This cluster of estates in the countryside on the border of the Stellenbosch Winelands is one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets.
The small cluster of residential estates established around the lower slopes of Zevenwacht Wine Estate, above Kuilsriver and with panoramic views extending all the way to Table Mountain and the Durbanville Hills, is perhaps one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets.
Residents of the estates often refer to their area as Zevenwacht, but as that name is the trademark of the wine estate there isn’t an official name for the collective geographical area on the map. All five estates have "Zeven" in their names and some locals affectionately refer to them as "The Big Five", identifying more with the scenic hills of the Stellenbosch Winelands than the sprawling suburb of Kuilsriver that extends below them.
Zevenwacht Village was the first to be established, originally conceived as a retirement village, but soon became open to everyone and is now a favourite for overseas investors who love its easy lock-up-and-go lifestyle. Zevendal was next to be developed in 1999, and more recently Zevenwacht Country Village. These three are all on land originally part of the Zevenwacht Wine Estate.
Then there is Zevenzicht to one side, and Klein Zevenwacht on the other, developed from a neighbouring farm, where each house has its own plot of vines managed by the estate and receives a few cases of wine each year.
A new retirement village, Zevenwacht Lifestyle Estate, is currently being developed by the wine estate. “What attracted us to the area17 years ago was to be closer to Stellenbosch, as my son was then going to school at Paul Roos, so it was accessible,” says Sulet Bluhm, long-term resident and estate agent specialising in the area. “And being close to the airport was important to us as my husband was travelling internationally for work. Then we just loved the country atmosphere.”
Considering that this is countryside bordering on the Stellenbosch Winelands, it's surprising how accessible and central the area is. The addition of the Zevenwacht Link Road connecting to the M12 means that you can be in Stellenbosch in 15 minutes or slip onto the R300 for an easy journey to the airport; Somerset West is 20 minutes away and in the other direction you can easily connect with Brackenfell, the N1, Bellville and Durbanville.
For a country area, schools are easy to reach. All Stellenbosch’s well-regarded schools are easily accessible, and a new Curro school in Brackenfell is another popular option. Mikro Primary is a top choice for the Afrikaans community and Klein Zevenwacht Estate hosts The Equestrian Academy of Cape Town, where students, in addition to the regular curriculum, can take equine studies up to matric and ride to their heart's content.
Zevenwacht Wine Estate itself is hidden up a wooded valley. It's a perfect spot for picnics by the lake and has a kids’ playground. There’s also a restaurant in the old manor house, a hotel and a luxury spa, plus wine tastings of the well-known wines, of course.
With all the Stellenbosch Winelands as their playground, residents aren’t short of great restaurants to visit, markets to browse at the weekend, and outdoor activities, and the new Cattle Baron on the nearby Saxenburg Estate is a popular neighbourhood eatery.
For everyday grocery shopping residents use Langverwacht Plein shopping centre on Langverwacht Road which has a Checkers, Woolworths Food and more. For more shopping outlets there’s Stellenbosch, Tyger Valley or Somerset Mall slightly further afield.
However, it’s the rural atmosphere, the farmland behind and the gorgeous views that really are the reason to live in one of these comfortable country estates, which are close to the city but slightly apart from it.
When we moved here we loved the country atmosphere and tranquillity, the beautiful farm and the views. Much has changed, but we still have the same safe and tranquil ambience of a farm. We love going for walks on the farm trails into the hills
-Sulet Bluhm, resident.
Best in food:
- Cattle Baron on Saxenberg Estate for excellent steaks and views
- Zevenwacht Country Restaurant for scenic old world setting and picnics
- Mulderbosch Vineyards for wood-fired pizzas
- Hoghouse at Spier for BBQ and artisan bakery
- Jordan Restaurant for fine dining
Things to do:
- Walk and run the farm trails in the hills above the estates
- Wine tasting and picnicking at Zevenwacht wine estate
- Stellenbosch Slow Market at Oude Libertas
- Kuilsriver Golf Club
- 19km to central Stellenbosch
- 21km to Cape Town International Airport
- 15km to Tyger Valley Shopping Centre
- 26km to Somerset West
- 37km to central Cape Town
Agent insight into the area:
What attracts buyers to the area?
The Zevenwacht Lifestyle Estate, specifically catering for over-50s, lies adjacent to the renowned Zevenwacht Wine Estate on the Stellenbosch Wine Route and brings something to the table that not many areas can offer. The serene setting, with panoramic views of Table Bay, False Bay and Table Mountain, is the perfect background. The ideal location means residents are minutes away from the Cape Town International Airport and the beaches of Strand, and the benefit of effortlessly visiting towns like Stellenbosch, Paarl and Somerset West makes this destination truly a dream.
-Werner Scheffer: Multi Spectrum Property
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.