Rare Banhoek Valley estate for sale

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19 Sep 2013

The Helshoogte Pass in the Cape Winelands may have a somewhat daunting name, but those who traverse it are likely to agree it is one of the most beautiful routes in the country.

This home offers six bedrooms, an Italian-fitted gourmet kitchen with a seperate scullery, laundry and ironing room. It is on the market for R13.5 million through Pam Golding Properties.

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 Graaf 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, with limited opportunities to acquire smaller lifestyle estates.

However, Pam Golding Properties (PGP) 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 property enjoys panoramic mountain views and is the ideal lifestyle estate for those wishing to acquire a country escape, raise a family in a peaceful rural environment, or engage in small-scale farming activities.

The estate in question is the 1.186 hectare ‘Zorgvliet West’, which occupies some of the original farmland first granted to farmers in the valley in the 17th century. The property enjoys panoramic mountain views and has an original homestead dating back more than 100 years, built in the Cape Dutch style with a thatched roof.

PGP 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 small-scale farming activities. The property is priced at R13.95 million.

PGP agent Clarence Collins says this is one of the most sought-after settings in the Boland surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery and blessed with fertile soil. He says despite this rural setting, it is just a short drive from Stellenbosch and all its amenities, including schools, hospitals and major shopping.

“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.”

Collins says currently, the property has an olive orchard of 50 trees, and there is underground piping and irrigation in place, which would allow for the planting of additional fruit trees, vines or more olives, should the new owner so wish.

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 resulting home offers 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 a private family space, and includes a main bedroom suite with a large dressing room, a second en suite bedroom and 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 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 located in a granny flat above this room.

The home has a well-established garden with large trees and a 20 metre black saltwater chlorinated swimming pool. An adjacent pool house offers another space for entertaining, and has a fireplace and kitchenette. Other features of the garden areas 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 a total of six bedrooms, spacious open plan living areas, an office, library and two fireplaces. The loft-style upper level includes large glass windows, which frame the views and ensure plentiful light.

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