Life in an unspoilt valley
Michelle Swart finds out more about a portion of a historic Stellenbosch farm that is up for sale
AHISTORIC smallholding, 4km from Stellenbosch at the foot of the scenic Helshoogte Pass has come on the market at R16,9m. Named Entabeni, the plot totals 15 243ha and is a portion of one of the three original farms granted in the Ida’s Valley in the late 17th century. Despite its long history, the farm has an elegant modern homestead built 10 years ago.
Louise Varga, Pam Golding Properties area manager for Stellenbosch, says the location is one of the most spectacular and historically significant in the entire district.
“The Helshoogte Pass was built in 1854, linking Stellenbosch to the neighbouring Banhoek Valley and winding its way between the spectacular mountains of the Jonkershoek and Simonsberg. The pass effectively made a cul de sac of the Ida’s Valley with its magnificent rolling fold mountains and rich soil ideal for farming. Archaeologists have found signs of human settlement in this valley dating back more than700 000 years.
“The valley’s initial three farms were granted in 1682 and were named Ida’s Valley, Rustenburg and Schoongezicht. The property currently for sale, now known as Entabeni, is a section of the original Rustenburg property.”
Annien Borg, Pam Golding Properties’ MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, says the picturesque valley has preserved a tranquil atmosphere and uncluttered layout despite rapid expansion of Stellenbosch.
“Residents of this valley recognised very early that unchecked development would threaten its beauty and prosperity, so they lobbied extensively to protect it against encroachment and in 1976 the entire valley was proclaimed a national monument,” she says.
“The valley’s significance was confirmed in February 2009 when the authorities proclaimed it a Grade 1 National Heritage Site, noting its idyllic setting, unspoilt land and rich cultural and natural heritage. Included in the 2009 declaration were 44 properties, among them Entabeni. Their protected status ensures against subdivision and unchecked development that might ruin the character of the valley.”
Entabeni is a modern smallholding with fully constructed roads and an electrical supply. Water is supplied via servitude from the High Rustenburg farm, augmented by Entabeni’s own borehole. This maintains the expansive gardens, a key selling point of the property for those with green fingers. Stellenbosch is just 4km away, making this an ideal base for those who wish to work in the town but still enjoy a rural lifestyle in a modern, luxurious, yet serene, setting.
The homestead spans just more than 600m² and was custom-designed in 2001 by Stellenbosch architects Hermansen & Burges. The double-storey dwelling has high-quality finishes, including extensive use of travertine marble, hand-tooled poplar beams and custom-made doors and windows.
The double-volume hallway has a genuine Georgian fanlight from a demolished house in Liverpool, and a solid marble staircase.
The ground-floor reception areas include a large living room running north-to south, giving way to a variety of outdoor areas via French doors.
To the north a vine-covered pergola runs the entire width of the house. There are spectacular views of the Simonsberg.
To the south there are views across False Bay and one can see clearly all the way to Cape Point, while the eastern aspect offers views over the Rustenburg Estate fields. On the ground floor there is a formal dining room with French doors leading to a covered terrace, ideal for al fresco entertaining, and a spacious kitchen with an integrated fridge, French rosier gas-fired stove and a separate pantry, drying yard and laundry.
The upstairs section has three bedrooms, including a big master suite with French doors leading to a balcony with panoramic views over the valley and False Bay.
A glass folding door can divide the space into two separate bedrooms if desired, each with its own back-to-back bathroom.
Other features of the home include a walk-in strong-room reinforced with steel and an under-stair wine cellar. In the gardens the swimming pool provides cool relief from the summer sun, while in winter the home is kept cosy by underfloor heating and two fireplaces. Price: R16,9m Contact: Pam Golding Properties Dawie Snyman 084 581 1622 Office 021 887 1017