Mont Rochelle, boutique luxury among South African vineyards
In the western part of South Africa, along the foothills of the Cederberg and the Hawequa Mountains, the soil is perfect for growing grapes. Seeing this, the earliest European settlers of the land, the Dutch folk, and the French Huguenots of Cape Town, began planting vines and creating their own wines. It only took a few centuries for the rest of the world to discover the excellence of South African viticulture, and today the region is a popular stop for travellers seeking out a glass of red or white perfection. The centre of wine production in South Africa is now the town of Franschhoek, meaning the “French Corner,” and this is where you can find the resplendent boutique resort of Mont Rochelle Hotel and Vineyard, at the foot of the mountain of the same name. With its three-stories clad in white beneath a slate grey roof, featuring the unique arch gables of the Dutch period, Mont Rochelle looks every bit the country estate, and the winery remains fully active, featuring daily wine tastings and tours of the 150-year-old wine cellar – once used to store fruits from the local orchards.
The estate occupies 39 hectares, or about 100 acres, of rolling countryside in the valley of Franschhoek, and bespoke tours of the region can be an excellent way to enjoy the views of the vineyards and mountains scenery. A temperature-controlled 12-meter outdoor pool stands along with Mont Rochelle’s main building, and the hotel is completely child-friendly, offering babysitting services.