Monday 16 July 2018
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Franschhoek Theatre: Construction imminent

Preparing the ground for the new addition.

April 2018 has been a busy and successful month for the team behind the Franschhoek Theatre. The big news is that all the necessary construction approvals for the project have now been obtained from the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and the Department of Education.  With the approvals in place construction on the project will start later this month.

While they were ticking the final boxes with the Public Works Department – fire safety plans, structural engineer’s sign-off, revised electrical layouts, etc. – the team was also getting a head start on some other jobs.  These ranged from obtaining quotes for things such as the audio-visual installation to opening accounts with suppliers to purchasing some materials early in order to avoid the recent VAT increase.

The theatre site was also visited by Franschhoek High School past pupil Andrew Schmidt (matric 1974), of Franschhoek Plant Hire.  Andrew kindly donated the efforts of one of his digger loaders and two staff members to the project in order to remove several tree stumps and large roots that were in the way of the addition.  In thanking Andrew the team said they hope to be able to call on more past pupils to do their bit for their alma mater.

Eric Bulpitt new Executive Chef at Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant

Chef Eric Bulpitt

La Motte Wine Estate has announced the appointment of acclaimed Chef Eric Bulpitt as the new Executive Chef of Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant. He will commence duties on 1 May 2018.

With a passion for modern cuisine, he will be bringing a fresh focus and new excitement to Pierneef à La Motte’s concept of heritage cuisine, while sharing the estate’s principles when it comes to authentic Cape Winelands hospitality, local produce and sustainably sourced ingredients.

Bulpitt will be replacing Chef Michelle Theron who has resigned after eight years in the Pierneef à La Motte Kitchen. | 021 876 8800

Vivino users rate Bellingham Chenin highly

Digital-savvy wine lovers have voted in the annual Vivino Wine Style Awards and reviewers have recognised Bellingham’s The Bernard Series Old Vine Chenin Blanc as one of the top 10 Chenin Blancs from South Africa.

Vivino is the world’s largest wine application (app), allowing a global wine community to buy, rate and review wines. This popular wine app has more than 20 million wine lovers, worldwide, who use the app to grow, and share, their love for wine.

Pearl Valley a top five course – Golf Digest

Pearl Valley Golf Course

Golf Digest recently announced that Pearl Valley, Val de Vie Estate’s Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, has been ranked as the 5th best golf course in the country. The course was also ranked as the Best Conditioned Golf Course in the Western Cape.

The biennial ‘Golf Digest Top 100 Courses in South Africa’ is one of the most influential rankings as far as golf in South Africa is concerned, and Val de Vie Estate takes great pride in the 2018/2019 top five placement. Two years ago, Pearl Valley was ranked at number 8 by Golf Digest, and this marked improvement is mostly attributed to Val de Vie Estate amalgamating with Pearl Valley Estate in 2016.

La Motte shines in 2018 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards

La Motte CEO Hein Koegelenberg celebrates the estate’s acknowledgment as Drinks International Best Food & Wine Matching Experience with Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche and Chef Gregory Caci from Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant.

No stranger to international acclaim for the quality of its wine tourism offering, La Motte Wine Estate has again been acknowledged as Best Food and Wine Matching Experience in the 2018 edition of the Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards.

Robertsvlei to Theewaterskloof bypass?

A bypass around the village – especially for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) – has been discussed on and off for more than 20 years.  Lately, it has emerged from discussions between stakeholders that the provincial government has become more favourably disposed towards the idea.

Planning for the bypass centres on the Robertsvlei Road. This means that HGVs, and other road users that so choose, will be diverted off the R45 onto the Robertsvlei Road and re-join traffic at the Huguenot Monument intersection.  This proposal would involve paving the Robertsvlei Road, construction of a new dual lane bridge over the Franschhoek River and various other road improvements.

Bottle tops and bread tags get Jason a wheelchair

Jason Jefthas in his new wheelchair with his parents and Bridge House pupils Christiaan Cloete (who launched the bread tag collection) and Bastienne Babl at the presentation of the wheelchair.

Jason Jefthas, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, who lives in Mooiwater in Franschhoek, was the recipient of a wheelchair that was earned through the collection of bread tags and bottle tops by the Bridge House School community.

Last year, Bridge House took up the challenge of collecting bottle tops and bread tags to exchange for a wheelchair. The project was driven by Bridge House art teacher, Dave Fuller, and is facilitated by the Bread Tags for Wheelchairs organisation. The school provided a large container at its entrance and thousands of bread tags and plastic screw-type bottle tops were collected. These were bagged and delivered to Bread Tags for Wheelchairs who then gave the go ahead for the purchase of a wheelchair.

From Groendal to Gothenburg

The Kusasa Stars

The Kusasa Stars to travel to Sweden

A group of 19 very fortunate 12-year-old boys from Groendal will be travelling to Gothenburg in Sweden to take part in the Gothia Cup 2018.

The Gothia Cup, also known as The World Youth Cup, takes place in Sweden annually and is the largest football tournament in the world. The opening ceremony takes place in the Gothenburg Olympic Stadium and is often attended by over 40 000 spectators.

Festival of Arts 2018

The Festival of Art will be hosting their first art extravaganza on 17 & 18 March at three venues in Franschhoek.

The unique ethos of this festival makes it stand out. When asked, the organizers had this to say: “Our goal is to provide a platform for undiscovered local artists where they can exhibit their work in a creative, relaxed and beautiful environment. We have received an incredible variety of work from all sorts of artists – the only prerequisite was that they live in SA. Amongst those, sixteen underprivileged artists were sponsored by Festival of Art with stands and supplies to assist them in exposing their talent. They teamed up with a community outreach programme Outliers ( that assists more than eighty volunteer-driven initiatives in townships where adults help children after school assisting with homework and teaching them therapeutic coping skills such as creating artwork”.

The venues hosting the Festival of Art each have their own style and character. Each picturesque location will feature a celebrated South African artist – Selwyn Pekeur at Bridge House School, Nanette Ranger at Eikehof and Ronald West at La Bri.

A look at the Festival of Art’s website ( will get you picturing the festive scene; an art in the park extravaganza set in and amongst shady trees and rows of vines.

For entertainment there will be street performers, buskers and musicians constantly delighting all and sundry. One of the highlights for visitors will be that many artists exhibiting their artwork will be working on pieces during the festival. Who doesn’t love watching an artist’s process and connecting with where the artwork comes from?

With everything set for what promises to be two wonderful art-filled days, art cognoscenti and novices alike should not miss this!

Book your ticket at:

Behind the labels: La Motte’s Pierneef Collection

La Motte Wine Estate’s premium Pierneef Collection wines are lauded for their quality, versatility and consistency.  While plenty can be said about wines the estate’s use of artworks by SA master Jacob Hendrik Pierneef on the labels of these wines, makes for another interesting story.

Each vintage of the Pierneef Syrah Viognier and Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc feature six different linocut artworks – essentially six different labels for each vintage of the wines.

The linocuts associated with the 2015 vintage of La Motte’s Pierneef Syrah Viognier are briefly discussed below.

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