Val de Vie is a large and luxurious lifestyle estate on the outskirts of Franschhoek, sprawling over more than 200 ha of land.
The grounds include beautiful homes, two full-sized polo fields, stables, a gym and wellness centre, and Ryk Neethling’s Swimming Stars coaching school, among other luxury offerings.
In addition to the world-class polo facility, Val de Vie also boasts a state-of-the-art wine cellar. Their wine collection includes a range that differs from your ‘usual’ varieties, and we were privileged enough to try four of these, paired with flavourful food in the Polo Club.
China recently invested in the French wine industry, followed soon by their first investment in South African wine. Perfect China, who holds half of the shares in Perfect Wines of South Africa, purchased the cellar at Val de Vie, and, along with Hein Koegelenberg of Leopard’s Leap, produce the sterling collection. Olympian medalist Ryk Neethling has a significant role in the production of wine on the estate too.
Wines particularly worth noting are the Val de Vie GVC, a delicious, flavourful blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Clairette Blanc. Its woody character adds structure to the citrus and apricot flavour, and it was paired perfectly with honey-roasted pear, bocconcini, Parma ham and micro greens.
Bolder and more complex was the Val de Vie 1783, a flagship. Dark fruit, spice and deep cherry make this a spicy yet soft and smooth wine, ideal with richer dishes and bold cheese flavours – as made evident when paired with a creamy Gorgonzola creme brûlée served with Melba toast. A blend of Mourvedre, Shiraz, Grenache Noir, Carignan and Cinsault, it certainly is full bodied, interesting and different.
Contact the Polo Club to reserve a wine tasting, lunch overlooking the polo field or dinner in the stylish interior
Contact +27 21 863 6174 or visit www.valdevie.co.za
Photography Bernard Myburgh