Coun­try es­tate steeped in tra­di­tion

The ex­quis­ite Ban­hoek Val­ley is home to beau­ti­ful prop­er­ties, out­stand­ing moun­tain views and fer­tile soil. Lea Ja­cobs re­ports

Business Day - Home Front - - HOME FRONT -

HELSHOOGTE ar­guably has to be one of the most pic­turesque moun­tain passes in the coun­try. Built in 1854, the steep pass rises out of Stel­len­bosch to cross be­tween the Jonker­shoek and Si­mons­berg moun­tain ranges and ends in one of the most scenic spots in the Cape — the Ban­hoek Val­ley. Sur­rounded by mag­nif­i­cent moun­tain vis­tas, this shel­tered val­ley is home to some of the most ac­claimed wine farms and restau­rants in the Boland, in­clud­ing Thelema, Delaire Graff and Tokara, as well as the well-known Hill­crest Berry Or­chards.

Prop­er­ties in the Ban­hoek Val­ley are hard to come by, with many be­ing fiercely guarded from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. A num­ber of the farms are given over to large-scale vine­yards and fruit or­chards, and the op­por­tu­ni­ties to ac­quire smaller life­style es­tates are lim­ited. How­ever, Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties re­ports that one such prime prop­erty has re­cently come onto the mar­ket — the first time it has be­come avail­able for pur­chase in nearly 40 years.

The es­tate is the 1.186ha Zorgvliet West, which oc­cu­pies some of the orig­i­nal farm­land first granted to farm­ers in the val­ley in the 17th cen­tury. The prop­erty has panoramic moun­tain views and has an orig­i­nal homestead dat­ing back more than 100 years, built in the Cape Dutch style with a thatched roof. Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties area man­ager for Stel­len­bosch, Louise Varga, says it is the ideal life­style es­tate for those wish­ing to ac­quire a coun­try es­cape, raise a fam­ily in a peace­ful ru­ral en­vi­ron­ment or en­gage in smallscale farm­ing ac­tiv­ity.

“This is one of the most soughtafter set­tings in the Boland,” says Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties agent Clarence Collins, “sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful moun­tain scenery and blessed with fer­tile soil. Yet de­spite this ru­ral set­ting, it is just a short drive from Stel­len­bosch and all its ameni­ties, in­clud­ing schools, hos­pi­tals and ma­jor shop- ping out­lets. There is am­ple ac­com­mo­da­tion for a large fam­ily and visi­tors, eques­trian fa­cil­i­ties for those who wish to keep horses, and some ba­sic small-scale in­fra­struc­ture in place should the buyer wish to ex­pand on the ex­ist­ing farm­ing ac­tiv­ity. The prop­erty has an olive or­chard of 50 trees, but there is un­der­ground pip­ing and ir­ri­ga­tion which would al­low for the plant­ing of some ad­di­tional fruit trees, vines or more olives.”

The orig­i­nal manor house has been ren­o­vated sev­eral times over the past cen­tury, with ma­jor work be­ing done in the early 1990s to mod­ernise and en­large the home. The re­sult is six bed­rooms spread over two lev­els, with the up­per rooms open­ing onto bal­conies to max­imise en­joy­ment of the views. No­table de­sign fea­tures in­clude cus­tom-de­signed stained glass art­work in the hall­way as well as wooden floors, cup­boards, doors and stair­cases.

The up­per storey lends it­self to pri­vate fam­ily space and in­cludes a main bed­room suite with large dress­ing room, a sec­ond en-suite bed­room, a fur­ther two fam­ily bed­rooms, as well as a for­mal lounge, study and kitch­enette. Down­stairs there are another two en-suite bed­rooms with their own sep­a­rate en­trances, ideal for guest ac­com­mo­da­tion, as well as for­mal and in­for­mal din­ing ar­eas, a lounge and Ital­ian-fit­ted gourmet kitchen with sep­a­rate scullery, laun­dry and iron­ing room.

The liv­ing ar­eas lead out onto a large pa­tio with a built-in braai, while a sep­a­rate open-plan func­tion room lies ad­ja­cent to the main house, of­fer­ing an ideal space for large par­ties. Ad­di­tional guest ac­com­mo­da­tion is avail­able in a granny flat above this room.

The home has a well-es­tab­lished gar­den with large trees and a 20m black salt­wa­ter chlo­ri­nated swim­ming pool. An ad­ja­cent pool- house of­fers space for en­ter­tain­ing, and has a fire­place and kitch­enette. Other fea­tures in­clude a cus­tom-built labyrinth with a cov­ered area in the cen­tre, ideal for al fresco din­ing, as well as a view­ing deck and large treat­ment room which could be used as part of a spa or doc­tor’s rooms. Sta­bling is pro­vided for three horses, and the prop­erty in­cludes a sloped pad­dock with ex­cel­lent drainage.

In ad­di­tion to the thatched manor house, the prop­erty also in­cludes a sec­ond dou­ble-storey res­i­dence of­fer­ing six bed­rooms, spa­cious open plan liv­ing ar­eas, an of­fice, li­brary and two fire­places. The loft-style up­per level in­cludes glass win­dows which frame the views and en­sure plen­ti­ful light. Price: R13.95m Con­tact: Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties Clarence Collins 083 637 1100 Of­fice 021 887 1017

Left: Zorgvliet West, a life­style es­tate in the Ban­hoek Val­ley in the Western Cape, fea­tures a thatched manor house that dates back more than 100 years and which has been ex­ten­sively ren­o­vated for mod­ern liv­ing. Above: The prop­erty has panoramic...

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