In an effort to shed some light on how I study for WSET Diploma Course’s D3 exam, Le Club des Vins is running a series of posts covering wine regions. Today’s topic:Franschhoek

📍 Location

 Franschhoek is part of the Western Cape and the Coastal region. Franschhoek is renowned for its gastronomy. Multiple festivals for food and wine play an important role in the modern wine industry.⠀⠀

In a nutshell

  • South-Africa
  • Irrigation requiered
  • Alluvial sandstone and granite
  • Sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz

☁️ Terroir

Franschhoek is situated in a small valley surrounded by the Groot-Drakenstein, Franschhoek- and Drakenstein mountains. The valley only opens up north-west towards Paarl. Back in the days the valley floors (at 300m) were used to farm grapes. Now a days the vineyards are located higher up at 600m to profit from cooler conditions and higher diurnal range. The region can only count on 800mm rain a year, so irrigation is often required.⠀

Source: Winefolly

🌋 Vineyards

The Franschhoek soil is made of mostly alluvial sandstone and granite deposits. Franschhoek was long underestimated as a wine region. In the past decade growers have been focussing on finding the perfect sites to plant their vines and found some of the oldest vineyards in the country. Due to the mountain ranges, there is a lot of variation from vineyard to vineyard. Every plot is treated in their own best way to produce the highest quality.⠀

🍇 Grapes & style

There is 1.253 ha planted with 48% white grape varieties and 52% red grape varieties. Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are the most grown varieties. Old vine Semillon (some more than 100 years old) is also significantly present. Fruit from Franschhoek is often used for the fresher part in a blend. Franschhoek is home to some leading producers for sparkling wine.⠀⠀

💡 Something you didn’t know

Some ‘Afrikaanse’ words and their translation. ‘Blokkie’ = vineyard , ‘rankies’ = shoot, ‘stokkies’ = rootstock , ‘rooiwyn’ = red wine and ‘vonkelwyn’ = sparkling wine.

🍷 Personal favorite

It’s Boekenhoutskloof Sémillon 2017 with lively aromas of mandarin, some floral hint, lime zest, coconut milk, peach yoghurt and vanilla 🥰.

Your turn now 

I always put a new region on instagram first. If you have any additions or comments on a region, please do share. You can drop a comment on instagram or on the website – see below. Your help is much appreciated!


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