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BBoschendal wine farm’s modern winery uses the original 1795 cellar with cutting-edge technology to produce some of South Africa's finest wines. It also offers a fascinating history that goes back to the Stone Age, and a window to early life on a Franschhoek wine farm.
Boschendal wine farm is renowned for its award-winning noble red varietals. The modern winery incorporates the original cellar for Le Rhone Manor House built in 1795. Here the past blends with the future as winemakers use cutting-edge technology to create their wines.
Jean le Long, a Huguenot refugee, planted the majestic Boschendal wine farm vines in Franschhoek's Drakenstein valley in the late 1680s. But the farm was occupied long before as attested by artefacts found on the mountain slopes, dating back to the early, middle and late Stone Ages.
Another Huguenot, Abraham de Villiers, bought the wine farm in 1715, and it would remain in his family until 1879. Soon thereafter it was purchased by Cecil John Rhodes and changed hands a number of times before being acquired by Anglo American Farms in 1969.
In 1746 Jean de Villiers built a house on the Franschhoek wine estate that, over the centuries, developed into a typically magnificent H-frame Cape Dutch mansion with external wooden shutters. Soon after acquiring it, Anglo American restored the house and replanted the vineyards.
With baroque and neo-classical touches, it is furnished in the early Cape tradition, making it one of the few authentic historical buildings open to the public in the region. Of particular interest are the old-fashioned rose garden and the friezes exposed during the refurbishment.
The Boschendal Restaurant has for many years been a feature on the culinary map of the Western Cape. If you prefer lighter fare, there is Le Café or a French-style picnic beneath the pines (Le Pique Nique). And before you leave, pop into the Waenhuiswinkel gift shop for a memento from this special place.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Boschendal Wine Estate
To book a picnic or restaurant reservation
Tel: +27 (0)21 870 4272/3/4/5
To book a wine tasting
Tel: +27(0) 21 870 4210/11
How to get here
Boschendal wine farm is easily accessible by road on the R310 from Stellenbosch. The area is well sign-boarded and there are maps readily available.
Best time to visit
All-year although it's prettiest in autumn and spring.
Things to do
You’re in the heart of the winelands, so don't make this your only stop.
Length of stay
Give yourself at least half a day at Boschendal. If you wish to visit other Franschhoek wine farms, set aside a full day or more.
What to pack
Comfortable clothes and walking shoes. In summer it is very hot so dress accordingly. Winters can be cold and wet, so warm clothes and an umbrella or raincoat are essential.
Where to stay
Franschhoek and neighbouring Stellenbosch have numerous establishments catering for all budgets.
What to eat
The Boschendal Restaurant offers a legendary Cape cuisine buffet, while the more laidback Le Cafe offers light meals, refreshments and picnic baskets. Franschhoek itself is known as the culinary capital of South Africa, so you will not starve.
Wine and mementos from the Waenhuiswinkel gift shop on the farm.