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Original Huguneot farm on the market

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On sale for the first time is L’Arc d’ Orleans, priced at R62 million. One of the original Huguenot farms in the Wemmershoek area of the Franschhoek valley, L’Arc d’Orleans has come onto the market, priced at R62 million.

The property is a undeveloped gem and comes with three beautiful historic buildings, that date between 1747 and 1783, and include the original manor house, says Seeff agent, Dawie Pretorius.

The farm is privately owned, and one of the few that has not yet been developed into a wine tourism product. Aside from the opportunity to acquire a prestigious property in the wine valley, it presents development prospects and comes with a history that dates to the founding of winemaking in South Africa.

The first owner, Pierre Rousseau, was one of the first French Huguenots to arrive in the country in 1688. He bought the land in 1694 and hailed from the province of Orleanais in France, hence the name of the farm. He was one of the first winemakers of the Cape.

The property is one of the largest in the area and has three title deeds, which amount to almost 182ha in land. The old farm portion covers about 81ha and the remaining two, about 51ha and 50ha respectively. The old buildings are well preserved and are all on the old farm portion – these include the original Cape Dutch manor house (built in 1777) and a second house and shed, built in 1747 and 1783 respectively.

Mr Pretorius says with the South African wine industry experiencing exceptional export growth, despite a still lacklustre global and local economy, and the increased visitor numbers to the Cape, including the winelands over the summer, it makes this the ideal time for buyers and investors to look at wine farms again.

In the last few months, the Cape’s wine farms are attracting not only local buyers, but also foreign investors, says Mr Pretorius.

In mid-2013, Perfect China (a 51% shareholding in Perfect Wines of South Africa) acquired the Val de Vie cellar and 25ha wine farm. Late last year, Indian billionaire, Analjit Singh, also confirmed his acquisition of Dieu Donné, Von Ortloff and Klein Dassenberg for about R80m.

The commercial operation of the property includes wine and citrus production as well as sheep-farming, and Mr Pretorius says there are excellent buildings on the various portions – all of which offer development opportunity.

The property comes with irrigation facilities and water sources that include boreholes, dams and water rights from the Wemmershoek Dam. About 14ha is under vine with grape varieties that include chardonnay, chenin blanc and ruby cabernet. The citrus operation covers about 5ha. A further 3ha is planted with olive trees and 44ha with grazing; all under irrigation.

The old Cape Dutch homestead offers about 604sqm in floor space.

The 1747-homestead serves as a manager’s house. Also on this original portion of the farm is a one-bedroomed cottage, the old shed dated 1783, a new storeroom, offices and 21 labourer’s cottages.

On the second portion, is a four-bedroomed Victorian home. There is also a three-bedroomed manager’s house and a further three labourer’s cottages are located on the third portion


Written by Seef Properties You are reading Original Huguneot farm on the market articles

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