The Franschhoek Wine Valley, South Africa’s leading wine and food destination, will once again be hosting the annual Bastille Festival over the weekend of the 14and 15 July, where locals and visitors will be celebrating the Valley’s centuries-old French Huguenot heritage.
In keeping with its French heritage the Franschhoek Wine Valley has officially been accredited to be part of an exciting collaboration between France and South Africa, the SA-French Seasons 2012-13.
This multifaceted bilateral agreement was concluded last year between the heads of state of these two countries, and will commence this winter as the first French Season in South Africa kicks off. The French Season in South Africa will commence formally in July and continue into November. This initiative reinforces the strong, deep bonds that unite the two countries in the fields of arts and culture, gastronomy, and sport amongst others. It aims to discover new facets of this relationship, while forging long term ties.
Furthermore, the collaboration has allowed the Bastille Festival event organisers the perfect opportunity to take this social calendar highlight to a new level.
Visitors to the festival will have the chance to meet 10 winemakers from the Rhône-Alpes Region in France, who will be showcasing some of their finest wines.
These French wines will be available for tasting at two wine tastings organized specifically for members of the public, as well as in a specially demarcated VIP marquee, adjacent to the main marquee during the festival.
The French winemakers making an appearance include:
- Gilles Barge, Domaine Barge (Cote Rotie, Condrieu)
- Jean Luc Monteillet, Domaine De Montine (Grignan Les Adhemar, Cotes Du Rhone, Vinsobres)
- Gilles Verzier, Vignobles Verzier, Chanteperdrix (Cote Rotie, Condrieu, Saint Joseph)
- Nadia Fayolle, Domaine Des Martinelles (Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage)
- Yves Cuilleron, Cave Cuilleron (Cote Rotie, Condrieu)
- André Mercier, Vignerons Ardechois (Vins D' Ardeche, Cotes Du Rhone, Cotes Du Vivarais)
- Dominique Courbis, (St Joseph, Cornas)
- Yann Chave, Domaine Yann Chave (Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage)
- Pierre Mollier, Mas De Bagnols (Ardeche, Cotes Du Vivarais)
- Laurent Vial, Domaine Du Colombier (Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage)
The public tastings, which will include Rhône-Alpes wines alongside a selection of Vignerons de Franschhoek wines, will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Grande Provence at a cost of R395 per person. Booking is essential as seating is limited to 100 people. Tickets to this ‘once in a blue moon’ opportunity also include access to the Bastille Food and Wine Marquee, valued at R150 per person.
Tickets to the VIP marquee cost R395 per person and includes a tasting of the French wines as well as a selection of Vignerons de Franschhoek wines and a delicious platter of French inspired food. This ticket will also allow you access to the Food and Wine Marquee, valued at R150 per person. Visitors can also look forward to special public tastings presented by these winemakers, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday morning. Refer to the website for more details.
The Food and Wine Marquee, which will be located closer to the village this year, is open from 12pm until 5pm, and as always is the focal point of attracting visitors to the hub of activity. Taking a leisurely stroll, festival goers will be treated to a selection of stalls and activities as they make their way to the marquee. A popular meeting place, the marquee allows visitors the chance to meet up with friends while enjoying fine wines from some of Franschhoek’s award-winning wine estates, and indulge in mouth-watering dishes created by the Valley’s highly acclaimed chefs.
An R150 per person entrance fee allows you access to the Bastille Food and Wine Marquee, which includes a tasting glass and a complimentary booklet of tasting coupons. Thereafter all tastings will be charged on consumption.
Not forgetting other major festival attractions, which include boules - the largest and longest running boules competition of its kind, The Waiters’ Race, the Franschhoek minstrel parade, as well as the popular barrel-rolling contest. A farmers’ market, craft market stalls, musicians and children’s activities are also included in the line up of festival celebrations. Visitors to Marche de Franschhoek, located in the Town Hall, can look forward to an array of French and French inspired food and lifestyle products.
For those wanting to appreciate French heritage in comfort, the Screening Room at Le Quartier Français will be screening French movies throughout the weekend. Franschhoek’s award-winning restaurants will also be offering special menus exclusively prepared for the festival.
Turn this social calendar highlight into a weekend of discovery. Book into one of the town’s luxuriously quaint, yet affordable B&B’s or guest houses, and discover all that Franschhoek has to offer. This should also allow you ample time for a leisurely stroll down the main road, uncovering world-class shops and boutiques, allowing for an intimate and relaxed shopping experience.
What better way to paint the town red, white and blue. Not forgetting, it’s the only time of the year you’ll be forgiven for wearing a beret.
Tickets to the Food and Wine Marquee, VIP area, as well as the public wine tasting can be purchased directly from www.webtickets.co.za. Booking is essential as tickets to the marquees are limited. Once the venues are full no further patrons will be admitted.
For more information as well as details about special Bastille events planned for 13 July visit www.franschhoekbastille.co.za or contact the Franschhoek Wine Valley offices on 021 876 2861. For regular updates follow on Twitter at #fhkbastille.