Paserene Tasting Lounge: A Designer Nest in Franschhoek

Paserene Wine Tasting

Wine and architecture take flight…

At Paserene in Franschhoek, it’s a serene day filled with a murmuration of swallows. The winery’s name is derived from the Latin for travelling birds – a theme repeated in the wine labels, art and architecture. This vibrant winery (just minutes outside town) would be easy to overlook in favour of more traditional venues, but with Martin Smith as winemaker, it’s a must on any Franschhoek wine-tasting journey – especially given that, in the Platter’s Wine Guide 2024, Paserene’s Marathon 2020 and Chardonnay 2020 scored 93 points each.

Paserene Wine Tasting Venue

Originally part of La Chataigne, businessman Ndavhe Mareda bought its 12 hectares in 2015, and together with co-owner Martin Smith and general manager Stephanie Duval-Laidet, they have created a thoroughly modern, design-savvy venue, inspired by the swallow’s nest. Settle in for a wine-tasting (and bites from the build-your-own-platter menu) overlooking a tranquil dam and a beautifully planted indigenous garden sprinkled with sculptures.

The wine

Paserene Wine Tasting Winemaker

Martin’s 10 years at wineries in the United States, followed by a six-year stint as winemaker for the prestigious Vilafonté in Paarl, is evident in his thorough and detailed approach to winemaking. Paserene holds only eight hectares of vineyards, so many of the grapes used in the 40 000-bottle annual production are brought in from choice parcels in Franschhoek, Elgin and Tulbagh.

Paserene Wine Tasting Pairing

The Elements Range reveal the “more playful side of Paserene,” explains operations manager Suzaan White, and include Bright (a light, citrus-focused chardonnay), Rosie (a carignan-dominant rosé perfect for summer), Emerald (a luscious sauvignon blanc), Midnight (Cabernet Sauvignon and one of Paserene’s most popular sellers in this range) and Dark (a syrah from Tulbagh grapes). All of these wines offer excellent value for money, with Bright, Rosie and Midnight scoring good Platter’s ratings.

Paserene Wine Tasting Range

The high-end Paserene range expresses structure and elegance, and includes the Chardonnay and flagship 2020 Marathon, both of which received 4.5 stars in Platter’s. Another big red is the 2020 Union, made from syrah grapes grown in Tulbagh.

Martin also crafts the Shiner White and Siner Red, both nonvintage blends made from grapes grown in Paserene terroirs.

Food to pair

Paserene Wine Tasting Platter

The tasting room food menu comes in the form of a selection of small plates designed to pair, so you can effectively build your own platter. There’s loads to snack on: charcuterie from Neil Jewell, smoked trout (from Franschhoek’s Three Streams Smokehouse), free-range beef biltong (Ryan Boon), artisanal cheeses with fynbos honeycomb (from onsite hives), freshly baked bread, a delecatble homemade snoek pâté, as well as bitterballen, olives and more.

A luscious wine-and-liquorice pairing (with Lakrid by Bulow liquorice) is in the pipeline, too.
Cost R150 (3 wines + 3 liquorices)

Paserene Wine Tasting Room

Beautiful flavours in a unique setting… we couldn’t leave without a case of wine to extend the joy.

Cost Elements Tasting: R105 (5 wines)
Paserene Tasting: R210 (4 wines)
Liquorice pairing: R150 (3 wines)
Book through DinePlan

Good to know The Franschhoek Wine Tram stops at Paserene every hour.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Contact 021 876 2714;
Where to find it Paserene Farm, R45, Franschhoek

Discover all of the Cape’s hidden gems – subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 12 February 2024