Each year, Franschhoek celebrates its heritage, history and successful harvest with an array of events and festivals.
There is much to celebrate in the Cape Winelands, one of the country’s most beautiful regions. Franschhoek in particular is an area rich in culture and gastronomic tradition, renowned for its exceptional wines and cuisine.
If you haven’t experienced a Franschhoek festival, be sure to time your next visit to Franschhoek to coincide with one of the festivals. Revel in the magnificence of the Winelands, enjoy local music and dance, and of course, sample the wines that have made Franschhoek a world-renowned wine-producing region.
Cape Winelands’ annual highlights
Some of the events that take place in the Cape Winelands aim to preserve, develop and celebrate the culture and heritage of the community. Profits from these events go towards uplifting farm workers who develop a greater awareness of and pride in, their cultural history and traditions. The Franschhoek Oesfees or Harvest Festival, run by the Delta Trust of Solms-Delta wine estate, is one such example.
One of Franschhoek’s most anticipated annual events is the Franschhoek Oesfees, the annual harvest festival, which takes place at the Solms-Delta wine estate at the end of the wine harvest as summer comes to an end.
It is a vibrant celebration that brings farm workers, owners and visitors together to give thanks for a successful harvest. Local musicians set the stage for a wonderful day of celebration with sounds of jazz, goema and brass bands to langarm and boeremusiek. Guests also enjoy fine wines and hearty meals of authentic Cape Malay, Khoisan and Boere cuisine.
Franschhoek Uncorked celebrates the arrival of spring for a weekend showcasing the region’s newest wines, produced by local winemakers. Estates open their cellars to the public for tastings of their new vintages, while also offering a variety of lifestyle events and entertainment.
An overarching motor car theme runs through the festival and car fanatics are treated to impressive exhibitions at various farms. Visitors also enjoy delectable food-and-wine pairings, live music, jazz bands and art exhibitions, as well as plenty of entertainment for kids. Ticket prices include all wine tastings a tasting glass and complimentary shuttles between participating farms.
Saturday Summer Sunset Cape Rural concerts
The Solms-Delta Wine Estate hosts Saturday Summer Sunset Cape Rural concerts throughout the warm months of summer. Guests are invited to gather in the magnificent grounds of the wine estate to enjoy local music paired with delicious Cape cuisine. It’s a relaxed, informal setting where revellers and performers alike enjoy the splendid Wineland sunsets.
The aim of these concerts is to encourage greater recognition of the rich musical heritage of the Cape Winelands. The best of rural Cape music and dance is showcased at the summer sunset concerts. The buffet banquet is prepared by the estate’s Fyndraai restaurant and offers mouth-watering “Kaapse kos” (Cape food).
Bastille Day celebrations
Each year during Winter, Franschhoek celebrates Bastille Day to pay tribute to the French Huguenot heritage that shaped the region. The annual festive street parade sets the scene for a weekend of vinous and gastronomic enjoyment, as well as live entertainment. There’s also an annual fly-fishing competition that draws spectators and participants from near and far.
Some wine estates use this holiday to acknowledge not only the Huguenots, but also the region’s early indigenous people and slaves. The event is used to celebrate freedom from the slavery, persecution and prejudice that marked South Africa’s past, and to pay tribute to those people whose efforts are often overlooked. The streets of Franschhoek come to life, and a visit to the region is highly recommended during this exciting event.
Experience’s Franschhoek’s top annual events this year!
This year, visit the scenic wine farming region of Franschhoek to enjoy these fantastic events. Book your tickets and accommodation early, and get ready to celebrate the region’s beauty, history and cultural influences with decadent fare, superb wines and top local entertainment.