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Val de Vie Magazine

POLO’S LEADING MAN The face of Ralph Lauren, Nacho Figueras, plays polo for a cause alongside royalty Life worth living

FIGHTING SPIRIT Schalk Burger won’t go down easily

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST Cyclists around the world take to the Western Cape’s scenic routes


No silver spoon for Franschhoek’s home-grown hero

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H A M P T O N S M O D U L A R S O FA F R O M R 6 4 9 5 0 92

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V - contents Val de Vie Magazine

POLO’S LEADING MAN The face of Ralph Lauren, Nacho Figueras, plays polo for a cause alongside royalty Life worth living

FIGHTING SPIRIT Schalk Burger won’t go down easily

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST Cyclists around the world take to the Western Cape’s scenic routes


No silver spoon for Franschhoek’s home-grown hero

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On the cover Nacho Figueras in action at the Sentebale Polo Cup Photography Chris Jackson Editorial Ryk Neethling Janette Griesel Fashion Janette Griesel Photography Kope | Figgins Hair and makeup Laura Kingma Model Natalie Krug Contributors Jocelyn Warrington Samantha Page Luke Alfred Norman McFarlane Chris Whitfield Kathryn Jubber Tshepang Molisana Lisa Wallace Val de Vie marketing director Ryk Neethling Advertising sales Janette Griesel Managing, design and production Mark Pettipher MPDPS (PTY) Ltd

6 No place like home 8 All aboard 12 Transformation by grace 20 A rare breed 24 Greener pastures 30 Goats do roam 38 Fighter to the core 42 Lover of the lights 50 Wildling 60 Timeless beauty 64 Sculpting investments 70 To give generously 72 A taste for success 76 That personal touch

Designers Wade Hunkin Dirk Knoesen

78 Polo heritage

Printing RSA Litho Val de Vie Magazine is published for Val de Vie Estate Elements Management (PTY) Ltd Val de Vie Estate R301/Jan Van Riebeeck Drive Paarl 7647 South Africa


82 Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo 2015 88 The highest bidder 92 Highveld country living 96 Powering the future 99 Property

Contact Tel +27 (0)21 863 6100 Fax +27 (0)21 863 2741 Email Web ALL RIGHTS RESERVED No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in an electronic system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, digital or mechanical, including scanning, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher and copyright owners as featured.

Contents WINTER 2015 rev 3_SUBBEDwrong92image.indd 4


34 Survival of the fittest

Production manager Dalene van Niekerk

Copy editor Samantha Orange



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SAFE HOME AWARD SOUTH AFRICA Val de Vie Estate by Val de Vie Estate

20 “The Cape Winelands are home to some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in South Africa. The air is pure



and the fertile land is vast, with a rich culture and some of the best educational institutions in the country. No wonder the region is one of the most soughtafter places to live in the world.” Ryk Neethling

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No place like home Fifteen years of international swimming offered me the opportunity to travel the world many times over, and while it might not have been as financially lucrative as other sports like tennis or golf, it did offer me some incredible experiences.


ecently I was fortunate enough to travel to Ireland, Canada and the United States - New York and Hawaii - and it just made me realise again that we are blessed to live in an incredible country, and valley. One

often travels looking for adventure, culture, beauty or knowledge but then upon return, your eyes open to

A man travels the world over

find it right on your own doorstep. Putting together this magazine has become a journey in discovering the incredible richness this valley has

in search of what he needs

to offer, and it never fails to deliver. This edition is no different; featuring the likes of third-generation Drakenstein farming icon Charles Back of Fairview and Spice Route, rugby legend and Wellington native

and returns home to find it.�

Schalk Burger and his comeback story, and South Africa’s most famous chef, Reuben Riffel from Franschhoek. We really have so much, and have such fascinating stories to tell; each contributing to the uniqueness of these

- George A. Moore


winelands. And while we face some big challenges, I take comfort in the quality of company we keep. Enjoy‌

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Ferrari FF V12 - 2012 White with black leather 20 Inch diamond finished rims Yellow Callipers 18 600 km’s R 3 199 000.00

Ferrari 458 Italia – 2011 Matt Black with black leather Full exterior and interior carbon fibre kit Suspension lift 7 300 km’s R 3 499 000

Ferrari 458 Spider – 2012 Scuderia red with red and beige leather LED carbon steering wheel and suspension lift, Daytona styled seats 8 020 km’s R 3 950 000.00

Ferrari California – 2010 Rosso Red with black leather Diamond cut rims with red calipers Red stitching 10 700 km’s R 1 999 000.00

Ferrari California 30 – 2013 Rosso Red with black leather Diamond cut rims with red calipers Comfort seats package 8 650 km’s R 2 699 000.00

Ferrari California 30 HP – 2012 Rosso red with black leather Diamond cut rims with red callipers Special Handling Package 15 000 km’s R 2 399 000.00

Ferrari California Turbo – 2015 Rosso red with black leather Red Callipers and stitching Prancing horse on headrests 3 200 km’s R 3 995 000.00

Ferrari 458 Italia – 2014 Rosso red with black leather Red Callipers and stitching Forged rims and suspension lift 3 249 km’s R 4 299 000.00

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Maharajas Express True to India’s imperial and decadent heritage, the 5-Star interiors of the Maharajas Express are designed to recreate the elegance and pageantry of the personal and royal carriages of erstwhile maharajas. Offering 5 fascinating journeys, crisscrossing some of the most vibrant destinations, significant attractions and offering a vista of breathtaking landscape, culture and heritage. Stepping on board this train will take you to the very depth of the soul of India in sheer opulence.

All aboard

It is the epitome of nostalgia; hearing that familiar and unmistakable whistle of an approaching train. Perhaps it’s the early childhood memory of thundering steam engines and the explosive energy that takes hold of your imagination at the prospect of adventure. Or maybe still, the trusting in its set course, a knowing that the churning of steel pistons driven by that powerful engine, will take you on a journey to some distant place while you, safe in its chambers, stare out over the vast landscapes rolling past. As a tribute to a bygone era, we’ve taken to discovering some of the worlds most epic train journeys worth buying a ticket for. Words provided


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Glacier Express Probably one of the most famous railways in the world, the Glacier Express with its glass dome windows, redefines “scenic route” as it travels along the awe-inspiring heights and valleys of the Swiss Alps. The cathedral-like towering of snow-covered mountains captivate every traveller’s heart and seem unscathed and timeless in their purity. This day trip takes you through untouched mountain landscapes, glamorous health resorts, deep gorges, delightful valleys, 91 tunnels and across 291 impressive bridges for the perfect winter adventure.

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Napa Valley Wine Train If ever there was the perfect way to experience the Napa winelands, it would be on-board the Napa Valley Wine Train. A top dining establishment housed in an antique train with two engines, three on-board kitchens, and a collection of early 20th century rail cars that echo that old American spirit of luxury rail travel in the early 1900s. Running along the old Californian railway built in 1864 by San Francisco’s first millionaire, Samuel Brannan, it offers guests gourmet dishes and fabulous, hard-to-find wines for which Napa is famous for. Included in this trip are special wine tours of the valley’s oldest wine estates, and of course, no one is worried about the driver.


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V - trophy list Blue Train Kings and presidents have graced this proudly South African locomotive, often referred to as the “window to the Soul of Africa.” You’ll feel it from the moment you step into your suite, that romantic elegance with every detail immaculately polished and a memoir to that old-world colonial style that takes you back to a time when diamonds and gold beckoned the wealthy to explore Africa. Guests indulge in exceptional cuisine, accompanied by the finest wines South Africa has to offer, with personal butlers at their beck-and-call. A true testament to our country’s warm hospitality and a spectacular way to see all South Africa has to offer.

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Transformation by grace “When you’re covered with love, grace and forgiveness, you transform a broken past into something beautiful. Legacy Collection symbolises that while scars remain, they remind us of how peace and reconciliation were achieved in South Africa and can occur across our world.”

– Charmaine Taylor


t is said that, like gold, one is purified by fire. Created from the original raw and rugged

perimeter fence of South Africa’s Robben Island prison, Legacy Collection jewellery bears the tactile scars of South Africa’s past, while reflecting the powerful dazzling spirit of those who overcame. Hand-crafted and encased in precious metal, every piece – from dazzling jewellery to iconic art, honours the freedom fighters housed in the notorious Cape Town jail that included Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu and many more during the country’s oppressive apartheid years.

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“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

– Nelson Mandela


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Every Legacy Collection creation is limited edition and comes with a unique serial number and a certificate of authenticity. val de vie

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Inspired by profound transformation, each Legacy Collection piece is a striking token of justice, equality, forgiveness and freedom.

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About the Artist South African Charmaine Taylor witnessed the cruelty of apartheid as a young girl and watched the transformation of her country, beginning with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990. Charmaine has always had a passion to promote the message of forgiveness that was exemplified by Nelson Mandela and, in 2012, her dream came true when she partnered with Chris Swift, the founder of RIACT (Robben Island Art Company & Trust). Chris had rescued the original Robben Island fence from the landfill it was destined for when the prison

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“To call the Legacy Collection pieces ‘jewellery’ seems not quite right, because they are so much more than that. They are a testament to the power of forgiveness, compassion, faith and love. I’m extremely touched that Legacy Collection would bestow me with items from such a powerful and emotionally rich collection. I will wear them with humility, pride and gratitude.”

was renovated in 2009. Since then, Chris has created impressive and commemorative sculptures across the country such as the “The Pen is Mightier than the Sword” erected in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. The installation was a recreation of Nelson Mandela’s prison cell, constructed to scale and filled with light. As custodians of the fence, RIACT shared Charmaine’s belief that the fence, through art, can become a positive part of South Africa’s legacy and so, in 2013, RIACT granted Charmaine permission to design artwork and have exclusive rights to create jewellery from the Robben Island fence. Each section of fence is carefully selected by Charmaine to be cut and bonded into a piece of jewellery or artwork. In it’s raw form, the fence shows a kind of bare modesty or raw emotion that one observes when listening to the sufferings of a man who has conquered pain, anger and fear. What is done is done and no one can erase the damage incurred by the years of injustice. But how comforting, how glorious it is to know that where light reigns, it has victory over darkness. These raw pieces, craftily cut and framed, have found their way

– Paula Abdul, singer, songwriter, TV personality

into the hands of several notable names and celebrities including Sean Penn, as a gift from the Western Province Government. For jewellery, the fence then goes through a bonding and sealing process before being encased in a precious metal (gold, silver or rose gold). During this process Charmaine is careful to preserve the unique ridges and grooves of the fence: the poignant scars of history lived and

BELOW Charmaine Taylor

lessons learnt.

A Beautiful Legacy Committed to the continued investment in South Africa’s development, 10% of profits from the Legacy Collection go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and also to Harvest of Hope, which contribute to the empowerment of disadvantaged individuals and communities in South Africa. Website Email: Telephone: +27 (0)21 531 3219 (South Africa) Twitter: @legacyctn Facebook: Instagram: Legacycollection


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A rare breed Ranked among the world’s top 100 players and the face of Ralph Lauren, Nacho Figueras is polo’s answer to David Beckham. Here, the sporting icon opens up to us about his love of horses, his charity work and his famous royal friend. Words by Jocelyn Warrington


ne of very few high-goal polo players who

work, most notably as ambassador for Sentebale, the

MAIN IMAGE Nacho Figueras with

actively draw spectators and media attention to

charity founded by Britain’s Prince Harry to help the

his wife, Delfina Blaquier, and

vulnerable children of Lesotho.

children. Image Credit: Lynda Churilla

the ‘Sport of Kings,’ Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Figueras is an icon in his native Argentina. He graces billboards

Born in Argentina in 1977, Figueras learnt to play

across the planet as the face of Ralph Lauren’s

the sport at the age of nine, and by the time he was 17,

BELOW The Sentebale Polo Cup was

Black Label line and was voted among the world’s

had begun his professional polo career. “I would visit

launched by Prince Harry and

most handsome men by Vanity Fair magazine. In

our family farm every weekend, where we would ride

Prince Seeiso in 2010, to celebrate

addition, he runs his own polo horse-breeding

horses and play polo with other kids that were my

polo and to draw attention to the plight

programme in Argentina and uses his status for charity

age,” he reminisces. “But what I loved most were the

of vulnerable children in Lesotho.

for Ralph Lauren

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horses. Today, I am passionate about breeding and

about working with him, is his commitment to always

that has given me an extra love for the sport. Plus I

raising the bar just a little bit higher,” he says. “He is

have a 15 year-old son, Hilario, who is playing polo

very passionate about helping children and is involved

already, and that is a lot of fun.”

every step of the way. And of course, he is also a great

Figueras, who lives in Buenos Aires with his wife,


polo player and a lot of fun on the field.”

Argentine model Delfina Blanquier, and their four

Indeed, Figueras is as passionate about raising the

children, has turned his passion for horses and breeding

world profile of polo as he is about his charity work

into a successful family horse stud, Cria Yatay. “I

and, as such, is strongly associated with the

have been collecting horses from all over the world

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in New York. When

for years, and these are now the foundation of the

talking about the biggest and most popular polo event

breeding programme,” he explains, adding that it is a

in US, he says, “I have now been doing the Classic for

sizable operation “with more than 500 horses and

14 years – eight in New York and six in Los Angeles

70 to 80 new babies every year. We also have a new

– and it is wonderful to see how people have responded

state-of-the-art barn in the General Rodríguez Partido

to it, with tickets selling out in minutes and a real

in Gran Buenos Aires, which is the epicentre of polo in

interest in the sport. I am very grateful to the push that

the world, where one can play and buy horses.

Veuve Clicquot has given to polo around the world;

Nacho Figueras on his visit to

“I never thought I could love horses so much,” he

Lesotho as ambassador for Sentebale.

enthuses. “Horse breeding is a very exciting venture

As for his association with Ralph Lauren, however,

TOP RIGHT Nacho and Prince Harry

and one never stops learning, making mistakes,

Figueras has a more personal relationship and points out

have played numerous games together

laughing or crying and, above all else, enjoying what

that he works not for the company, but for the man, “I

these incredible noble animals give us every day.”

deeply admire Ralph as someone who has had the vision

to support the cause of the charity.

When asked if he has any pet favourites, Figueras is quick to respond, “I am very proud of what I call

“Prince Harry is very passionate about helping children and is involved every step of the way. And of course, he is also a great polo player and a lot of fun on the field.” 22

it’s great to work with a company like that.”

to create an empire from scratch. He is an amazing person to talk to and I always enjoy our conversations.”

my ‘American Legends’ – the famous awarded horses

However polo and public image aside, Figueras is

from the last four ten-goal American polo players:

first and foremost a family man. “My family is

Tommy Wayman, Adam Snow, Owen Rinehart and

everything for me,” he explains. “Yes, polo and horses

Mike Azzaro.”

are a big part of our lives and we travel together a lot

He is also immensely proud of his role as ambassador for Sentebale. “I love spending time in

following my polo commitments around the world, but family always comes first.”

Lesotho. The kids are so appreciative of the work we

Will those travels see him gracing local polo fields

do. The fact that it is a relatively small country really

any time soon? “I have never played in South Africa

makes one believe that, with help, it’s possible to

and am very excited about doing so for the first time.

change the destiny of an entire nation.”

The country has had some great players in the past few

When it comes to his friendship with the charity

years, ones who’ve exhibited outstanding riding flair.

patron, Prince Harry, Figueras admits to admiring the

Plus, I have seen pictures of Val de Vie Estate and it

most the young royal’s dedication to his small charges

looks like an amazing place – I can’t wait to see it with

in the southern African country. “What I like the most

my own eyes.”

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Greener pastures It’s a refuge that is longed for from high-rise buildings, from the top of the corporate ladder and from the fast track: nature, its liberating spaces and its invigorating qualities. As life’s pace increases so too does the demand for smallholdings, say the property experts. Words by Kathryn Jubber


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“I enjoy the sense of space, peace, and quiet living on a property like this and I don’t believe that there is a comparable property or lifestyle available elsewhere in South Africa - perhaps only in very few parts of the world” - Gordon Frazer





sense of the different seasons and each one offers its

Pam Golding Property Consultant, Doug Gurr,


own charms. The splendour of spring through to the

from the Winelands International Division, confirms

drama of winter portrays the farm in a different way

that buyers are looking to invest in land that provides

each time,” he says. “There is a certain sense of pride

sufficient space to provide a sense of farm-life,

in being able to watch something grow and mature

without the requirement of extensive management or

through the year and then seeing it turned into a


great product, whether that is wine or olive oil.”








farming. “I recently sold a property, inclusive of a

Frazer had worked in the IT industry, held

home and manicured gardens, under five hectares for

various executive positions with multinationals, and

just over R28 million and another between 15 and

had spent eight years working in the UK and China;

20 hectares for R30 million,” says Gurr. “The small

but on a holiday to the Cape 18 months ago, he and

difference in price goes to show the high demand for

his family very quickly realised that this region was

boutique properties.”

where they wanted to be, and its lifestyle was one

What it boils down to is access to the simplest of

that they wanted to adopt. They fell in love with the

life’s pleasures and the ability to experience that

small town atmosphere of Franschhoek, and the fact

which nature offers which in turn brings immense

that, despite its country-feel, it is closely located

satisfaction. Businessman Gordon Frazer, now the

to Cape Town.

owner of a Franschhoek farm near to the Huguenot

“I enjoy the sense of space, peace, and quiet

Monument, agrees. “Being able to see how my farm

living on a property like this and I don’t believe that

changes over the course of the year, I really get a

there is a comparable property or lifestyle available

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elsewhere in South Africa - perhaps only in very few

homes and lifestyle amenities, such as polo fields,

ABOVE 13 Incredible Gentleman’s

parts of the world,” he says. “Having an interest in

equestrian facilities, swimming pools and tennis

Estates ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 hectares

wine and winemaking makes the Cape Winelands a

courts,” says Neethling. Palm Beach Polo Golf and

for those who yearn for the open space

perfect place to live, and owning your own vineyard

Country Club stretches out over approximately

and want to live closer to nature. Here

is an opportunity that is unique to this part of

890 hectares of land in the heart of the equestrian

you can plant your favourite grape

the country.”

capital of America - Wellington, Florida - where the

varietals, fruit orchard or vegetable

concept of smallholding-type equestrian estates

garden all organically grown to

is flourishing.

your desire.

Based on a thorough understanding of the widespread search for this particular lifestyle, the property market, and latest trends, Ryk Neethling,

“Although we draw inspiration from certain

Marketing Director at Val de Vie Estate, pours the

elements of polo estates across the globe, I can

same passion that enabled his success as an Olympic

honestly say that Val de Vie’s homes and facilities

swimmer into property development. He has put an

are already on par with international standards, and

extensive amount of research into this field and,

with the added, unique benefit of excellent security.



Now, we’re pleased to be leading the way locally

witnessed first-hand the success of lifestyle-focused

with the introduction of smallholding developments

property offerings incorporated within luxury

at Val de Vie.”





estates, in far corners of the world. “I loved what I saw at Palm Beach Polo Golf and

Located in the Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, Val de Vie recently






Country Club in the US, an estate that has, like

17 smallholdings, ranging from 1 to 5 hectares – the

Val de Vie, perfected the combination of luxury

Gentleman’s Estates and River Reserves. The fact that val de vie

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ABOVE Beautiful manors in

there are a limited number of these smallholdings

Similarly, the four River Reserves provide a

West Palm Beach, Wellington,

means that they have the potential for sound

unique home environment where indigenous buck,

Florida, and Long Island like this

investment returns as capital values increase, and will

such as the grysbok and steenbok, will be free to

Villa Maria, are a retreat of solitude

contribute to a boost in the value of other properties

roam the properties, amidst rehabilitated fynbos and

and beauty with breathtaking views

in the estate, according to Dr Andrew Golding,

natural vegetation. Furthermore, creating something

of Mecox Bay. The plot is about

Chief Executive of the Pam Golding Property Group.

of a true African experience on one’s doorstep, buyers

3 hectares in size.

This concept is not entirely new to the

are able to keep select game species on their property

winelands, though it will be the first and only one

in conjunction with Cape Nature – “an idyllic lifestyle

to be successfully developed on this scale, with

on one of South Africa’s most successful estates,”

more than 7 estates already sold within the first

adds Dr Golding, which can be enjoyed “without

weeks of it’s launch. In 2006, the iconic

any security concerns.”

Boschendal Estate went to market with a similar

In fact, fifteen kilometres of high security fencing

product but was never able to get it off the ground

that encapsulates the estate, thermal cameras that

during the tumultuous credit crunch in 2008.

cover the entire perimeter, and other top-class security

Falling within what is already a successful

features, successfully contributed to Val de Vie earning

farming area, the 13 Gentleman’s Estates allow

the title of “Home to the Safest House in Africa” at

one the opportunity to cultivate vineyards, olive

the most recent International Property Awards.

groves, organic vegetables and the like, or to keep

Indeed, the estate takes every precaution to create an

horses or certain breeds of livestock. “Back in the

environment where residents’ minds are at ease, where

1600s and 1700s, fresh fruit and vegetables were

their focus can be kept on making the most of their

cultivated and traded with passing ships, and now

home environments and the natural splendour that

today’s residents at Val de Vie can reap the rewards

surrounds their properties. Quite simply, Val de Vie


ensures that in every way possible, the “Valley of Life”


Dr Golding. 28






is experienced as nothing less than a wonderful refuge.

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Goats do roam

Three of the most crucial components in the art of winemaking are a sense of timing, a sense of taste, and a sense of humour. Charles Back possesses a fine balance of all three. The phenomenal history of the Fairview and Spice Route farms, and their dynamic proprietor, is a compelling tale. Words by Tshepang Molisana


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“I am a farmer first. A Sense of Timing I am always looking to add value to agricultural products. My grandfather was a flour miller. I make milk, cheese, and chocolates as an extension of my business. Today, Cape Brewing Company is the leading craft brewery in the country.”

Imbued with the Back entrepreneurial spirit and

Charles Back II was born in Paarl, on the Fairview

encouraged by his brother Sydney, Cyril went solo in

estate, which his family has owned since 1937. His

1974. Bottling his own wine for the first time – 500

grandfather, Charles Back I, purchased the property

cases each of Cabernet, Shiraz and Pinotage – he

from the Hugo family in 1937 for a reported £6 500.

initiated the Cape’s first public wine auction as a vehicle

Charles Back II describes his upbringing in Paarl as

to market the fledgling Fairview wines. Charles Back II

“interesting.” Today, Spice Route is the fourth largest

proudly shares that the top price at that auction for a

tourist destination in the Western Cape. However, he

bottle of wine at that initial auction was R3 a bottle.

describes how as a boy, Paarl was nothing like “the

Sydney Back became one of the Cape’s first wine

bustling metropolis that it is today, with the advent of

farmers to sell wine to the public in 1970 under his

elite developments like the Val de Vie Estate and the

own Backsberg ‘estate’ label and later bequeathed

Pearl Valley Golf Estate.”

the Backsberg farm to his son, Michael.

Charles Back II believes that any of his success was inspired by his father and grandfather’s “hard

A Sense of Taste

work, integrity and humility.”

Charles Back II completed his oenological training at

His grandfather, Charles Back I arrived in the Cape as

Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch, and

an immigrant from Lithuania in 1902 and opened a

started farming with his father in 1978. Upon his

butchery and a fresh farm produce shop in Paarl. The

father’s passing in 1995, he took over full proprietorship

young Back developed an interest in viticulture and

of Fairview.

purchased a piece of David Louw’s land called

The only thing he ever wanted to do proved to be a

Klein Babylonstoren on the Paarl-facing slopes of the

successful model for enterprising farming and

Simonsberg mountain range.

groundbreaking marketing in the South African wine

In 1926, the self-taught winemaker established a

industry. But Charles Back, the winner of the prestigious

booming wine export business. Eleven years later, he

2014 IWSC Lifetime Achievement Award imparts,

looked down the valley towards the round granite

“We are always a work in progress and I am always

outcrops on Paarl Mountain, and established the

looking for ways to improve.”

Fairview farm under his patronage.

In an industry with over 900 farms, both Fairview

Upon his passing in 1955, he bequeathed a wine

and Spice Route have been established as well-recognised

farm to each of his two sons. Klein Babylonstoren, to

brands, known for producing quality wines and uniquely

Sydney, who re-established it under the name Backsberg,

memorable tourist experiences. He has endeavoured to

and Fairview was Cyril’s inheritance. The Back brothers

empower all those who participate in the brand in cheese,

were also heirs of their father’s industrious nature and

chocolate, craft beer and winemaking.

passion for wine.

Back feels that, “I am a farmer first, always looking to

Cyril went on to supply wine to the KWV, which

add value to agricultural products. My grandfather was a

was, at that time, the Cape’s largest wine co-operative

flour miller. I make milk, cheese, and chocolates as an

with statutory control over the local wine industry.

extension of my business. Today, Cape Brewing Company is the leading craft brewery in the country.” Charles Back’s lateral approach to business has helped him to establish the industry-leading CBC brewery, which produces the ubiquitous Jack Black beers by harnessing the by-products of barley. It is this spirit that has helped to establish an equity-sharing scheme






disadvantaged labour at Fairview. “Building a business is only made possible by building on the back of the proficiency of what you’re doing,” Back suggests. Through this value system of meritocracy, he has helped to harness the talent of a designer to co-found Jane Says, a design business. He has also worked with the founder of Hatch, a digital 32

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VV-- wine media agency in Stellenbosch, and has recently helped their family’s domestic worker to establish a budding laundry business. The innovative businessman shares that he has always wanted Fairview to grow its own grapes. In the low-lying foothills of the Helderberg Mountain in Stellenbosch, he has primarily planted Bordeaux-style red varieties. Back suggests that “in a way, the recession has sanitised the wine business. People are going for safety first.” The viticulturist has been partial to Rhône blends because “Rhône grapes, as a collection of varieties, are more suited to South African regions more broadly than the Bordeaux varieties.” In South Africa, many still look at Bordeaux as the pinnacle of wine quality, which has created a public perception problem. He feels that there may be a return to well-made Bordeaux classics. “So I’m hedging my bets.” In hedging his bets, the enterprising proprietor established the multi-award winning Spice Route brand. Its famous Chakalaka wine is shared among friends as “a little bit of everything, like a salad.” Spice Route was initially conceived as a partnership between Back, with Gyles Webb of Thelema, John Platter, and Jabulani Ntshangase. Eben Sadie was the first winemaker from 1998 to 2001. Spice Route is now fully owned by Back, and the current winemaker is Charl du Plessis. Through proprietorship of vineyards in Stellenbosch, Darling and the Swartland, Charles Back, the founder of the Swartland Revolution, has access to a wide range of climates and soils from which to forge his wines. According to Back, “the Swartland is a region for extreme winemaking – it is harsh and unforgiving, but ultimately rewarding.”

A Sense of Humour In 1981 Charles Back built the trademark goat’s tower that has become Fairview’s symbol, and in time has to lead to the colourful ‘Goats do Roam’ name. The French attempted to block the registration of the Goats Do Roam label, a playful play on the term ‘Côtes du Rhône.’ In response, Back only responded with more humour, organising a ‘protest march’ with his workers to the French Consulate in Cape Town to deliver a magnum of Goats Do Roam. “The gentleman there received it very graciously,” he smilingly told Entrepreneur Magazine adding that the ‘protest’ was featured on CNN. “It gave us great exposure.” val de vie

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V - sport


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V - sport

Survival of the fittest Little more than 30 years ago, mountain biking was the preserve of small groups of longhaired, bearded Americans in cut-off jeans, t-shirts and running shoes. They retrofitted the “cruiser” bikes of the time with fat tires, drum brakes, and gears then headed off on to the dirt roads of California and Colorado. Words by Chris Whitfield Photographs by Gary Perkin


few years and several crashes later, the first mass-produced



Mike Finch, the editor of Bicycling magazine and


an enthusiastic mountain biker himself, has been

beginning to come off the production line at

both a witness to and a participant in this

companies, which had previously specialised in

phenomenon. To what does he attribute the

road bikes. Soon after the turn of the century the

popularity of mountain biking?

sport exploded, snowballing in popularity and spreading across the world.

“A new wave of ‘well-thy’ awareness. Men and women are becoming far more health conscious,

Today, mountain biking is recognised as an

and mountain biking is a great way to get fit

Olympic sport and has world championships in

without too much impact (on the body),” says

several disciplines. The most popular of these being

Finch. “Added to that is the pure adventure of a

cross country, marathon and downhill racing; and

mountain bike. The Western Cape in particular is a

South Africa, led by the Western Cape, has become

playground for mountain bikers, whether you’re an

one of the world’s mountain biking hubs.

expert or a beginner. There are so many places to

Besides a host of other events, the province is the venue for the eight-day Absa Cape Epic, now the

ride, improve your skills and enjoy taking in some of the best scenery in the world.”

world’s foremost mountain bike stage race and

The sport has grown a long, long way from

which has proven to be a catalyst for the sport in

the “clunker” bikes that were produced in the

this country. In 2004, when young entrepreneur

United States during its infancy. Top-end mountain

Kevin Vermaak launched the Cape Epic, mountain

bikes can retail for close to R100 000 and the

biking in the country was restricted to a few

technological advances take place at breakneck speed.

“festival” events. Today Vermaak can look back on

Disc brakes, front-and-back suspension, carbon fibre

12 Cape Epics and a success story that has

frames and retractable seat posts are all commonplace

encouraged the mind-boggling proliferation of

on modern bikes. Those used by professionals in

stage races in the country. There are now more than

competition routinely weigh in at less than 10kg.

50 events of two days or more in South Africa. This

The range of mountain bikes has grown too,

year in March, riders from 50 countries travelled to

with cross country, trail, enduro, downhill, and

the Western Cape to take part in the Cape Epic.

fatbike varieties among those on offer. Then there

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V - sport in the vicinity

“The Western Cape in particular is a playground for mountain bikers, whether you’re an expert or a beginner. There are so many places to ride, improve your skills, and enjoy taking in some of the best scenery in the world.”

are heart rate monitors, power meters and GPS

biking, and the vast audience that it appeals to,

systems to help with training and in competition.

has not had a big impact on bike prices. You can

Not to mention the clothes, from lycra shorts

buy a decent bike for under R5 000 nowadays and,

through to the now fashionable baggies, and a

although it won’t be the lightest around, it will still

variety of helmets, protective glasses, riding shoes

be very capable. Considering that a pair of running

and gloves.

shoes can cost up to R2 500 and will last half a year,

The sport has also attracted a different variety of

it makes sense that buying a bicycle that can last three

athlete. The bearded, laid-back types are outnumbered

to five years is not that much more expensive. If you

by executives, both young and old, with mountain

buy second-hand and look for deals, mountain biking

bikes on the back of their 4x4s instead of golf bags in

is far more accessible than many people think.”

the boot. But is mountain biking really, as is often claimed,

also helped make the sport accessible to a range of

the new golf? Finch seems to think so, “The proof

athletes, from the youngster swooping down a steep

is there. A major golf retailer recently bought a

trail for fun to others trying their hand at the longer

big cycling retail business as the numbers in

marathon races. There is barely a part of the

golf were flagging while cycling, and mountain

Western Cape where trail builders have not cut

biking in particular, is flourishing. For MAMILS

singletrack into mountainsides and through forests.

(Middle Aged Men In Lycra) it’s the perfect sport:

Excellent riding and kilometre after kilometre of

it’s healthy, fun and it doesn’t take up the whole day.

trails can be found in Cape Town, Somerset West,

So yes, mountain biking is the new golf and there’s a

Grabouw, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Wellington,

lot of people who are far healthier because of it.”

Durbanville, Paarl, and more.

He adds, “Successful business people are often

Beyond our borders, just about every country in

successful in lots of other areas of their lives, and

the world now has a well-developed mountain biking

mountain biking is the perfect challenge for an

culture and infrastructure. In 2016, for example,

A-type personality. Top of the range mountain bikes

riders from as far afield as the tiny Caribbean island

are not cheap and there is a lot of status in owning a

state of Curaçao, the Philippines, Afghanistan,

super-lightweight, dual-suspension 29er. Cars used

Andorra, Iceland, Venezuela, Angola, and Zambia

to be the show-off purchases, now it’s the bikes that

will take part in the Absa Cape Epic.

sit on the back of them that often define success.”


The proliferation of trails around the country has

Which is all a very long way from what the

This, of course, has not come about without some

pioneers, now greying and presumably not quite as

criticism. Old hands complain that mountain biking

reckless, must have had in mind when they were

has become a rich person’s sport, but Finch disagrees.

tinkering with their bikes and planning a few hours

“The irony is that with the growth of mountain

of fun on the mountain.

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V - lifestyle

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de vie 93 Vodacom Shop Paarl Mall, Shop 13 and 14, Paarl Mall, Tel: 021 863 4247/8, Fax: 021val863 4249

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2015/07/21 10:51 AM

V - sportsman

Fighter to the core Schalk Burger wonders occasionally about getting soft, a rare thought for a man who once felt himself invincible. He’s found himself with his wife recently, watching television and suddenly he choked up. “I’ve definitely become more emotional and sentimental as I’ve grown older,” he says with a good-natured laugh. Words by Luke Alfred

ABOVE Schalk receiving the Laureus ‘Comeback of the Year’ Award from Morne du Plessis at a gala dinner in Shanghai earlier this year.



urger, lest we forget, suffered a horrible series of

was touch and go. “You fight it second by second,”

setbacks a couple of years ago. He found that

he says. “In the beginning my fighting spirit was

his calf was stiff and sore in training, and no one was

driven by anger and confusion, because I didn’t know

sure what was wrong until the problem was traced to

how this was allowed to happen to me and why I

a cyst in his back. The cyst was eventually removed

was in hospital. Then it was just a case of getting

OPPOSITE PAGE Very few people

but in the meantime Burger got gravely ill,

back to my old self and slowly starting to get

thought he would wear the green

contracting bacterial meningitis while in hospital.

strong and fit again. I remember my comeback

and gold again after his near fatal

Two back operations and many dark hours later, he

Currie Cup game against the Cheetahs. I lay awake

condition and career threatening

recovered, but not before he and his family had

all night wondering if I was doing the right thing. I

injuries. (© Thys Lombard)

endured a window of four or five days in which it

don’t think I closed my eyes.”

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V - sportsman Burger’s courageous return resulted in the

at Alistair Coetzee, his coach, he sees a man bowed

2015 Laureus ‘Comeback of the Year’ Award at a

by immense pressure. It is not that conducive a

gala dinner in Shanghai recently, recognition for

lifestyle for a man with a young marriage and young

his refusal to bow before what to others might

children, so although he’s tempted to continue to

have seemed inevitable. He says that as a

circle in rugby’s orbit, he is not too sure that it has

long-time professional rugby player it is easy to

a long-term future for him.

get into a mental space where you believe you are

He adds that he will, in all probability, spend

bulletproof. You take on bigger and bigger

more time on the family wine farm near Wellington,

challenges, make braver and braver tackles, and

joining his father and brother Tiaan to further

it’s lost on you that despite your strength and size

build the ‘Schalk Burger and Sons’ brand. All in all,

your comeuppance might arrive from a place you

then, the future seems nicely mapped out in a

hadn’t envisaged. “I think what’s really different

general way. These are opportunities rather than

now is that rugby used to dominate my life,” he

certainties, which you sense suits Burger quite

explains. “Now when the whistle goes, whether

nicely, particularly because he was one of those

it’s on the training pitch or in a match, that’s it. I

kids who was almost groomed to be a Springbok,

give my all while I’m doing it, but I’ve learnt that

with big footsteps to follow in. Growing up with a

you can leave it behind. My perception has

kind of humility and respect that was cultivated in

definitely changed.”

the winelands, his world view suffered as a result,

Despite some disappointing losses, he believes

becoming progressively narrower with every

that this is a year in which much has been achieved


by the Stormers – and it’s clarified a couple of things

life-threatening injury was that it has literally

for him as well. He says he’d like to stay in the

opened his eyes, allowing him to see and experience

game, although the caveat to that is when he looks

something different. His perspective is becoming







“I think what’s really different now is that rugby used to dominate my life,” he explains. “Now when the whistle goes, whether it’s on the training pitch or in a match, that’s it. I give my all while I’m doing it, but I’ve learnt that you can leave it behind. My perception has definitely changed.”

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V - sportsman

“Coming back [from the injury] wasn’t easy because you wonder if you can do it and then you just take pleasure in feeling normal, in doing normal things, leaving the period in which I wasn’t feeling nice behind. After that, when you realise things are going to be okay, you get a bit greedy. You think: ‘Yes, I can play another game for the Springboks and I can pull on the Stormers jersey again.’ But my perspective has definitely changed. It’s not

progressively wider and with it comes a hunger to

the injuries and the illness. It was a really special

the be all and end

taste and explore more than just the hand-to-hand

moment and achievement for me. I was glad I

all of things.”

combat, which is the breakdown.

got it.”

“Coming back [from the injury] wasn’t easy

The Burger we see now is not the human wrecking

because you wonder if you can do it and then you

ball who once scythed across a rugby field, bringing

just take pleasure in feeling normal, in doing

opponents down with little regard for his welfare.

normal things, leaving the period in which I wasn’t

The old fires are still there, to be sure, you can see it

feeling nice behind. After that, when you realise

in his body language when he feels aggrieved or

things are going to be okay, you get a bit greedy.

humiliated or plain angry. However he has a calmer

You think: ‘Yes, I can play another game for the

core. He shakes opponents’ hands afterwards and

Springboks and I can pull on the Stormers jersey

generally plays the older statesman role with aplomb.

again.’ But my perspective has definitely changed.

Rugby isn’t an easy game to play while retaining your

It’s not the be all and end all of things.”

dignity, but you rather feel Burger has coped better than most. It helps, of course, that he’s achieved so

Burger. He still thinks of himself as a humble boy

much. There are few boxes left to tick, and precious

from the winelands, so to rub shoulders with the

few regrets for a man who has won a World Cup and

giants and amazons of sporting world was a rare

did exactly the same under Jake White as a junior.

ABOVE Schalk Burger played

thrill. “It’s an amazing event – I was chuffed to get

His struggles and hard work towards his

his landmark 100 Vodacom

the ‘Comeback of the Year’ Award,” he says.

achievements has humbled him in a way that only

Super Rugby game for the

“There I was, this little rugby player from

one who has walked through fire would know, and

DHL Stormers in March 2015.

Cape Town, in front of all these stars, getting the

made him a fighter to the core. Schalk Burger will

(© Thys Lombard)

award. It was recognition for all the hard work,

always be a man to follow and admire.



The Laureus Award was a special moment for

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V - lifestyle

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2015/07/21 10:54 AM

V- -travel V travel


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VV-- travel

Lover of the lights For eons, the phenomenon and architecture of light has fascinated and bewildered man. We find ourselves in awe, staring at ethereal changing hues of the sun’s greeting every morning and evening, at the reflections of liquid skies, the unimaginable distance of stars and the dancing lights of the arctic domes. It is no wonder that people across the globe travel to the most outer reaches to witness the cosmic “light shows� that is known as the aurora. Words provided

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V- -travel V investment travel in the vicinity

The Lapps, or the Saami, a people who are a close relative ‘race’ of the Finns, call these lights the “Selamiut” or “Sky Dwellers” and traditionally believed that


hese northern lights are predominantly and

The Lapps, or the Saami, a people who are a close

most clearly seen in what is known as Lapland,

relative ‘race’ of the Finns, call these lights the

which is in the high latitude regions north of the

“Selamiut” or “Sky Dwellers” and traditionally

Arctic Circle, such as Northern Finland, Sweden,

believed that the lights were the energies of the souls

and Norway. The main reason for this occurrence is

of the departed. When the fires blazed in the skies,

because of the shape of the atmosphere, which

their people would solemnly and in reverence become

resembles that of an apple. Picture taking a balloon

silent in respect to the spirits. In Finnish, the name for

and with one finger at both ends and pushed in

the aurora borealis is “Revontulet,” which literally

towards the centre. The two “funnels” created at the

translated means “Fox Fires.” The name comes from

poles of the earth, cause cosmic rays and solar winds

an ancient Finnish myth of a magical fox sweeping his

to “fall in” and scatter across the curved atmospheric

tail across the snow and spraying it up into the sky.

belt known as the aurora zone in a waterfall-like display of colour.

Whether you’re dreaming of experiencing the midnight sun or the magical northern lights, arriving

the lights were the energies of the souls of the departed.


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VV-- travel at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is like stepping through the closet to discover Narnia. Located in Finnish






accommodation and a wide range of activities that will make you feel like a child on a magical adventure. Saariselkä in northern Finland is one of the best regions to observe the northern lights as the season is a full eight months long. With the first displays visible from August, the season continues throughout the winter until the end of April. Imagine laying under a glass ceiling, with nothing that veils your view of the boundless sky above the snow-covered trees. Here, from within the world-famous and unique glass igloos, guests can stay and watch the northern lights from the cosy comfort of their own beds, through their personal igloo’s domed glass roof. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is surrounded by the beautiful arctic wilderness, almost 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Yet it’s easy to get to – this family hotel can be reached in just half an hour from the nearest airport, and it has been receiving adventurous visitors from all over the world for over 40 years. Now the hotel is building a new kind of accommodation that combines a traditional Finnish log cabin with their impressive signature glass igloos. These “kelo-glass” igloos – kelo is a special type of pinewood found only in Lapland – also feature a private sauna and fireplace, where guests can relax and enjoy the winter’s night. But the beautiful, snowy winter shouldn’t be wasted by staying indoors. The resort offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for its visitors, with plenty to tempt you outside to enjoy the surrounding wilderness. For those who enjoy high speeds,

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V- -travel V travel

Imagine laying under a glass ceiling, with nothing that veils your view of the boundless sky above the snow-covered trees. Here, from within the world-famous and unique glass igloos, guests can stay and watch the northern lights from the cosy comfort of their own beds, through their personal igloo’s domed glass roof.


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VV-- travel

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V- -travel V travel

motorised snowmobiles offer the fastest and most adrenaline-pumping way to see the wilds of Lapland. Those who enjoy a slower pace and want to revel in the snowy silence will love a sledge ride, pulled by kind-natured huskies or reindeer. Of course there are many options for sporty visitors too, such as downhill or cross-country skiing and snowboarding. There is something truly unique in ice-fishing too – it’s definitely something to try and enjoy the catch of the day over a crackling fire. There are two different and equally delicious restaurants offering à la carte menus. The main restaurant, Kelo, is situated in a beautiful and atmospheric log building. The recently opened Aurora restaurant features interesting art works and a glass igloo bar. Both of these high-quality restaurants offer a variety of traditional Finnish delicacies along with a tasty range of flavoursome Asian food. No matter how you perceive the universe, be it of creation or science, it cannot be denied that the beauty of these lights is something magical and almost spiritual. It’s definitely bucket-list worthy and a reason to opt for a winter holiday. Another marvellous miracle, which will find you on your back and in silent awe of the sky. 48

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V - lifestyle

val de vie

93 LIFESTYLE VAL DE ad template.indd 93 VIE 230X297.indd 1

2015/07/07 10:55 4:53 PM 2015/07/21 AM

V - fashion

Lola dress by Coppelia, Mungo & Jemima Woollen poncho by Burberry Faux fur jacket by Forever New Boots by Call It Spring Cuffs by Márà Collection Earrings by Waif, Mungo & Jemima 50

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V - fashion

Wildling We travel upriver, amidst the mystical mountains of Franschhoek, where the waters of the Berg River lay in a quiet embrace. Inspired by nature’s raw and untamed beauty, we layer different textures to contrast and reflect - like water on rock.

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2015/07/22 9:21 AM

V - fashion Blue dress by Lo Faux fur waistcoat by Forever New Boots by Nine West Shawl coat by Coppelia, Mungo & Jemima


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V - fashion Flare-shoulder dress by A-list Pendant by Waif, Mungo & Jemima Cuffs by Márà Collection Faux fur - stylist’s own

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2015/07/22 9:22 AM

V - fashion Dress by Non-European Navy coat by Lo Earrings by Waif, Mungo & Jemima


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2015/07/22 9:23 AM

V - fashion

Dress by MarethColleen Coat by Style Republic, Spree Leather boots by Call It Spring Faux fur snood by Non-European Pendant by Waif, Mungo & Jemima

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V - fashion

There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more. Lord Byron

Dress by MarethColleen Camel Cape by MarethColleen Earrings by Waif, Mungo & Jemima 56

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V - fashion

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2015/07/22 9:25 AM

V - fashion Photography Kope | Figgins Hair and Makeup Laura Kingma Styling and Art Direction Janette Griesel Model Natalie Krug Hawk Buddy from Eagle Encounters

Hooded jacket by Non-European Faux fur waistcoat by Casual Dress by C(inch), Spree 58

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V - lifestyle

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val de vie


2015/07/02 2015/07/21 12:18 11:37 PM AM

V - inspiration

Timeless beauty Everything was about to change and she would be part of it. It was a time of transition for South Africa, and Amy Kleinhans-Curd would see it happen from centre stage, all eyes on her, as the first women of colour to be crowned Miss South Africa. A symbolic moment, one that called for recognition and demanded change. Twenty-three years later, Amy is still beautiful, inside and out, and as determined as ever to inspire the youth of South Africa. Words by Samantha Page


t is a cool, crisp morning in Franschhoek and the

myself a cup of tea, light a candle and sit on

sun is just starting to light the picturesque valley as

this porch and meditate. It really cleans out

I drive up the road leading to Amy Kleinhans-Curd’s

BELOW Dial-A-Teacher is an educational helpline that was founded

the cobwebs.”

residence. Since December 2012, the vivacious

Born in Cape Town, Amy moved to Johannesburg

Miss SA 1992 and her husband, Leighton, and

when she became Miss SA and she insists that she

children, Phillipa (17), Thomas (15) and Georgia (8),

never really left. “All my adult friends were made

have called this magnificent stud farm their home.

there, so I’m always a bit torn. I love Johannesburg’s

by Amy in 2000. She is also a patron

There is a welcoming air about the home, from

energy and passion, but this is the perfect place for

of the Sunshine Centre Association,

the light fragrance of the rose bushes that line the

my family. We’re busy – the children with their

which is a non-profit organisation that

path, to the expansive porch, which Amy says has

school activities and Leighton and I with our

supports children with intellectual,

seen many a summer dinner party, and the contented

respective businesses and corporate responsibilities

developmental and physical

purr of the cat, Albatross, who comes to listen in to

– but this is where we pause.”

disabilities, their families

our conversation. “I never tire of this view,” says

It’s hard to believe it’s been 23 years since Amy

and communities.

Amy. “Some mornings, I get up very early, make

was crowned Miss SA. “At the time there was a huge shift in energy in the country. Nelson Mandela had been released in 1990, we were emerging as a “rainbow nation” with a global vision, and I fully embraced the opportunity to inspire, mentor and be a role model to the youth of South Africa,” Amy explains as she reminisces about the unbelievable experiences she had as Miss SA. “I remember being called by the British ambassador to attend a rugby match at Twickenham, which symbolised






international rugby arena, sitting at a dinner next to Margaret Thatcher, and having my brain picked by the Prime Minister about the real issues our country was facing as we worked towards democracy. Pik Botha, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, even asked me to speak to Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Commerce about the importance of South Africa being able to land in Cairo,” she says animatedly. 60

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V - inspiration But is there a future for beauty pageants, I ask her, as she silences her mobile phone and puts it where it can’t disturb us. “I believe that there is a great lack of great leaders in the world to inspire the youth and while there is that need, there will always be a place for beauty pageants. What I look at when it comes to pageants is how it serves a community, how it serves the country and how our Miss SA can represent our country as a globally relevant woman, which







Rolene Strauss, does so well. The moment I met her, I knew she was going to set a new bar for Miss SA going forward.” Amy’s poised, feminine exterior easily belies her inner steal as a savvy businesswoman, but it is immediately clear when she talks about Dial-A-Teacher – an educational helpline to learners, teachers and parents, which she established more than two decades ago – that she’s not only passionate






to business. “My initial idea was that every single child in SA should at least have someone they could call to assist them with their education. Not just children at private schools, all children. Today, despite many challenges along the way, our financial model has worked, we’ve paid off all of our debt and we were able to add a social responsibility component, whereby








LEAP schools get the Dial-A-Teacher service free. Nelson Mandela was right when he told me many years ago that the one with the most certainty wins, and because I was so certain this initiative would succeed, it did.” As we chat about Madiba, Amy looks pensive and then starts to smile. “He taught me so many things and I would go to him for guidance and counsel. His words gave me confidence. I credit him and my husband Leighton with helping me to be comfortable with who I am today. They loved, and love, me in my bigness, when I’m taking on many different projects and embracing lots of things at the same time.” Perhaps that’s what it really feels like to be a queen, I suggest, and Amy concurs but she adds that every young woman can tap into that beauty. “Nobody can take away the power of your choice,” she says as we wrap up our conversation. “You co-create your future and if you believe that, the universe will always conspire in your favour.” 62

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V - lifestyle

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2015/07/21 11:38 AM

V - investments


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Sculpting investments South Africans are buying and supporting local art like never before. Being informed of art trends and the value of art is key to investing in rare and exclusive pieces. With South African Masters fetching high prices at auction as well as in private sales, there is a growing need among investors to diversify their portfolio and to obtain quality investment art at good prices. Words by Lisa Wallace

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aluation is always a challenge, especially when

Wim Botha’s sculptures sold for R966 280,

many artists see the buying of their art as a

while this year Ernest Mancoba sold for R613 872,

commodity, contradictory to the reason for its

Deborah Margaret Bell for R886 704, and

creation in the first place.

Dylan Lewis for a staggering R1 250 480.

Art in its purest form is created to invoke an

From an investment point of view, the question

emotion, to move the viewer. Especially with

is whether to buy work by an established artist or a

surrealistic or abstract art, it is a coming together of

young upcoming artist. Although buying a piece

perceptions on an object or visual that cannot

signed by one of the greats has less risk, the price

BELOW Deborah Margaret Bell,

completely be defined, as it is not bound by the

could be incredibly high and insurance costs just

Sentinel III sold for R886 704 at

parameters of logic. What the artist has created is,

as much.

Strauss & Co Auction earlier this year.

without getting too romantic, an expression of

more accessible, has greater risk but also

forms a kind of wordless conversation between

greater potential regarding growth in

himself, the artwork and the artist himself - a

value. To prove there is value in buying

revealing and boundless connection.

when an artist is young, as in the case

It is only natural that putting a price on such an

of Jane Alexander, the rewards could

experience is, if anything, a challenge and slightly

be enormous. “I believe it was

uncomfortable. It is why, therefore, that art auctions

bought off her Masters’ show by an

are so fascinating in that it enables the price to be

undergraduate Wits student, who

determined by the buyer’s perception and value of

used her pocket money to pay it

the artwork. It is then even more interesting to see

off,” says Strauss senior painting

the prices that some artists are able to fetch at

specialist, Phillippa Duncan, of the

these auctions.

work Untitled which was recently



Investing in a younger upcoming artist, though

him- or herself. What the viewer sees it to be as





sold for R5 456 640.

Strauss & Co Fine Art Auctioneers had already

There are a number of factors

turned over R105 million by June this year, and in

to consider when investing in art.

the troubled financial climate that prevails managed

Is the artist doing well in the

it with an 80% sell-through rate. Last year one of

current market? What subject

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matter is the artist best known for? How is the

wilderness is within each of us. From his initial



focus on cats – lion, leopard, cheetah – to his more

importantly, ‘Do I like this art?’ It is an investment

recent shift to human form, his powerful and even

that, to an extent, runs parallel with a lifestyle

disturbing work mirrors that which is rich and raw

investment that is valued for its significance, its

and untamed in us.





beauty and its honesty. Trends are cyclical, and as of late sculpture is predominantly where people are investing. The broad tendency of open plan design in contemporary home architecture and, with floor to ceiling windows, wall space in the home is diminishing. More owners are now opting for three-dimensional minimalist and monochromatic works as opposed

“In my sculptures, the contours of flesh and bone are also a reflection of the ridged crevices and rock overhangs of wild, remote landscapes.” – Lewis

to easel painting and two-dimensional work. Savvy collectors are snapping up works from the likes of Angus Taylor, Lionel Smit, Debbie Bell, Regardt van der Meulen, Wim Botha and of course Dylan Lewis. Unlike shares or stocks that are absent or untouchable, art is something you can enjoy on a daily basis; it hangs on your wall or lives in your home and has immediate, tangible value. You get to enjoy your investment daily. Dylan Lewis’ towering sculptures are becoming well-known landmarks in South Africa, art born from respect of our biological and psychological connection to the wild. Harnessing the shapes and forms of wild animals in his art, he creates far more

ABOVE AND LEFT The ‘Disintegrating’

than mere sculptures, but makes the point that the

series by Regardt van der Meulen.

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“When the dangers and violence of the current world we live in erupts unexpectedly, the illusion of safety is shattered; we are gripped by fear and vulnerability. However, coming to terms with the conditions of our existence, we put on the armour of civility and carry on with our lives.” – van der Meulen

Dylan Lewis’s reputation as one of the world’s

His art is fetching high prices on both the local and

finest wildlife sculptors is already established, but

international scene, and it’s in the power of his

the psychology behind his work is what makes it


particularly notable. For him, the wild animals and

and magnetised.





the wild areas in which they live are far more than

Another name on the lips of any serious collector

captivating subjects; they are an essential part of our

is Wim Botha, a South African contemporary artist

human identity. As he says, wildness and wilderness

whose work offers viewers a unique interpretation

are not only ‘out there;’ but exist within each of us.

of ‘the things people do, need, construct to make

Of an equal vein, Johannesburg-based artist and

sense of things.’ Botha has found inspiration for his

sculptor, Regardt van der Meulen, pairs the

work in government texts and religious icons,

unmoving strength and rigidity of steel with the


fragility of the human body. In the ‘Disintegrating’

transgression and forgiveness.






and ‘Unravel’ series, predominantly working in steel

Lewis, van der Meulen and Botha have one emphasis

and concrete, he uncovers the fear and illusion of

in common: their work is relatable. Whether it is our

safety in modern civilization. “I sculpted each

inner wildness, a breakdown of our perceived safety or

figure in a way that creates the notion that they are

humanity in its everyday form – art that speaks to our


existence, particularly immersive, interactive art as






deconstructed by a force either from within or

sculpture is, and that is worth investing in.

without,” he says. In South Africa, this notion of fear is present and relatable. It’s a country with endless beauty but with crime, corruption and poverty at its dichotomy. Our illusions of safety are shattered almost daily. Regardt van der Meulen presents a sense of hope and beauty: steel may be harsh and unmoving, but it is also protecting, and there is beauty in its majesty.



For a breathtaking tour of Dylan Lewis’ sculpture in the Cape, where the immersive and overpowering majesty of his work is exceptionally displayed, visit the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Stellenbosch; a 12ha land that works to merge art and wilderness in one place.

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2015/07/22 9:14 AM

V - lifestyle During the past decade, a substantial amount of the pioneers in South Africa's asset management industry responded to their burning entrepreneurial flair by leaving the large, established investment houses in favour of managing money within a boutique setting. This enabled them to apply their skills and passion for investing in an environment

more closely aligned to their

underlying investors. Currently, the largest component of the country's most experienced investment professionals is represented by boutique investment professionals. The true worth of their collective years of investing experience is reflected in their exceptional track record. It was against this backdrop that Optimum Financial Services decided to establish it’s own unit trust funds in April 2014. OUR PHILOSOPHY We have been through many bull as well a bear markets and have learned

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- Albert Einstein -

one undisputable fact: No one can predict markets! History has shown that today's top performers are tomorrow's worst performers. We have taken an informed decision not to promise top performers to our clients, but rather to focus on long term consistent and superior risk adjusted returns. Optimum Financial Services Group firmly believes in a multi-management approach to investments. We believe that this approach will add real long term value to a portfolio at the lowest risk levels.

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to view the latest fund fact sheets on these funds please visit our website, or contact our offices for more... Optimum Group 5 (Pty) Ltd t/a Optimum Financial Services Group Is an authorised financial services provider - FSP - 43488 Registration Number: 2009/001832/07 DISCLAIMER: Collective Investment Schemes in securities 93medium to long val deare viegenerally term investments. The value of participatory interests may go down as well as up and past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future. The Manager does not guarantee the capital or the return of a portfolio. Collective Investments are traded at ruling prices and can engage in borrowing and scrip lending. A schedule of fees and charges and maximum commissions is available on request from the manager.

2015/07/21 11:41 AM

V - greater cause

To give generously The second annual AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction was held this year at The Olive Press, Boschendal Estate’s resplendent new function venue. The auction ascended to new heights when an astounding R10.565 million was raised for education in the Cape Winelands, achieving a significant 50% increase on the R7.045 million raised at the first CWA event in 2014. Words provided


n an extraordinary day of generosity and glamour,

magnificent sculpture amidst a fynbos paradise while

exquisite food and the finest wines, 370 prominent

the sun set over Table Mountain. Eight chefs flown in

wine aficionados and philanthropists from around

by the sponsor, Relais & Châteaux, produced a

the globe were gathered to make a serious difference.

memorable evening of culinary excellence.

The entire proceeds of the 2015 Auction, without







offset or deduction, will go to the Auction

lunchtime Live Auction with an astonishing line-up of

beneficiaries - charities actively involved with

37 once-in-a-lifetime Auction lots, which came under the

education, from infancy to adulthood, across the

enthusiastic hammer of supreme auctioneer, Iain Banner,

Western Cape.

included: extremely rare local and international wine

The glamorous two-day affair launched with a

collections; gourmet dinners with world renowned chefs;

‘Barrel Tasting & Preview,’ hosted at the Dylan Lewis

unique art pieces; international travel to exotic locations;

Sculpture Garden in Stellenbosch. Guests embarked on

exclusive private weekend parties; and access to the inner

a magical journey through wine, food, opera, and

sanctum of the South African wine industry.

“We are once again humbled and overwhelmed by the immense generosity shown at this event. Today we have witnessed another outstanding demonstration of the unity of the South African wine industry, and the philanthropic capacity of humankind.” - Mike Ratcliffe


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The pinnacle bid of the day was a whopping

boosting South Africa’s fine wine image abroad.

R800 000 paid for the Vrede en Lust Lot, which

This event is now firmly established on the

included: eight return Air Seychelles business class

South African social and fundraising calendar,

tickets from Johannesburg to the Seychelles; a stay

attracting worldwide interest and attention.

in a luxury villa with a private beach on the exclusive

This global showcase of South African wines was

Eden Island; a three-day cruise on a brand

hosted by the accomplished Dan Nicholl, as Master of

new Powercat, hosted by a private skipper and

Ceremonies, together with the Auction Partners and

chef; and a sterling collection of 60 bottles of

Ambassadors, headed up by Honorary Chairs for 2015,

Vrede en Lust wines.

John and Erica Platter, the founders of the iconic

With international bidders - hailing from the UK, USA, France, Germany, the Netherlands,

Platter’s Wine Guide. James Benoit, CEO of AfrAsia Bank, the

Finland, Dubai, Mauritius and Russia - the


Cape Wine Auction is playing a significant role in

consecutive year, continued, “We are incredibly






proud to be partnered with the Cape Wine Auction team, who share our commitment to making a real difference in the lives of many South African children, by upholding Nelson Mandela’s belief that, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’” Val de Vie’s Lot fetched a R260 000 bid! This is what our bidder won: - A once in a lifetime Polo tutorial from South African Team Captain Tom de Bruin - A VIP entrance for 8 guests at the Veuve Cliquot Polo Masters. - A chauffeur-driven Bentley - Three nights for four people at Singita Lobombo or Sweni Lodge. Guests will be guided by multiple award-winning guide, Greg Lederle, and will have a private vehicle for the duration of their stay to cater to their exclusive safari experience.

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A taste for success “I don’t want somebody to eat in my restaurant, and find that the food isn’t good enough, and say ‘Well, we can make an exception, because he’s coloured.’” We are sitting in Reuben’s Franschhoek, and I have just spent the most fascinating two hours, listening to Reuben Riffel reminiscing about his early years growing up in Groendal, and the life experiences that lead to him becoming virtually a household name in South African culinary circles. Words by Norman McFarlane

After matriculating he worked with dad Isak in construction. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted a different life than my mom and dad had.”


grew up in a rather sheltered environment,” he

able to go to a friends 21st, and being so angry about

says, “and it was only once I went to school in

that.” But eventually mum Sylvia put her foot down.

Paarl (the local school in Groendal only went as far as

“She threatened to throw me out of the house if I

Grade Nine) that I really began to understand what

didn’t commit,” he says.

apartheid was all about.”

textures began to make sense, and by this time

of apartheid and its pernicious impact on the life of a

Richard Carstens was exec chef, and Reuben was

coloured person, and how her influence cast the

learning all he could. “I had a tiff with Richard one

scales from his young eyes. “I remember watching

day, over being transported on the back of an open

the release of Nelson Mandela at my aunt’s house

bakkie, and I walked out.” But Richard didn’t give up

with my cousin. She was much more militant than I.

on him, and after repeated text messages, Reuben

I remember the raw emotion she showed, and how it

returned to the fold, kept his head down and take in

impacted me.”

as much as he could. “Richard was a hard task master,

Life in Groendal revolved around the family, and

but I learned a tremendous amount from him.”

food was central to many family gatherings. “Food

His big break came the day Richard did not turn

was important, specifically how it was cooked.” And

up for work. “Richard had his own stuff going on in

that he learned from his mum, Sylvia, who worked a

his life, so I had to literally take over and run the

full day at a bottle store in Franschhoek and came

kitchen. One day a diner – a French guy – came into

home each night to cook the evening meal for the

the kitchen to compliment me. It was a defining

family. “It was my job to make sure the stove was hot

moment and I remember thinking to myself ‘maybe

for my mom to cook the evening meal,” he reminisces

you’re slightly good at this.’”

with a grin.


It was at Cape Chamonix that flavours and

He tells of his cousin who was much more aware

A short stint in Umhlali at Shortens Country House

After matriculating he worked with dad Isak in

followed, after which he returned to the Cape to work

construction. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to

at Joe’s Café at the Waterfront, but the lure of

do, but I knew that I wanted a different life than my

Franschhoek was ever present, and he returned there to

mom and dad had.”

work for Richard Carstens again, at the Monneaux

His break into hospitality came when he started

Restaurant. “My sister Carmen, and my aunt worked

working at Cape Chamonix, started by chef

there, so it was like coming home. Richard was

Christophe de Hoss. “My mom was working there,

grooming me to take over from him, and after four

and I got a job as barman, but I quickly realised that

months he announced he was leaving. In the past, I felt

was not what I wanted to do with my life.”

I had been pushed to the front when I still had much to

Christophe wanted him to work in the kitchen,

learn, but this time I felt the time was right.” For the

but he balked at the hours. “I was young and wanted

first time, he felt that he could truly establish his own

to spend time with my friends. I remember not being

identity as a chef, and his meteoric rise commenced.

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By this time, his reputation had grown immeasurably, and when Gordon Ramsay parted company with the One&Only, Reuben’s name went up instead. “That was a whole different ball game,” he explains, “and it took a good deal of work to get it bedded down.

By this time he’d met the love of his life, Maryke, who

By this time, his reputation had grown

interned with him at Monneaux while studying at the

immeasurably, and when Gordon Ramsay parted

Institute of Culinary Arts. After four years at Monneaux

company with the One&Only, Reuben’s name went

he realised it was time to move on. He had to choose

up instead. “That is a whole different ballgame,” he

between a post in Oman, facilitated by his great friend,

says, “and it took a good deal of work to get it

Pete Gough-Woode and the prospect of starting a

bedded down. It was a big move for me, and

restaurant in Cambridge in England. He opted for the

because it impacted on Reuben’s Franschhoek,

latter, and he had Maryke packed their bags and headed

Marc, Tim and I agreed to part company, so I

for the UK, where they built Bruno’s Brasserie from

bought them out.”

nothing to wildly successful over a two-year period. But South Africa, specifically Franschhoek still had

bistro/brassiere-styled Racine (French for ‘back to

its pull, and in 2004, Reuben returned to open

you roots’), at Chamonix Wine Estate where he

Reuben’s Franschhoek as a 50% partner with long-time

started his career all those years ago. And the future?

friends Marc Kent and Tim Rands who had bought the

“I want to open a cocktail bar, right here,” he says,

Main Road property, and wanted Reuben to work his

gesturing toward the front of the restaurant, “where

magic. It was a defining moment. “I knew I was coming

you can come and relax, enjoy some great cocktails

back to a place where there were some big names, but I

and canapés with some lovely music.”

felt that I’d developed a following in my time at

His own TV show, Signature Living with Reuben

Monneaux that I could build on,” he says, and build on

followed in 2014, and Masterchef this year, along

it he did.

with a number of celebrity endorsements. Although

Reuben’s reputation flourished, and in 2004 he won

he has touched the stars, Reuben’s feet are firmly on

the Eat Out Award for Best Restaurant and Best Chef.

the ground in Franschhoek. Here he gives back to

Marc and Tim bought the Robertson Small Hotel, and

the Groendal community where he grew up, as an

Reuben’s opened there as well.

ambassador for Hope Through Action, an NGO

In between building his brand and footprint,


In 2013, Reuben came full circle, and opened the








Reuben and Maryke married in 2007. They have two

of young people. As he put it, “I want to be part

children, five-year old Latika, and two-year old Max.

of something that’s successful. This is something

“She has been a massive part of my success,” he says,

that this township needs. Something that will

and the look in his eyes speaks volumes.

change lives.”

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2015/07/22 9:03 AM

V - lifestyle

More taste in less time. The iQ700 ovens with varioSpeed

Twice as fast in combination: by additionally activating the integrated microwave to complement the conventional manner of heating, you can speed up the preparation of your dishes if necessary – always with the perfect quality you would expect. Save up to 50% of the time usually needed and use it at your own disposal.

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Siemens. For a life less ordinary.

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2015/07/06 11:43 9:34 AM 2015/07/21 AM

V - events

That personal touch From exquisite weddings and private parties to festive year-end functions, Val de Vie is an exceptional setting for any type of event. Our events team delights in coordinating memorable occasions that reflect your unique style and preferences.


he essence of Val de Vie has always been to celebrate a life worth loving. Our on-site events team has a passion for creating experiences that are both memorable and unique.

The comprehensive Full Coordination Service offers the ultimate in planning luxury. With impeccable attention to detail and a personal approach, our team will manage every element of your event and ensure that it runs smoothly from beginning to end. The estate has several unique venues for you to discover the perfect setting in which to celebrate your occasion. Alternatively, with Private Room we can coordinate an event in your home or chosen venue, offering you the convenience of a boutique event experience.

The award-winning Val de Vie is the only residential estate in Africa that offers you the opportunity to enjoy a private polo game during your wedding or event. The scenic Paarl and Franschhoek mountains create a dazzling setting and surround the estate with a dramatic skyline, where your event can take centre stage.

The Polo Pavilion The iconic Polo Pavilion is the crown of the estate, overlooking the vast polo fields with the stables on its right shoulder and the Franschhoek mountains towering before it. It is here where we host our seasonal polo tournaments and exhibition matches, including the Veuve Clicquot Polo Masters and Pink Polo in aid of breast cancer. Impressive in stature, one cannot help but be awestruck when passing through the majestic arches that lead to the scenic terraces. 76

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Sport of Kings A polo game at Val de Vie is nothing short of spectacular, capturing a true sense of tradition and occasion. Our events team can add the excitement and elegance of this noble sport to your wedding celebration, whether large or small. Become part of the Val de Vie tradition and arrive in the estate’s Rolls Royce as you watch a line of polo ponies walk out in procession to the sound of the Val de Vie anthem. The polo team salutes your union and the couple is given the honour of starting the game by throwing in the ball. The match will keep guests captivated for 45 minutes, allowing the couple plenty of time to have their wedding photos taken on the estate.

The Ball Room

Save the date

With its high ceilings and gleaming chandeliers, the elegant all-white ballroom is a

Cintron Pink Polo – 7 November 2015

popular venue for sleek corporate functions, launches, and conferences. The venue is fully

Cintron Pink Polo is all about polo and fashion for

equipped with high tech sound and lighting facilities for presentations. It offers flexibility

a worthy cause. This beautiful event is an annual

with the surrounding glass doors, which allows the space to flow out onto the terraces.

fundraiser in aid of breast cancer programmes and research. Guests enjoy a glorious afternoon of riveting polo, up-to-the-minute fashion and mouth-watering high tea on the lawns of South Africa’s only wine and polo estate. Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo - 5 March 2016 This glamorous event offers a luxurious day out for the stylish polo lover. As South Africa’s most renowned polo event, the annual Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo in Association with Bentley has after four years firmly established itself as one of the most prestigious events on the South African calendar.

Destination Events Whether you’re dreaming of a beach wedding or a smart corporate retreat, we can bring the expertise of Val de Vie to your event. Our team can coordinate off-site events at the venue of your choice, from destination weddings and parties to so much more.

Contact Val de Vie Events: Email Phone +27 (0)21 863 6191 Web

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2015/07/23 9:02 AM

V - polo

Polo heritage

Arguably the leading sports brand that is synonymous with professional polo, La Martina has found a home in South Africa, and Val de Vie Polo Club is proud to become one of their global partners. United and inspired by the horsemanship, power and grace of polo, the new relationship promises to become a legacy. Words provided


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La Martina, synonymous with professional polo, sponsors some of the greatest polo tournaments across the world including the FIP Polo World Cup, Coronation Cup, Maserati Polo Tour and the Metropolitan Polo Classic.


a Martina is a family company, founded in 1985

recorded polo game took place in October 1874 at the

by Lando Simonetti, a keen polo player in his

Parade Ground in Cape Town, between the

youth who saw an opportunity to provide professional

Gordon Highlanders and the Cape Mounted Rifles.



In the early 1900s several civilian clubs began to

focusing on leather saddles and boots and then

emerge, and the South African Polo Association was

later adding shirts and caps, 65 percent of materials

formed in 1906.




were sourced locally to reinforce the brand’s Argentine roots. The aim from the beginning was to create an

one of the most spectacular polo estates in the world,

Argentine brand with international appeal, essentially

with two of the finest, most luxurious grounds in

linked to the sport of polo through values of luxury

the country, completed to Hurlingham International

and elegance. To do so, Lando took his vision around

Championship Standards. Over the past 5 years, the

the world, encouraging the development of polo

major polo events at Val de Vie have become firmly

worldwide, turning La Martina into the Official

established on the sporting and social calendars,

Supplier of the most prestigious polo events around

attracting more and more spectators and higher

the world. Today, La Martina supplies technical

handicapped players.

equipment in over 120 polo events.


Surrounded by the mountains and vineyards of the famous Paarl-Franschhoek valley, Val de Vie is

The membership at Val de Vie has grown steadily

Its first store opened in Argentina in 1991 and

to become one of the most active clubs in Africa and

there are now over 95 stores worldwide. The brand’s

will grow even more with the new fields under

success stems from its consistency as an Argentine

construction. During the past 2015 polo season,

firm linked to the world of polo. Design and quality

Val de Vie has held two 12-Goal Tournaments, which

have been the pillars of La Martina since its inception,

is proof that the Cape polo scene is on the incline.

and a passion for polo has been its heart. In 2009,

From hosting international tournaments and high

La Martina partnered with Guards Polo Club in

society events to playing polo three times a week,

London, when HRH Queen Elizabeth II personally

there is always excitement at the club during the polo

opened the prestigious pro shop at Smith’s Lawn.

season, which runs from October to April.

South Africa has produced a number of top

Val de Vie’s passion for the sport has transformed

performing polo players in recent years and with the

the estate into an unrivalled polo destination and

gradual growth of the sport, it was a natural and

with international brands taking notice; the future is

exciting new venture to come to the Cape. The first

looking brighter than ever.

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V - lifestyle

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2015/07/21 11:45 AM

V - events

Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo 2015 On a magnificent Cape Town summer day, guests of the fifth annual Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo donned their polo best and stepped into a picture-perfect world showcasing the best of polo lifestyle. Val de Vie Estate provided an impressive setting for a day filled with couture, exhilarating polo and perfectly chilled Veuve Clicquot Champagne. Words provided


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V - events in the vicinity

For the first time in the history of the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo, polo fans were treated to a high-goal 12-goal polo tournament with talented South African and international players.


his year’s event décor theme, designed to reflect

the ball with Moet Hennessy’s Market Manager,

Veuve Clicquot’s latest international ‘mail

Patrick Madendjian, at the start of the final game, but to

campaign’ which was inspired by the days when

entertain guests with their magnificent vehicles during

Madame Clicquot used to communicate with her

the traditional divot stomping at half time.

suppliers, agents and acquaintances via traditional

The Official Fashion Partners at the 2015 event –

mail. Even in today’s fast-moving electronic world,

Jenni Button and Hilton Weiner - showcased their

there’s still nothing quite like getting a letter or

latest couture collection and quintessential looks on

package in the mail, and the event décor brought this

the catwalk, with some surprising and evocative

theme beautifully to life, in a setting that felt more

pieces. The thought-provoking show also showcased

like a magical wonderland than an events space. The

some of the finest international models by the event’s

afternoon provided a welcome pause in our guests’

model agency, 3D. Moroccanoil, the Official Hair

busy lives, to stop and connect in a beautiful setting

Sponsor of the event, reflected the latest international

with a glass of Veuve Clicquot.

hair trends on the runway, with two of their top

For the first time in the history of the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo, polo fans were treated to a high-goal


international runway stylists flown out especially for the event.

12-goal polo tournament with talented South African

There is perhaps no other sport that carries the

and international players. Shimmy Beach Club won the

prestige and class that the Game of Kings does. The

opening match against Team Nigus, while teams

opulent affair, co-owned by VIVIDLUXURY and

Julius Bär and Veuve Clicquot drew in the riveting main

Val de Vie Events, has grown beyond expectations

game. Bentley was there to not only throw in

over the years attracting the cream of the crop of both

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V - events

As the day drew to a close and the sun set behind the magical pink mountains, guests strolled over to the after party, hosted by Shimmy Beach Club, where they danced the night away.

local and international guests. This year’s VIP guest list included international actors Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Hannah New, Clara Paget, the Royal Warrant of Appointment for the Royal House of Belgium and renowned couture designer Fabienne Delvigne, and some of South Africa’s finest celebrities such as Lee-Ann and Nicky van der Walt, Jeannie D, Jen Su, Tarina Patel, Maps Maponyane, Siv Ngesi, and former World Heavyweight Boxing Champ, Riddick Bowe. The Bentley car display has become a tradition at this glamorous daytime event. It provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the spectators who desire some serious torque. Associate Sponsor and Official Vehicle Partner, Bentley revealed their brand new Continental GT V8 S for the first time in South Africa, making it to our shores only days before the big event. The luxury performance automobile manufacturer also chauffeur-drove guests who arrived via helicopter from the Val de Vie Estate landing strip to the chic clubhouse. Other vehicles on display included the Bentley Flying Spur V8, the Mulsanne and the Continental GT. Drawing inspiration from polo’s global presence, with its rich culture and heritage, Veuve Clicquot continues to bolster this sport in South Africa and around the world. Spectators gather to enjoy polo matches and take part in elaborate and glamorous afternoons celebrating the game. More than any other sport, polo is best savoured live, steeped in tradition and perpetuated by Veuve Clicquot. Website #VCMastersPolo


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V - lifestyle

Fastest mobile internet on SA’s * Best Network Experience the best when you visit your nearest Vodacom Shop for premium devices and expert customer service.


Vodacom Power to you


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2015/07/21 11:47 AM

V – yearling sale

The highest bidder THIS IMAGE The auction was followed an exciting 4-goal game of polo that starred no less than

The inaugural Bloodstock SA Yearling Sale at Val de Vie Estate was held earlier this year, hosted by the Thoroughbred Breeders Association (TBA) of South Africa. Kevin Woolward, the CEO of TBA, was thrilled by the success of the event with over a 100 year-old thoroughbreds offered for sale in front of an enthusiastic audience in the Val de Vie Polo Pavilion.


he Thoroughbred Breeders Association has

South Africa is a member of the TBA, which

been in existence for over 90 years and represents

promotes and encourages the breeding and generic

South Africa’s reigning Champion

the fair trade of thoroughbred horses in South Africa,

thoroughbred racehorse trainer,

while safeguarding and advancing the common

BloodStock SA is the marketing arm, and runs

Justin Snaith

interests of breeders throughout the country.

sales on behalf of the Association, which organises

Virtually every breeder of thoroughbred horses in

and conducts sales of thoroughbred horses for the


improvement of thoroughbred horses.

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BloodStock SA is the marketing arm, and runs sales on behalf of the Association, which organises and conducts sales of thoroughbred horses for the benefit of its members. benefit of its members. Susan Rowett
became the first female chairperson of TBA after the lineage of men that have stood in that post, and since her appointment in 2012, she has shown to be a major asset to the Association. Susan has long been working on bringing the BSA Yearling Sale to Val de Vie and with Kevin Woolward as the new CEO; their skills, knowledge and leadership are sure to take TBA forward to the benefit of the breeding industry. A total of a 109 lots were catalogued for the auction, of which 75% were sold at an aggregate value of over R17 million. The well-known Varsfontein Stud claimed the top sale for the day as the hammer fell on R1.2 million for “Playboy Prince” sired by

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V – yearling sale

A total of a 109 lots were catalogued for the auction, of which 75% were sold at an aggregate value of over R17 million. The well-known Varsfontein Stud claimed the top sale for

Dynasty, an iconic winner that was selected as

This was Kannemeyer’s third July victory after Dynasty

Outstanding Sire of the Year by the Equus panel in

and Eyeofthetiger. The sport is growing, and the results

both 2010 and 2014.

at Yearling Sales across the country are proof that South

The auction was followed an exciting 4-goal game of polo that starred no less than South Africa’s

African breeders and racers are continually performing to world-class standards.

reigning Champion thoroughbred racehorse trainer,

Arguably the most spectacular setting for a

Justin Snaith, who dashed from the saddle to join the

thoroughbred auction in the world, the TBA of

other 230 invited guests enjoying a sumptuous

South Africa is looking forward to expanding on the

luncheon, before the auction commenced.

concept with the Val de Vie Events team and hosting

Much success has come from the Cape, with

an event annually at this Cape Winelands venue.

the likes of the Snaith yards and the recent Dean Kannemeyer-trained Power King, who roared to

More information is available at

victory at the Grade 1 Vodacom Durban July this year.

the day as the hammer fell on R1.2 million for “Playboy Prince”.


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V - lifestyle

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2015/07/21 11:48 AM

V - lifestyle

ABOVE The Lookout Point, high above the residential area provides magnificent 360˚ views of the nature reserve, the Magaliesberg, and the city while the Boma, with its dramatic fire pit and braai facilities, is an ideal space to celebrate the good life, sharing the pleasure of unhurried time, the song of the crickets and a good vintage in the pristine evening air. OPPOSITE In addition to the cordon of security Boskruin enjoys as a gated suburb with its own rapid response force, Kruinkloof Estate will be equipped with biometric security

Highveld country living “Our vision was to create a residential estate where people just like us would be able to scale down to a simpler lifestyle, without having to sacrifice the luxury of their family homes,” says Johan Wasserfall, owner-developer of the new Kruinkloof Bushveld Estate, just 12km west of Sandton. Instead of ‘semigrating’ to the south, executive empty-nesters reluctant to leave family or business interests in Gauteng can now enjoy the serenity of the countryside without leaving the city

and a 24-hour manned gatehouse with double entrance gates.


Words by Nicholas Shepherd

EST. 1991

val de vie master logo for Kruinkloof Bushveld Estate

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V - lifestyle


ccording to FNB’s chief property economist and analyst, John Loos, there is a new life-stage

trend emerging among successful professionals and business people, especially prevalent in the country’s economic powerhouse of Gauteng. Active “pre-tirees” seek a simpler but safer way of life, but still demand access to open space and the freedom to lock up and travel. “When approaching the golden 50, there is no denying most of us are probably not ready to slow down and prefer to carry on working,” Loos comments. “There is no longer a limit on sporting age and with mountain biking on the constant rise and South Africans’ love of the outdoors, more homebuyers of this age are looking for a lifestyle investment that offers the best of both worlds. For many, this is the beginning of a new stage of life where the driven businessman finds a new freedom to pursue the passions that have long taken a back seat to child-rearing and family duty. Downscaling val de vie

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2015/07/22 11:19 AM

V - lifestyle RIGHT Developed around the classic original homestead, the Clubhouse perfectly combines community and tranquillity with exclusive resort-style services and amenities. The wrap-around veranda, courtyards and terraced gardens, along with the sparkling pool, conjure up lazy summer days and long cool sundowners.

due to your stage in life does not have to mean less

isolated you could well be out in the wilderness. Now,

space, and such a move can be liberating as well

with all the facilities completed as well as four houses

as exciting.”

nearly finished and ready for occupation, we are

You don’t have to look further than the

about to go to the market with the balance of the

owner-developers of Kruinkloof Bushveld Estate to find

34 free-standing homes, beautifully designed in the

a perfect example of this new trend. In 1991, Johan and

idiom of contemporary bushveld-inspired residences.

Maryna Wasserfall took their young family to view an

But apart from the designer kitchens with Smeg

“The calibre of our early

8-acre smallholding on the slopes of the highest ridge in

appliances, entertainer’s living areas and fibre-optic

buyers was heartening.

Johannesburg’s leafy northern suburb of Boskruin, and

cabling for lightning fast internet, what we’re really

fell in love with the space, the views and the silence.

selling at Kruinkloof is a lifestyle you won’t find

Johan recalls, “The boys loved it of course, as soon as

anywhere else,” Johan concludes.

Powerful business people,

they got out of the car. But more than anything, it was

As you make your way through the biometrical-

including the chairman of

the silence that impressed us. Apart from the birds, there

controlled double entrance gates of Kruinkloof, you’ll

a leading firm of attorneys

was literally nothing to be heard. And the birds here

feel your soul lift and your pulse rate drop. Meandering

really are magnificent. Shortly after we moved into the

pathways lead you towards the warm blue sky above and

wonderful old homestead, a friend came over and we

the opulent clubhouse at the foot of the private nature

saw 75 different species in four hours!”

reserve. Inside and out, an active lifestyle awaits those

and a senior partner in a

When their children grew up and moved out, the

who enjoy the view from the top. On the estate itself,

Wasserfalls bought a second home in Stellenbosch and

there are 3 hectares of landscaped private open space,

were among those who

Johan sold most of his business interests in Johannesburg.

while the 30-acre nature reserve that runs along the crest

bought into the estate on

However, instead of simply selling up and cashing in on

of the ridge is a constant invitation to lace up your hiking

a quarter century of capital growth, Johan and Maryna

boots and stride out into the untouched tranquillity of

took a different route, and decided to pursue their goal of

this high outcrop.

global accounting firm,

the strength of our vision. We have dedicated our time and energy to making sure

developing a residential estate around their own needs.

Paradise found

And when the need arises to spread your wings and fly, the state-of-the-art security means you can lock-up-and-go with complete peace-of-mind. Those

The beautiful landscape bordering a private hilltop

who have already made Kruinkloof Bushveld Estate

nature reserve now provides a dramatic setting for

their home are birds of a feather. Their pioneering

38 perfectly appointed country homes, while the

spirit has led them to this exquisite place, where time

discerning needs of similar

original stately homestead has been transformed

seems to stand still, drawing its breath in awe.

buyers, so we can create a

veranda, courtyards and terraced gardens alongside

community of successful

interiors provide an archetypal lodge library, a

Kruinkloof would meet the

individuals, who share similar tastes and values.” - Johan Wasserfall 94

into an extensive Clubhouse, with wrap-around a sparkling resort-style swimming pool. Generous spacious club lounge with a big-match cinema-style TV, a bistro, fitness centre, business centre and conferencing facilities. “Kruinkloof is still within easy reach of the business and the social heart of Johannesburg, but feels so

A limited number of invitations are available to the VIP launch of Kruinkloof in spring, where guests will have first choice of the 32 remaining 2- and 3-bedroom homes on the estate. Sizes range from 250 to 365 square metres, and prices from R3.6 to R8.2 million. For a personal invitation, register on

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V - lifestyle

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2015/07/21 11:50 AM

V - energy

Powering the future It is undeniable that the current electricity supply, and the extent of load shedding, has a disruptive impact on the economy and the daily lives of the public in South Africa. The effect is nationwide as commerce, business operations, traffic, industry, mining operations and hospitals struggle to adjust with the ongoing energy crisis. And with Eskom’s unreliable assurances of turning things around, national blackouts are still a reality.. Words provided

Alternative and renewable

produce small amounts of electric current when

issue has resulted in an increase in the renewable

exposed to light. Seventy years later, Albert Einstein

energy sector as more and more people, on a

won a Nobel Prize in physics for his studies on

solutions, especially

commercial level as well as in domestic households,

the nature of light and the photoelectric effect on

are looking for solutions to cope with power outages.

which photovoltaic technology is based. According

solar systems, are slowly

Alternative and renewable household electricity

to NASA, the space industry began to make the first

solutions, especially solar systems, are slowly

serious use of the technology to provide power

strengthening their presence in the energy market

aboard spacecraft in the 1960s. As its reliability

in the energy market and

and becoming more popular as installation becomes

was established and the cost began to decline,

increasingly lucrative. Though the initial investment

PV technology gained recognition and was first

becoming more popular

is fairly costly, it is generally believed to be worthwhile

used as a source of power for non-space applications

as installation becomes

depending on the choice of system.

in the 1970s.

Over the last 50 years, the Solar Industry has

Since then, improving solar cell efficiencies while

gained momentum mainly due to the advances

holding down the cost per cell is an important goal of

in development of photovoltaic technology (PV),

the PV industry. There has been significant progress

which is a method used to covert solar energy into

from the first solar cells, which had efficiencies of less

direct current electricity. Edmund Becquerel, a French

than 4% to approximately 15% today. The sun is

physicist, was the first to discover the photoelectric

fundamentally the planet’s most powerful source of

effect in 1839 and found that certain materials would

natural and renewable energy and PV technology

household electricity

strengthening their presence

increasingly lucrative.



he country’s frustration with the load shedding

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V - energy converts sunlight into electricity, without any moving parts or environmental emissions, which makes this generation of power a clean and sustainable energy technology. Leakfind Solar is a company that specialises in Photovoltaic (PV) Systems, Battery Backup Systems and Solar Geysers, and is a member of the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA). There are three types of solar systems available in SA, which vary in degrees of reliance on Eskom and have different payback periods. The Grid-Tied System is connected to the Eskom grid, is solely supplementary and has a return on investment period of as little as 48 months in some cases. The Grid-Tied Battery Backup System is still connected to the Eskom grid, but will also supply electricity during load shedding hours by means of the batteries connected to the system. This system is designed according to the needs of the client and has a payback period of around 7 years. The more expensive off-grid system is completely independent of the grid, which means that all your appliances rely on solar energy, and is reported to have a payback period of about eight years. The top of the range system is called the Hybrid System. With this system it gives you the option to be totally off-grid, or to still use Eskom as a last resort. Each and every Hybrid System is unique to the specific requirements of the client’s needs. The solar panels used by Leakfind Solar are German-engineered and has a yield guarantee of 25 years. Our Battery Backup components is also of the highest quality and should be able to give you 10 years of not fumbling around for candles in the dark before they need to be replaced. It is estimated that 40 countries globally will install additional new solar PV capacity in 2015, signalling the true entry of solar into traditional energy generation. The underlying driver of growth will be the ongoing cost reduction of solar with the continued focus among countries on diversifying their energy mix away from imported oil and fossil fuels. Leakfind Solar can provide an alternative energy supplement that can power your specific needs. Your system can be built around your own requirements and expanded accordingly. Driven by advances in technology and increases in manufacturing scale and sophistication, the cost of photovoltaics has declined

Boland / West Coast representative Jurie Prins Phone +27 (0)21 551 4894 or +27 (0)76 957 8574 Email Web

steadily since the first solar cells were manufactured. Leakfind Solar’s German-engineered solar panels and batteries outlast any of its competitors in value, quality, and guarantee. val de vie

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2015/07/21 4:26 PM

V - lifestyle

Imagine a workspace as comfortable as home… Lazercor has launched the final phase of the Cecilia Square development!

* 4 Star Green Building Design Rating * 2015


.3 33


ld So


Minimum of 5 parking bays per 100m² I Technology intelligent I Environmentally responsible I Security utilising CCTV, electrified perimeter fence and biometric access control I State of the art server room I Optic fibre connectivity I Water savings I First & Ground floor for sale or rent I Green Buildings increase productivity and mental performance I Improve daylight illumination levels & ventilation I Improved glare reduction & thermal comfort I Reduction in sick leave I Overall improvement of health & productivity I Office sizes ranging from 51m² to 128m² I

For Sale or to lease contact:

92(021) val 880 de vie9360 I 076 613 0490

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2015/07/21 11:54 AM

V - property



Erf sizes from 675m2 | Brand new developer plots now available Situated across the premium Gentleman’s Estate, you can expect sweeping views of the Simonsberg Mountain and beautiful tree-lined avenues. With the original developer plots practically sold out, these new plots are the first to be released in 7 years. And as land prices are on the increase, this is the perfect opportunity for buyers who are looking to invest as well as design and build their dream home. The new plots are in close proximity to the iconic Polo Pavilion and the new sports centre, The Yard, which will include a multi-purpose 1 000m2 gym, additional tennis courts, a 50m outdoor pool, soccer court and youth recreational areas.


val de vie

99 | | +27 (0)21 863 6101

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Erf 613m2 | Floor 331m2 | 3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms The interior of this stunning designer home has elegant modern finishes with a well-manicured garden and a separate herb garden. Gorgeous rooms upstairs enjoy beautiful views of Paarl Mountain and Simonsberg.



Erf 597m2 | Floor 320m2 | 3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms This delightful home is an exquisite and spacious double storey with tastefully chosen finishes and an attractive modern kitchen.

100 val de vie


2015/07/22 11:24 AM

V - property



Erf 1 093m2 | Floor 470m2 | 5 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms A truly spectacular home built with exceptional care and passion. The stylishly modern home is ultra luxurious with spectacular features and exquisite attention to detail.



Erf 800m2 | Floor 471m2 | 3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms A dream home on the paddocks with a wonderful open plan interior executed to the highest standard as well as spectacular views of the mountains and peacefully grazing horses.

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Erf sizes from 330m2 - 560m2 | House size 172m2 - 188m2 3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | Single/Double garage



Erf sizes from 330m2 - 560m2 | House size 248m2 - 264m2 4 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms | Single/Double garage

102 val de vie


2015/07/22 11:26 AM

V - property



Erf sizes from 330m2 - 560m2 | House size 290m2 4 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms | Double garage



Ambrosia Suite 96m2| 2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms


val de vie 103 | | +27 (0)21 863 6101 PROPERTY_rev6_SUBBED.indd 103

2015/07/22 11:27 AM

V - property



Erf sizes range from 2.5 hectares to 5.8 hectares 13 incredible Gentleman’s Estates, ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 hectares, are available for those who yearn for the outdoors and want to live closer to nature. Here you can plant your favourite grape varietals, fruit orchard or vegetable garden, all organically grown to your desire. Live out your passion, whether it is horses or other livestock, and keep up to 10 animals all within the safest estate in Africa, according to the International Property Awards. 4 River Reserves with breathtaking views of the iconic Simonsberg, ranging from 2 to 5 hectares, give you the opportunity to build your dream home surrounded by nature and a 30 hectare conservation camp stocked with indigenous wildlife, in conjunction with Cape Nature. These reserves border the pristine Berg River and will have entertainment areas with access to the river. Both the Gentleman’s Estates and River Reserves will pay one Val de Vie levy and get an allotment of water from the Berg River water rights. Don’t miss this unique opportunity.

104 val de vie


2015/07/23 8:58 AM


Bentley Motors SA

V - lifestyle

The new Bentley Continental GT V8 redefines Grand Touring with an exhilarating twist of innovation: A 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine. Its turbochargers are mounted within the ‘V’ for efficiency and weight reduction, and variable displacement allows for a seamless switch from a visceral V8 to an effortless V4. It makes an awe-inspiring sound and gives the 8-speed transmission, all-wheel drive Continental GT V8 the power to combine dynamic sports performance with best-in-class Grand Tourer range. DIFFERENTLY DRIVEN.

Suggested Retail Price: R3 300 000.00 (incl VAT), price excludes delivery fees and optional equipment, please contact your nearest dealer to book a test drive.


Corner William Nicol & Bryanston Drive, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa For information call +27 (0) 11 361 6500 or visit


10 Hospital Street, Harbour Edge Building, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa For information call +27 (0) 21 419 0595 or visit


de vie Fuel consumption figures for the Continental GT V8 in mpg (l/100km): Urban 18.4 (15.4); Extra Urban 36.7 (7.7); Combined 26.7val(10.5). CO2 Emissions (g/km): 246. Fuel consumption figures are provisional and subject to Type Approval. The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2011 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: Continental GT V8.

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2015/07/21 11:57 AM

Veuve Clicquot Mail Ad-Val De Vie STP.pdf 1 2014/11/19 02:27:16 PM

V - lifestyle









val de vie

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2015/07/21 12:01 PM

Val de Vie Magazine | Winter 2015  

Discover the "valley of life" and a life worth living...

Val de Vie Magazine | Winter 2015  

Discover the "valley of life" and a life worth living...