What to do at La Motte Wine Estate in Franschhoek

Words: Julie Velosa

Wine is paired with many things, but certainly one of its most companionable partners is art. Is this perhaps because winemaking is an art of its own? Or possibly because the stunning backdrop provided by estates is the perfect canvas to showcase it? Whatever the reason, it’s a combination that works, and at fewer places more so than at La Motte Wine Estate in the Franschhoek valley.

La Motte Wine Estate

Art at La Motte Winery Franschhoek

Art is not only on display at La Motte, but it is treasured and revered. The first clue to this is on arrival – visitors to La Motte Wine Estate are greeted by The Wine Bearer, a 4-meter tall bronze figure by well-known sculpturist Toby Megaw. She bears an overflowing wine cup and welcomes visitors to the estate. This is one of the pieces of art visited on the sculpture walk offered weekly. The walking tour takes guests on an easy-going meander around the property and highlights 8 other sculptures of females around the estate – a nod to woman in society.

Those who appreciate the work of artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, will be in awe of the private collection held at the gallery at La Motte Wine Estate. This impressive collection includes paintings and sketches and even an easel and painting apparatus which belonged to Pierneef himself. A browse through the gallery reveals several of his signature South African landscapes; visitors can wander through at leisure and absorb the history and mastery of his work.

La Motte Wine Estate

La Motte Wine Estate also showcases a contemporary exhibition which rotates on an annual basis. Currently at the La Motte Museum is an exhibition that honours artist Pierneef – A Tribute to the life and work of Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957). The exhibition that will run for the duration of 2017, celebrates the artist’s contribution to South African art and enhances La Motte’s permanent heritage collection with selected artworks and personal artefacts from various collections in South Africa.

The year 2017 has special significance for the La Motte Museum as it marks 60 years since the death of celebrated South African artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957) as well as the 90th birthday celebration of his daughter Marita, who is a friend of La Motte and the provenance of the museum’s permanent Pierneef collection.

La Motte’s association with the art of Pierneef dates back to early 2002, with the creation of the estate’s premium, Pierneef wine Collection. Ever since, Pierneef’s love for that which is truly South African, as well as his passion for his art are echoed in more than just the name of this wine collection and the estate’s Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant. There is also a strong synergy between La Motte and Pierneef with reference to a love for the South African landscape and nature as well as an interest in the preservation of architecture.

The selection of artworks and information have been carefully selected from both public and private collections to accompany and contextualise La Motte’s core culture-historical collection. Through this exhibition key aspects and periods are identified to introduce JH Pierneef – the man, the artist and heritage, each being highlighted by artworks and memorabilia that on occasion associates with key influencers, mentors, friends and collectors of Pierneef.

Themes such as mountains, clouds, trees and architecture that dominated the Pierneef oeuvre are explored.

With more than 100 Pierneef artworks on exhibition, personal memorabilia as well as educational information, guests to the La Motte museum are offered a unique opportunity to engage with the various themes and their subjects and to compare the various styles and approaches by Pierneef in his almost 55 year artistic career.

A Tribute to the life and work of Jacob Hendrik Pierneef (1886-1957) runs from 14 December 2016 to 3 January 2018.

La Motte Wine Estate

The art collection atLa Motte Wine Estate would not be complete without a showcase dedicated to music. La Motte’s owner Hanneli Rupert-Koegelenberg inspires this collection – as one of South Africa’s most acclaimed mezzo-sopranos it makes perfect sense that this cultural medium should be highlighted.

Classical music concerts are held regularly at La Motte Wine Estate and feature both local and international artists.

If you are a piano aficionado, be sure to stop by the tasting room to admire the Rosa Nepgen piano.

La Motte Wine Estate

Art is part of the fabric of La Motte Wine Estate

This is complemented by the attention to fine details around the rest of the estate. Sample wines of incredible calibre at the tasting room and admire Pierneef lino cut artworks which are featured on the labels of the wine collection of the same name. During winter, this is a luxurious setting to relax with friends and to keep warm at the fireplace. Dine at the award-winning restaurant (Pierneef à la Motte) and take in touches like the hand painted ceramic chandeliers and linocut printed heating lamps, which pay homage to the restaurant’s namesake. A visit would also not be complete without a stop in at the elegantly curated farm shop.

La Motte Wine Estate

Whatever you choose to do on your visit toLa Motte Wine Estate, you will leave having soaked up some of the artistic influence, which is evident at every turn.

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