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Grapes of Wrath [Franschoek]

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The Western Cape inherited its wine tradition from the French Huguenots who emigrated to South Africa escaping persecution. Their settlement in the now-named Franschhoek brought with it the best wine production techniques, taking full advantage of not only the rich soils but the breathtaking landscapes. Viticulturists and degustators alike can indulge in the flavorful fruit in view of the magnificent lands.

Haute Cabriere

Grab a handful of your favorite friends, and head for the top. Standing as the reigning crown of the bubbly South African wines, lays this upscale vineyard. Its original owner, Pierre Jourdan, selected this particular ground because it overlooked the valley – giving Haute Cabriere an air of self-proclaimed superiority and luxury.

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This heightened spirit is fully embedded in their wine production. So it’s not surprising that their flagship wines, narcissistically named after Jourdan himself, are crafted in Methode Cap Classique, creating the delicacy and texture of similar Champagne varieties. If ‘tis snobby we aspire to, just look to the French. But snobby isn’t snobby when it’s true, and these champenoise are nothing short of luxurious and satisfying.

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The tasting room is built in rock, and it’s a fabulous setting for after brunch bubbles. Think Sex and the City, but replace cosmos with Pierre Jourdan Cuvee Reserve, and skyscrapers with the “lower” vineyards of the land. If the wine isn’t sufficient enticement (which it is), then the view most certainly earns this place its righteous crown.

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Pass Road, Franschoek 7690, South Africa  map  link

Vrede En Lust

In the Franschoek valley, we encounter this boutique, family owned and managed winery. The perfect setting for a romantic dinner, a proposal, or perhaps even a wedding. I’m not even engaged, and I’m far from wedding obsessed, but I almost wanted to book a wedding right away just so I could say I did it there. This place boasts character, and the expansive grounds seem drawn from fairy tales.

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In fact, the red ladies of this vineyard could be said to each be a damsel of the house of Vrede En Lust. Sensual, as any woman in a red dress ought to be, but sweet and delicate. Just like the merlot which bears The Red Lady name. Let it seduce you.

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Then make room for the truly extraordinary. The Mocholate – a malbec unlike any I have ever experienced. This fruit had all the power of espresso, strong cherry flavors, dark cacao, and a hint of tobacco to bewilder your senses. The milk of lust in the awakening of your passion.

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R45, Franschhoek Wine Route, Simondium 7670, South Africa ‎  map  link

Text and Photos by Dante Savant.

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