The town of Franschhoek has become synonymous with fine food and wine, clean mountain air and panoramic views. The village has a distinctly Gallic flavour thanks to its French Huguenot heritage, and offers a cosmopolitan lifestyle of pavement cafes and restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries and antique collectibles. The surrounding farmland is also renowned for its rich soil and abundant vineyards, producing some of South Africa’s most famous wine brands. Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that this rich agricultural heritage and chic lifestyle make the valley highly sought-after as a weekend getaway, holiday destination or place of permanent residence.
One of the most popular property options for buyers in all of these categories is the lifestyle farm – typically a smallholding with a generous homestead and some small-scale farming activity. Buyers in this category usually seek a warm family home in a picturesque setting, where they can enjoy quality time together and perhaps dabble in a little wine-making or artisan farming on the side as a hobby. “Prices for such farms can vary tremendously depending on their size, location and condition,” say PGP agents Doug Gurr and Shelly Schoeman, “as well as on the size, historic value and luxury features of the homestead. One can pay anything from R10 million to R40 million for farms in this category – but the lifestyle on offer is priceless.”
PGP’s area manager for Franschhoek, Surina du Toit, adds that for those seeking to escape the “rat race” and raise their families in a wholesome rural environment, Franschhoek offers the best of both worlds – a small village lifestyle in a magnificent rural setting, that is still within easy reach of amenities such as Cape Town International Airport, major shopping facilities and medical care. “The town also offers an excellent private co-ed school – the acclaimed Bridge House – making it a feasible option for those with school-going children,” she adds. “And once they reach student age, the University of Stellenbosch is just 20 minutes’ drive away. What better environment can there be for children than to grow up on a farm where they can enjoy a healthy outdoor lifestyle, fresh air and sunshine, surrounded by magnificent mountains?”
PGP currently has the exclusive mandate to market what Gurr describes as the “quintessential lifestyle farm” – a 9.75ha property named “Fleur Vue” (meaning “view of flowers”), located on the banks of the Franschhoek River, just minutes from the village centre. The farm consists of an immaculate main homestead, guest cottage and manager’s house, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. The property is on the market at R16.5 million.
The main homestead offers four bedrooms and four bathrooms, including a well-appointed master suite with a fireplace and his and hers dressing rooms, as well as a study or fifth bedroom. The spacious double-volume living areas are open plan, with easy flow from the gourmet kitchen to a dining room, coffee nook and lounge. These in turn flow out via French doors onto a large undercover patio, ideal for outdoor entertaining, with views across the gardens, vineyards and mountains. A large entertainment room offers a more informal space to relax, with a built-in braai, pizza oven and wine cellar. The entire home is finished with Travertine tiles, and under-floor heating ensures the living areas remain cosy all year round.
The charming guest cottage offers two en-suite bedrooms plus an open-plan living room and kitchen, a fireplace and undercover patio with built-in braai. Additional buildings on the property include a three-bedroomed manager’s house, a large barn for storage of farm vehicles and tools, and a cold room for wine storage. Automated garaging is provided for three vehicles. The farm’s fully irrigated manicured gardens include a swimming pool, herb and vegetable garden as well as an orchard with a variety of trees – several nuts and citrus fruits, plus mangos, figs and plums. The garden and household obtain their water from a borehole, and are protected by electronic security beams.
Fleur Vue currently has just over 5ha under vine, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc varietals. The olive grove spans another 2ha, and includes over 1650 trees, including both mission and kalamata olives. The farming areas are watered by micro/drip method from the Robertsvlei River, for which the farm has pumping rights. Thecurrent owners bottle a relatively small quantity of wine for personal use, and sell the rest of the grapes on to larger producers. They also produce their own bottled olives and olive oil in small quantities. Schoeman says while the next owners could continue to operate on this small scale, they could also opt to expand the production to the level of a more established boutique wine or olive estate.
To view Fleur Vue, or for more information, call PGP agents Doug Gurr (072 610 7208) and Shelly Schoeman (083 301 8833) or contact their office on 021 876 2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.