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4 unique experiences to unlock at this Franschhoek wine farm
See iconic local art, dine, drink and hike one of the prettiest farms
La Motte Wine Estate, one of three farms owned by the Rupert family, has gorgeous grounds with roses and leafy oak trees, an excellent restaurant, an extremely classy wine-tasting set-up and, last but not least, the Pierneef Museum. Needless to say, there’s a lot to do on this estate. Here are four things we recommend.
La Motte is one of the finest wine farms in Franschhoek. Image: La Motte
YOU'RE ON A WINE FARM: ENJOY
There are many ways to taste the wines here. La Motte’s tasting room leads off from the wine cellar. It’s an elegant space, with tables seating from two to many, and has a warm and friendly ambience.
There are tables to accommodate any size of party, from two upwards. Image: La Motte
At the Vinoteque Tasting, a personalised tasting in a private room, wine ambassadors tell you about the history of La Motte wines in the context of the Franschhoek Valley and Cape wine region. You learn about bottle ageing, and what it is that makes the internationally celebrated La Motte Syrah so special.
THE VINTAGE TASTING CAN ALSO BE DONE VIRTUALLY
You can also try the Current Vintage Tasting, which includes the estate’s award-winning Pierneef wines. It’s now also possible to do this tasting from home. You order the wines online and, if you order 12, the tasting will be for free.
Order 12 bottles of wine online and your virtual tasting will be gratis. Image: La Motte
Otherwise book a virtual tasting for the specific wines you want, and it will be customised accordingly by the estate’s wine ambassadors. But do try to go in person, if you can – the tasting facility has a great atmosphere, and it’s wonderful to taste your way through the La Motte range at its origin.
SEE THE FAMILY’S EXTENSIVE PIERNEEF COLLECTION
The La Motte Museum is an attraction in its own right: you could spend hours here. A highlight is the permanent collection of one of South Africa’s masters Jacob Hendrik Pierneef. The collection has some of his most well-known works, including paintings, drawings and linocuts of landscapes and architecture.
The Pierneef museum is a lovely building and the collection itself is large. Image: La Motte
The Sonop Pierneef collection, once displayed at the Sonop men’s residence for full-time students of the University of Pretoria, is on loan to the museum and various pieces have been added to the current installation.
SEE THE LATEST TEMPORARY EXHIBITION
Aside from the impressive permanent collection, the La Motte Museum hosts regular temporary exhibitions. The current exhibition is Threads of Synergy by Stephens Tapestry Studio. The tapestries are recreations of prominent South African artists’ works, including William Kentridge, Sam Nhlengethwa, Cecil Skotnes, Cecily Sash and Robert Hodgins.
These tapestries recreating some of South Africa’s top local artists’ work are exquisite. Image: La Motte
It’s a beautiful, powerful exhibition that references the virtual, often disconnected world, paying homage to the artists’ presence in creating and aims to reawaken our sense of touch.
YOU CAN GET A GUIDED TOUR
Guided tours often give an insight into the artist that allows you to appreciate and see the references you might not have known about before. You can join an art experience, historic walk or sculpture walk on selected weekdays (booking is required and you can do that on the website). Or you can visit the museum between Tuesdays and Sundays from 9am to 5pm for a complimentary walkabout of both the Pierneef collection and current exhibition.
Besides the galleries, there is also a sculpture tour that you can walk with a guide. Image: La Motte
YOU CAN HIKE THIS BEAUTIFUL FARM
Every Tuesday, La Motte hosts a guided hike, which takes in some of the incredible biodiversity of the Franschhoek Valley. There is abundant birdlife (you can download a list of the birds found there), a protea garden, sustainably farmed vineyards, a wealth of flora, resident mammals and reptiles, not to mention the spectacular views.
The Franschhoek valley and surrounding mountains are beautiful, and hiking on the farm is a unique experience. Image: La Motte
The hike follows a circular route, starting and ending at the La Motte Tasting Room. It is 5km and requires a fair degree of fitness (it’s not ideal for children under 10). Hikers are led by a knowledgeable guide and will receive a hiking trail map, bottle of water, and light refreshments. A self-guided version of the hike is also possible. Prior online booking is essential, and don't forget to download the list of birds you can see beforehand.
TRY FOOD INSPIRED BY LOCAL CUISINES
The excellent La Motte Restaurant has a relaxed, farm-style menu that pays homage to South African cuisine. The chef changes the menu often so there are always new dishes to discover. The focus is on hearty comfort foods, but with an innovative touch, such as pork and boerenkaas sausage, with cider-braised sour cabbage, pickles and celeriac.
The dishes on the menu often change, but the focus is on wholesome, comfort food. Image: La Motte
There are also sharing plates like charcuterie and cheese platters, with pickles and preserves.
It’s open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday, 11.30am to 15.30pm. All mains come with wine recommendations, including interesting local and international wines.
DISCOVER MORE OF WHAT CAPE TOWN HAS TO OFFER
Taste wine in a themed cave at Klein Roosboom.
Find a hidden gem for weekend lunches in Stellenbosch.
Keen to go on a wine tasting tour? Check out our list of great wine tasting venues.
Looking for the perfect hiking spot this summer? Check out our top hiking trails.
Wanting to delve into history? We have a list of great museums to check out.