The Standard Bank of South Africa’s opening a branch in Franschhoek on 13 November 1918 was the result of a misunderstanding and the first few decades may have been difficult, but on the centenary of the opening clients and staff were glad that it all worked out well in the end.
The Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) is a conservation organisation founded in 2004. Its focus is scientific research and environmental education offering experiential learning programmes in the Boland and the Cederberg.
On a fine and rather warm day in October, the Cape Leopard Trust environmental education team took a group of 24 grade 3 learners from Bridge House School for an educational hike in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve in the mountains above Franschhoek.
On the evening of 6 November guests gathered at the new Franschhoek Theatre in the Franschhoek High School grounds. The team in charge of the project had invited donors to the project for a celebration. Also in attendance were the principal of the school, Mr Cilliers, and the school’s governing body.
After more than two years of planning, authorisations, design, building and renovation, the Centenary Library building was ready for its new life. The guests who had come to celebrate were enchanted by the grey and blue interior, the re-laid old parquet floor and new carpeted seating tiers, the spruced up shutters and the brand new amenities. The project team thanked the donors who had so generously supported the fund-raising initiatives which enabled them to realise a Franschhoek community dream. Mr Denver Adonis, the chairman of the school governing body also thanked everyone involved and pointed out that the school did not have the means to renovate and save the building. He added that the benefit to the school, both financially and culturally would be most valuable.
The environmental authorisation application for a mixed-use development on erf 1692 has again publicly exposed rifts in the Franschhoek Claimants’ Trust (FCT) that owns the property and has given permission to Surrey Holmes Developments (Pty) Ltd to subdivide and develop the site.
According to a submission by the Franschhoek Concerned Claimants Group (FCCG) contained in the environmental authorisation application and signed by former Stellenbosch speaker Gordon Pheiffer, Erf 1692 – located at the eastern end of Reservoir Street above the Franschhoek Tennis Club – was given to Franschhoek land claimants by Stellenbosch Municipality. Three hectares of the original 5 ha site was subsequently sold to the developers of the Fransche Hoek Estate for R1.2 million.
“Every wine producer has a few hundred boxes of wine of various price points and styles lying around in the cellar, and when an opportunity like Black Friday comes around it’s the perfect chance to clear out some of the old stock to get the cellar ready for the 2019 harvest or just sell out on overruns of certain wines, in one go,” says De Wet Hugo, GM of wine at Franschhoek Estate Allée Bleue.
Friday, 23 November, from 10h00-16h00 will be a hive of activity at this family-owned farm as keen wine buyers will be directed to the Black Friday sales area to order, pay and collect their purchases there and then.
The wines selected include Methode Cap Classique’s, whites, reds, blends and even some multi-award winning wines with discounts of 50% and more per bottle. “This is the perfect opportunity to stock up on quality wines for the summer and we look forward to sharing more than 10 000 bottles with the public at once-in-a-lifetime prices,” comments de Wet.
Wines are only available in 6-bottle boxes and payments have to be made on the day. No tastings will be offered as the wine has been kept in optimum conditions in the cellar throughout. Cash and credit cards only.
“It’s definitely first-come first-served and obviously only whilst stocks last, so it’s best to arrive early! Make a day of it and book a picnic afterwards or have breakfast in the Bistro from 08h00 before you hit the sale,” suggests de Wet.
There’s a farm near Klapmuts that has the capacity to grow 1 500 000 heads of Iceberg lettuce annually. It’s not Old Macdonald’s farm, it’s Franschhoeker Dr Herbert Henrich and partners’ Cultura Fresh farm.
The company was established in 2015 when Dr Henrich became aware of the possibility of doing hydroponic farming locally. He acquired the professional skill he needed from two gentlemen who are experts in hydroponics and marketing and went on to find a 7.5 hectare farm in Klapmuts. Work started in 2016.
International wine writer and British Master of Wine (MW) Tim Atkin’s 2018 SA Special Report made happy reading for the team at La Bri. Three of their wines cracked the 90 out of 100 points mark. Illustrating the versatility of the team the acclaimed wines include a white, a red and a Méthode Cap Classique.
La Bri’s MCC, Sauvage La Bri 2012, was awarded 91 points by Atkin. This follows on last year when their maiden bubbly, the Sauvage La Bri 2011, was also awarded 91 points by Atkin and cements La Bri as a producer of fine MCCs.
Stellenbosch Municipality is far advance in a project to identify, classify and digitally map its rich and diverse heritage resources. The municipality contracted with the Cape Winelands Professional Practices in Association (Pty) Ltd in 2015 to execute this heritage project – the first of its kind in Africa and one of only five worldwide.
The value of heritage resources has been highlighted repeatedly since 2009, when the Cape Winelands was placed on the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage Sites. Heritage resources are also major contributing factors to the local economy.
For the second year running, World Travel Awards has named Leeu Estates, the Leeu Collection’s flagship property in Franschhoek, as South Africa’s Leading Wine Country Hotel. The award was announced at the lack-tie gala that celebrated all the African winners in Durban, on 6 October 2018.
International Tourism Day was celebrated on 27 September. The Cape Winelands District Municipality used the day as a fitting opportunity to announce the winners in its annual Mayoral Tourism Awards. La Motte Wine Estate was recognized as the winner in the category for Tourism Destination of the Year.
“We are honoured to receive acknowledgement from our local authorities. It is recognition of this kind that motivates us to further enhance our offering,” said La Motte CEO Hein Koegelenberg. “There is no denying the importance of tourism in the Franschhoek Valley and we deliberately focus on working together to ensure the whole community benefits”, continued Koegelenberg.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Alderman (Dr) Helena von Schlicht, Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality focused on the theme for 2018’s Tourism Month: Inclusive and Quality Growth of the Tourism Sector through Digital Transformation. The theme aligned with that of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) and highlights the need for increased investment in digital technologies to create an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism.
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Text: Editorial Desk | Image: La Motte