Franschhoek was founded in 1688 by about 200 French Huguenots and is with its 4,300 inhabitants, considerably smaller than Stellenbosch and Paarl.

The name means "French corner", which is the impressive location on the eastend of the Drakenstein Valley.  Originally the region was called as a result ofstraying elephants "Oliphant's Hoek, Elephant's Corner.

Franschhoek is thanks to the many surrounding wine and fruit farms a small but prosperous place, which is very beautiful and protected in the Franschhoek Valley. No wonder, then, that here are the best and often award-winning premises in the country, that are frequented by connoisseurs from all over the world.  Boutiques, sidewalk cafes, cozy inns, first-class restaurant scene and much more attract many visitors.

Wines, tourism and hospitality
Franschhoek has long been known for its world-class wines that rival those from
larger towns.

But the character of a small place is still largely intact, and it is not so long ago that only a few wineries have offered wine tours.

La Motte, La Cotte, Cabriere, Provence, Chamonix, Dieu Donne and La Dauphine were among some of the first established farms, most of which still retain their original farm houses today. 



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 All photography and content copyright of South African Geographic 2009 unless otherwise stated

Copyright 2009 Ernst Weinert


view into the beautiful  wine valley 

Huguenots Monument

Historic Church in Franschoek