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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 enjoyable wine-tasting set-up and, last but not least, the Pierneef Museum. Needless to say, there’s a lot to engage the visitor on this estate. Here are four activities we recommend.
YOU'RE ON A WINE FARM, DRINK
There are many ways to taste the wines here. La Motte’s tasting room leads off from the wine cellar, an elegant space, with a warm and friendly ambience. 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 wine tasting will be for free. Otherwise book a virtual tasting for the specific wines you want, and it will be customised accordingly by the estate’s wine ambassadors. Or go to the lovely tasting facility, to taste your way through the La Motte range of delicious wines
VISIT FOR THE 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 Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, one of South Africa’s great old masters.
The collection displays some of Pierneef’s most well-known work, including paintings, drawings and linocuts of landscapes and architecture.
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.
THE RANGE OF ART INCLUDES IRMA STERN
Aside from the impressive permanent collection, the La Motte Museum hosts regular temporary exhibitions. The current exhibition is entitled Celebrating the love of Art – a personal selection by Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg. As part of the fiftieth jubilee of La Motte’s Rupert ownership, La Motte owner Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg invites art-lovers to an exhibition that shares some favourite works by, among others, Irma Stern, Maggie Laubser, Jean Welz and Cecil Higgs from the Rupert Art Foundation and individual family collections.
Visit the museum between Tuesdays and Sundays from 9am to 5pm for a complimentary walkabout of the Pierneef collection and current exhibition, or join an Art Experience, Historic Walk or Sculpture Walk on selected weekdays (booking required and available on the website). There are nine sculptures on this walk, and seen in situ is an emotive and memorable experience.
YOU CAN HIKE THIS BEAUTIFUL WINE 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 birdlife found on the land), a protea garden, sustainably farmed vineyards, a wealth of flora, resident mammals and reptiles, not to mention the spectacular views.
The hike follows a circular route, starting and ending at the La Motte Tasting Room. It is five kilometres 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.
TRY FOOD INSPIRED BY LOCAL CUISINES
Pierneef à La Motte, the renowned restaurant with a sophisticated and elegant ambience, has a new, simplified menu “fitting for the uncertain times we live in”. It’s a farm menu that honours the culinary heritage of South Africa, and offers a range of delicious, homely options, such as heirloom tomato soup and Welsh rarebit, or more substantial mains, such as slow-cooked lamb, blistered tomatoes and herebone. There are also charcuterie and cheese platters, with pickles and preserves.
The à la carte menu is served Wednesday to Friday 12pm to 3pm, and is served in an elegant restaurant, with ceramic plate chandeliers inside, hugged by serene gardens. All mains come with wine recommendations, including interesting local and international wines. Light refreshments are served in the garden from Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 4pm.
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.
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