk Tuk Microbrewery as well as many others.

Have a once in a lifetime experience on the Wine Tram

Once you’ve made your way through town, it’s time for a once in a lifetime experience – The Franschhoek Wine Tram. Also classed as one of Cape Town’s most unique attractions, you’ll be experiencing wine tasting like you’ve never had before. From inside an open-air tram and bus, you’ll be travelling from one Wine farm to the next, taking in the beauty the Franschhoek Valley has to offer. You’ll be accompanied by a guide who will tell you all about the history of Franschhoek as well as the individual Wine Estates.

Select the best Wine Tram route for you

You have an option between six different wine tram routes that will each take you to specific Wine Estates where you can learn more about the art of winemaking, do a wine tasting and have lunch if you wish to do so. Some of the Estates include Babylonstoren, Solms Delta, Mont Rochelle, Rickety Bridge and many others. Since this is a hop-on-hop-off tour, you can spend some time on each estate to get acquainted and even take a stroll through the vineyards. I simply cannot think of a better way to spend a day!

The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a Cape Town attraction that should be on everybody’s bucket list, whether you are a local or visiting Cape Town for the first time. Transport yourself to heaven by spending time in Franschhoek and make memories you can carry with you forever!

BOOK TICKETS
BUY TICKETS for travel before 15th Sep 2018

BUY TICKETS for travel after 15th Sep 2018

 

Hop-on Hop-off:Adult: R220 / Child (3-17) R90
Curated Experience:Adult: R1050
Group ExperienceAdult: R195 / Child (3-17) R80
  • Please Note: The tour is strictly a wine tasting experience and does not host celebration events such as birthdays or bachelor/bachelorette parties
  • Please Note: Passenger safety is our utmost priority and any passengers exhibiting signs of intoxication will be asked to leave the tour immediately

Discount Wine Tote Bag:

Passengers can now purchase a wine tote bag before departing on the tour for R20 and receive a discount on wine purchases at participating wine estates. The tote bags are manufactured from recycled coffee bags by a local charity and support social upliftment in Franschhoek.

Winter Operating Schedule:

Please note that between 15th May and 14th September we run the following winter schedule:

  • Blue/Green lines: Monday, Thursday, Saturday
  • Red/Yellow lines: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
  • Purple/Orange lines: Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday

 

Cape Town & Airport Transfers:

Transfers start at R550 per person which includes return transfer (based on two people booking) and can be added during the booking process to any of our experiences. Please note that transfers must be booked no later than 5:00 pm, the day before departure.

Transfers are exclusive to each booking, direct door-to-door and can be arranged to accommodate an extended stay over in Franschhoek at no additional cost.