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Winery reservations/hours

dallas
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Winery reservations/hours

Are the wineries open for tastings 7 days a week? If so, do most require reservations or can you just stop in? If we have only 2 nights there, what are the 2 best restaurants we must visit for dinner? I'm seeing that The Tasting Room might be one of them.

Cape Town
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1. Re: Winery reservations/hours

In general around the Winelands most estates are closed on Sundays and on Saturday afternoons. They are mainly agricultural businesses rather than tourist facilities. That said there are a few estates that are open weekends - particularly in tourist areas like Franschhoek. However if you are planning to visit the Winelands area and you are interested in wine you should make this during the week.

Apart from special places that are not normally open to the public you don't need any reservations. Most tasting rooms are open 8:30/9:00 - 4:30/5:00. Most places don't charge for tastings although quiet a few, in the tourist orientated areas, now do but typically around R25 which should be taken off any purchases.To get all the information about opening details, how to find the estates, charges and full descriptions of every single wine from more than 600 estates you should buy a copy of Platter's South African Wines. The 2010 edition is availabe to oder on line before you come or buy a copy from any bookshop in SA.

http://www.johnplatterguide.com/index.php

There are many excellent restaurants. To say which are the best two depends on your preferences. Do you want to just stay in Franschhoek or travel around the area.

Everyone will have different preferences. Currently IMO Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch is the best Wineland's Restaurant. The Tasting Room has a strong reputation internationally but is slipping down the SA ratings listings. In Franschhoek for fine dining you might look at Grande Provence (expensive), Mon Plaisir or Le Bon Vivant. In Stellenbosch area in addition to R en V you should look at Terroir and Overture (mainly lunch). But there are many others.

dallas
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2. Re: Winery reservations/hours

Wow...fantastic information. Yes, we're really into wine and good food. We used in live in San Fran and would visit Napa/Sonoma quite often. I appreciate the restaurant recommendations. We will be staying in Franschhoek Sunday and Monday night.....I guess I need to check to see if anyone will be open on Sunday. We are either staying at La Petite Dauphine or Franschhoek Manor. We will have a car so I guess we'll just drive around to tour. How are the horseback and biking wine tours? I've biked a tour before in Napa, but a car may be easier.

Franschhoek, South...
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3. Re: Winery reservations/hours

Hi Les

Firstly let me state that I am Dieter Sellmeyer of Lynx Wines - a small boutique winery in Franschhoek.

Being a small cellar, I am 'Open by appointment' at the weekends - what that really means is that if I'm on the farm I'm open; if I'm not on the farm I'm closed. I'm not sure when you are planning to visit Franschhoek, but with the harvest upon us I am on the farm most of the time, so I'd be delighted to show you around.

Fordingbridge...
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4. Re: Winery reservations/hours

Rust en Vrede is truly fantastic. If you can't get in there, Delaire is good also & has a stunning location. Whatever, you will need a reservation well in advance.

The Platter has all the info you will need.

Enjoy.

Cape Town
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5. Re: Winery reservations/hours

If you do only have a Sunday for Wine Tasting, then Franschhoek, being a tourist centre, is probably the best place to do it. You will be missing out on most of the best wine (even in Franschhoek) but this may not be the first priority. Here is a a link to a fairly recent TA thread where I put together a day tour of open Wineries in Franschhoek.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g312659-i9466-k310…

If Dieter is available on the farm that day Lynx would fit in very well just a few minutes along the road from Graham Beck. I am quite a fan of Dieter's wines, particularly the Merlot and the Xanache, Merlot driven blend. His new Viognier is well worth trying.

Edited: 02 February 2010, 22:57
dallas
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6. Re: Winery reservations/hours

Thank you for responding. I'll notify you closer to the date to see if we can make an appt with you or if you think you'll be there. Looking forward to meeting you.

dallas
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7. Re: Winery reservations/hours

I'll read your thread on a day of wine tasting. We'll also have all day Monday to wine taste.....what are the best wines in your opinion? I'm especially into reds. I guess I need to order Platter to find out! Thank you

Cape Town
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8. Re: Winery reservations/hours

The Monday is easier. Drive over to Stellenbosch where the majority of the best estates are, including most of the best Red Wine Ones. On the way stop at Thelema at the top of the Helshoogte pass (two different but excellent Cabs as well as Shiraz and Merlot). Also good 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

As you get into Stellenbosch turn right for a short distance out into the country again, to Rustenberg a lovely estate. Try the Peter Barlow Cab and the John X Merriman Bordeaux Blend. Also very good Syrah (Shiraz). Their second label (Brampton is also worth looking at). Also two superb Chardonnays.

Then turn along the Paarl road and firstly turn left to Simonsig. They have possible the best broad range of wines in the Cape - Red, White, Sparkling and Dessert. In reds they are an excellent proponent of Pinotage (their Redhill is definitely one of the best). Their Tiara B'deaux Blend is one of my favourites and you should definitely try the Merindol Syrah and the Frans Malan Cape Blend (based on Pinotage). Too many whites to list.

Simonsig also have an excellent restaurant, Cuvee, and it should by now be time for lunch. Now back to the Paarl Road and the next on the right is Kanonkop. A relatively short stop as they only have three wines but each among the best of their type in South Africa. Their Cab has been voted "red wine of the year" in SA two out of the past three years. Then there is the Paul Saur B'deaux Blend and a Pinotage to match and compare with the Simonsig Redhill.

Now keep on toward Paarl, you are officialy now entering the Paarl Wine region. Turn right at the sign to the R45 to Franschhoek and after a short distance your last stop on the right Glen Carlou. A lovely modern winery with a large Art Collection and some lovely reds to taste on the terrace high above the valley. Two Cabs, a fairly good Pinot Noir and, for the Americans, even a Zinfandel!

Carry on to the R45 which will then take you back to Franschhoek. If you need another stop make it Platsir du Merle on the right after reaching the R45. One of the best Cab Francs in the region and also one of my favourite Merlots. In whites both excellent Sauv Blanc and Chardonnay.

Five or Six Estates is probably about right for a full day but if you don't feel this is enough you have probably driven past at least 60 or 70 more with a further 100 within a few minutes of the route!

Edited: 03 February 2010, 01:06
dallas
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9. Re: Winery reservations/hours

OK, I think you've planned my trip...thank you! We will be in Cape town so we will spend our first day in Stellenbosch and the next day in Franschhoek...perfect! Thanks for all the recommendations!

Ohio
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10. Re: Winery reservations/hours

Wow, this is awesome advice, for us us too since we'll be in the Winelands on a Sun & Mon in March. Thanks Van_de_Caab - you rock!