Experience Bastille Day in the heart of the Cape Winelands.
Celebrate Bastille Day in Franschhoek, South Africa’s ‘French Corner’ in the historic Cape Winelands. In 2010, this annual festival of freedom will take place from 17 to 18 July, welcoming visitors to experience this picturesque town, famous for its acclaimed wine estates and fine cuisine.
While the 400 French Huguenot men, women and children who came to the Cape in search of religious freedom arrived a century before the French Revolution had even begun, Bastille Day has nevertheless become an important event on the Cape Winelands social calendar.
It is in part a celebration of these Huguenots and their descendants, but the local celebration of Bastille Day has now also come to recognise other peoples and their struggles for freedom as well.
Bastille Day in Franschhoek is commemorated in South African style with a feast of food, wine and entertainment. To experience it, you could take a leisurely walk down the main street, brimming with quaint boutiques and eateries and enjoy the animated street parades.
And why not round off your day in the Winelands by experiencing more indulgent pursuits in the splendour of one of Franschhoek’s many wine estates?
Unique wine tasting experiences
The Franschhoek Valley is one of South Africa’s top wine-producing regions, and what better way to celebrate Bastille Day than by sampling some of the country’s most celebrated wines? At some estates, you can even enjoy alfresco tastings under the Oak trees, or sip classical wines in a historic museum.
Pioneering wine estates offer experimental wines made from indigenous ingredients combined with ancient desiccation techniques. If you enjoy the wine you taste, you’ll be able to purchase these innovative blends directly from the wine estates or place orders for delivery.
Vineyard excursions and cellar tours
Conventional wine tasting experiences are enhanced by taking guided wine farm tours on estates such as Solms-Delta. Authentic vineyard experiences are led by resident farm workers, who offer fascinating insights into the local culture and heritage. Wine tour experiences in Franschhoek are complemented by the breathtaking views of the Drakenstein Mountain range.
Guided cellar tours provide more information about unusual wine making methods and cellar secrets of some farms. Visitors are invited to engage with winemakers and mingle with fellow wine-lovers, on these guided excursions.
Local music, food and wine
Taste local wines whilst enjoying the sounds of local music at this year’s Bastille festival in Franschhoek. Music and wine tours incorporate wine tasting with traditional Cape music and dance demonstrations. From Cape Jazz to boeremusiek, visitors to the festival will be able to explore the history and development of local music.
In addition to the musical accompaniment of the day, top chefs and winemakers in Franschhoek skilfully create pairing menus – gastronomic triumphs guaranteed to tantalise the taste buds of any bon vivant!
Franschhoek’s French heritage is evident in its passion for food and wine. Be sure to reserve your dining experience in advance, to avoid disappointment.
Franschhoek picnic spots are the ideal locations from which to enjoy the Bastille Festival. Book a picnic spot at a farm on the tranquil forested banks of the Dwars River, arrange a gourmet picnic basket and indulge in local wines and sumptuous snacks and enjoy a leisurely day.
Visit places of cultural interest
Franschhoek is rich in cultural heritage. Local museums showcase historical and archaeological artefacts and perpetuate the intricate legacy of the Cape. While you’re in Franschhoek, explore the historical processes of apartheid, slavery and colonial viticulture that have indelibly shaped the history of this valley.
The Bastille Festival is one of the most anticipated events on the Cape Winelands’ social calendar. Get to Franschhoek to enjoy myriad activities and experiences, accented by a good dose of French flair at the annual Bastille Festival.Subscribe to RSS Feed