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The Franschhoek Bastille Festival – 13-15 July

July 6, 2012

The Franschhoek Wine Valley, one of South Africa’s leading wine and food destinations, will once again be hosting the annual Bastille Festival over the weekend of the 13th of 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.

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.

The food and wine marquee, open from 12pm until 5pm, is always the focal point attracting visitors to the hub of activity. Visitors can enjoy 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.  Delicious food on offer includes oysters, sushi, hand-made chocolate and fresh salmon trout from the area. The R150 per person entrance fee allows you access to the food and wine marquee, which includes a tasting glass and a complimentary booklet of tasting coupons.

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. However, culinary indulgence is far from all this annual celebration has to offer. All the galleries, boutiques, crafts shops and food emporiums, will be dressed up to the nines and draped in French apparel. Other major festival attractions include the Franschhoek minstrel parade, a farmers’ market, craft market stalls and a wide variety of children’s activities are also included in the line up of festival celebrations.

There is a strong sporting component at Bastille with the famous barrel rolling competition with competitors from the various wine estates, the chefs and waiters race, the boules competition which anyone can enter, and which is the the largest and longest running boules competition of its kind, plus street soccer and fly fishing competions.

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.

What better way to paint the town red, white and blue and what better excuse for wearing a beret!

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