French protestant Huguenots came to Cape Town after fleeing persecution from the Catholic Church in France and finding temporary refuge in Protestant Holland. They came to the Cape from the 1680’s till the mid 1700’s. Many of these Huguenots became wine farmers and brought much needed expertise to the Dutch wine farming communities in Cape Town. They settled in what was then known as the Olifantshoek Vallei. This area later became known as 'Le Quartier Francais', which means 'French quarter". Today it's known as Franschhoek.
Many of the road names and areas are taken from the names of French Towns. It is the self appointed food and wine capital of South Africa and undoubtedly some of the restaurants are certainly up there in terms of French quality. Its beautiful surroundings have attracted wealthy investors over the last few years, and land prices have been going steadily through the roof. At the same time, the booming tourism industry has slowly been turning this once sleepy village into a cosmopolitan and vibrant town. There are regular events and festivals held throughout the year in Franschhoek, and many of the Franschhoek wine estates join in, offering visitors the perfect chance to taste their portfolio of wines before leaving with a case or two.