Historic Robertson on display

The town of Robertson, located in the Breede River Valley some 160km from Cape Town, is preparing to open its arms to thousands of visitors as it stages the annual popular Wacky Wine Weekend from 6-9 June (2013).  Now in its tenth year, the event will see close to 50 of the acclaimed local wineries opening their doors for tastings and charity events.  Other associated activities will include food tastings, river cruises, a mountain-bike race, markets and arts and crafts displays, all designed to showcase the scenic valley and its abundant produce. 

Pam Golding Properties (PGP) says the Wacky Wine Weekend also provides an excellent opportunity to explore property in Robertson – including numerous examples of quaint Victorian architecture, cosy country cottages and lifestyle farms.  PGP agent Jolette Viviers says visitors may be surprised to discover what excellent value for money is on offer in the town.  “There are not many places where one can still buy a comfortable home for under R600 000, but this is one of them,” she says.  “Entry level cottages start from around R550 000 to R600 000, while a small family home can be obtained for between R650 000 and R850 000.  Even a large family home will not cost more than R1 million to R2.5 million.  There are also competitive options for those who might be considering a move to the countryside and a total change of pace – one can buy a lifestyle farm in the Robertson area for between R2 million and R4 million.  Such properties provide the ideal home for those who want to raise their children in a wholesome rural environment, and also make for excellent weekend getaways, being under two hours’ drive from Cape Town.”

Robertson enjoys a mild climate of warm summers and crisp winters, and is surrounded by famous vineyards such as Van Loveren, De Wetshof, Graham Beck and Springfield.  The town’s infrastructure is well developed, with a hospital, ample shopping and sporting facilities, and both English- and Afrikaans medium schools.  The Breede River and surrounding countryside provide abundant opportunities for healthy outdoor pursuits such as hiking, bird-watching and mountain-biking.  The town enjoys a comparatively low crime rate and is famous for its magnificent rose gardens.

Viviers says among her most notable sales over the past year (mid 2012 to mid 2013) was a substantial farm with nine cottages on the property, which sold for R7.4 million.  At the moment she is seeing particular demand from Gauteng and Cape Town-based buyers who are wanting to leave the city and relocate to the countryside onto lifestyle or game farms.  “The highest demand is in the price range from R3 million to R4 million,” she says, “from buyers who want a complete relocation and not just a holiday or weekend property.”

Among the properties currently for sale in Robertson exclusively through PGP is one of the oldest homes in the town – a neo-classical Cape Dutch-style home whose gable is dated 1850 – three years before the town was formally established.  Known as “Rust Urba”, the home occupies an erf of over 1138sqm on the banks of the Willem Nels River, in a beautiful tree-lined avenue.  A double-storey annex was added onto the main homestead in 1917, built in the Victorian style.  There are also several additional buildings including a large wine cellar, cowshed and stable, with potential for conversion into guest suites or even a restaurant (subject to planning permission).  The historic property is on the market at R2.45 million.

Viviers says the home offers a total of six bedrooms, two of them en suite, plus three spacious reception rooms.  It has been modernised for comfortable family living.  “The current owner conducted a full restoration of the home over a three-year period,” she says, “without sacrificing any of its rustic charm.  It has some truly exceptional woodwork features, including poplar ceilings and beams, original Oregon pine floors and doors, yellowwood door posts and stinkwood stencil work.  The cosy country kitchen has its own fireplace as well as a Welcome Dover wood-burning stove, creating a warm and character-filled heart of the home.  This property will hold huge appeal for lovers of heritage homes, and is very competitively priced given its unique historic character.”

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