Life in an un­spoilt val­ley

Michelle Swart finds out more about a por­tion of a his­toric Stel­len­bosch farm that is up for sale

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

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

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