Bo La Motte Farm
Since taking over Bo La Motte, one of the original nine farms settled by the Huguenots in the late 1600’s, we set about renovating the farm in such a way as to maintain as much of the historical character as possible. Our ambition has been to keep a little piece of rural history in a corner of Franschhoek which is sadly experiencing development pressure. The Franschhoek museum has information about Bo La Motte and the other Huguenot farms if you are interested in learning more about the history of the area.
One of the first projects was to restore the old winery which had been converted into a fruit packing shed. To go alongside this, the soils were tested, the old fruit orchards uprooted and the most suitable varieties of vines planted converting Bo La Motte into a wine farm once again.
The wine cellar, now back in full production under the careful watch of La Petit Ferme wine maker ‘Wickus Pretorius’. There are no official cellar tours but you are welcome to pop in to say hello and see the wine production process during season. A selection of the farm’s wines are available in the cottages and office or you can sample the full range with a meal at the renowned La Petit Ferme Restaurant that can be booked on www.lapetiteferme.co.za. All of our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes go to our neighbour, the 5 star, award winning, bubbly (champagne) maker JP Colmant. You will find both his Brut Reserve and Chardonnay available to buy in our office at cellar door prices. JP runs regular tours if you would like to learn more about the bubbly making process please visit www.colmant.co.za for details.
After restoring the winery we focussed our attention on the old cottages spread around the farm and the main homestead. Our inspiration was to try and develop accommodation that fulfils the modern day requirements whilst retaining as much of the original character and features as possible, this will be an ongoing project of course as old buildings love lots of maintenance but as most of this is now complete we have turned our attention back to mother nature and the farm.
In the last few years, we have started a reforestation project to re-introduce many indigenous species of trees and plants that have over time disappeared from the area due to farming and development pressure. Last year we completed phase one of the project and are busy planning phase two, our aim is to encourage back the indigenous insects, frogs, bats and birds needed to create a natural equilibrium into the ever delicate environment which we have the pleasure of sharing with you.
It is with great pride that we can say the project seems to be bearing fruit as the frogs and bats have returned in numbers and can be heard and seen during the early evening. There are a number of bird species and water fowls that visit us regularly and we would like to compile a list with your help so please let us know if you spot something.