The 24th of September is celebrated in South Africa as Heritage Day. During the whole of September South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and traditions. Heritage is such an important part of a nation’s identity and in a country with such diverse cultures and traditions as South Africa, it is important to allow each other to treasure what is dear to them rather than focusing on our differences. While we might do things in different ways and have different customs, it is in celebrating our heritage that we build our “rainbow nation“.
The Franschhoek Valley named after the French Huguenots that settled here in the late 1600’s, is known for maintaining the French culture of food and wine and celebrates its heritage with a host of cultural activities and festivals as well as the beautiful French Huguenot Monument and Huguenot Museum.
Amidst this sense of history, the conservation of heritage has always been very important at La Motte. Not only has the farm, since being purchased by Dr. Anton Rupert in 1970, seen a major development, restoration and conservation programme, but today visitors to the estate can experience the history of this estate on a first hand basis.
The La Motte Museum is highly regarded for its permanent exhibition of acclaimed South African artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef’s private collection as well as the contemporary exhibition from the Rupert Art collection that rotates on an annual basis. The welcoming foyer to the Museum also gives a very important historic orientation of the Franschhoek Valley, La Motte estate, its previous owners, the farming activities and architecture. Also make sure to visit the museum’s exhibition of blue and white porcelain during the Art in Clay Festival (26 October to 26 November), showcasing the historic tableware used in the Cape.
Learn more about our architectural heritage
Guests are also invited on a historic walk. Starting at the La Motte Museum, the walk is preceded by a brief résumé of the history and heritage of the estate and valley, after which the tour proceeds through La Motte’s rose garden and dwells at four national monuments gracing the Franschhoek Valley landscape: The La Motte Manor House, The Jonkershuis, The La Motte Historic Cellar and The Water Mill. A highlight of the Historic Walk is the milling of stone-ground flour by the oldest operating mill in the Franschhoek Valley, for the bread baked in the Pierneef à La Motte kitchen. The walk is concluded with a tasting of these artisan breads.
Visit the historic water mill
Being passionate about food and wine, it is also the heritage of Cape food and wine that encouraged owner of the estate, Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg and her husband and CEO of La Motte, Hein Koegelenberg, to research the origin of and history behind the traditional food of the Cape Winelands. Together with culinary consultant, Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche and chefs Chris Erasmus and Michelle Theron, the heritage of Cape Winelands Cuisine has been thoroughly researched and today visitors to the estate can sample the modernised version of the traditional food of the area. Adapted to the modern day palate and kitchen, these recipes together with their research have been published by La Motte in a cookbook with beautiful photography, called Cape Winelands Cuisine.
Cape Winelands Cuisine Cookbook
Our heritage can, however, be more than only cultural aspects – part of the responsibility of treasuring and conserving our heritage, is leaving a natural landscape for the generations to come. Conservation of our natural resources is also a high priority and visitors to La Motte can experience the natural landscape and the indigenous fauna and flora on a hiking route through the Wemmershoek mountain on the estate.
At La Motte, we aim to keep our heritage alive and share it with our visitors – whether it is through wine, food, our history or the conservation of our natural beauty.