b-moved to allesverloren in the riebeek valley

I am constantly in awe the settlers, like the widow Cloete, who braved inhospitable conditions way back when to venture into the interior of the Western Cape region. Apparently some time between 1696 and 1704 the then governor of the Cape left a Riebeek Valley farm to this widow. The story goes that after returning from a trip to Stellenbosch for supplies, they found the house and farm destroyed by fire and renamed it Allesverloren.

In 1872 one Daniël Francois Malan bought the estate. At the time the farm was used to grow wheat, but the new owner decided to try wine. Five generations later, the Malan family is still producing excellent port and robust red wines, and current winemaker Danie Malan continues the tradition of winning awards and accolades. In fact, Danie’s grandfather won awards – the General Smuts Trophy in the SAChampionship Young Wine Show – for the Allesverloren Port in 1956 and 1957.

At the time Allesverloren was producing for KWV. It was only in 1974 that their first own label vintage – a red blend – was produced.

A visit to the estate is a must for tasting and buying of their range, which includes Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, Tinta Barocca and Touriga Nacional (both crafted from Portuguese port varietals), as well as their flagship Fine Old Vintage port and Danie’s Backyard Blend.

I am fascinated by wine names and labels, so had to ask about the Backyard Blend. The blend itself can change from year to year, Juanita Malan (Danie’s wife) told me; it all depends on what’s available, hence the name. Juanita says it was first produced at a request from one of their Norwegian wine agents.

Tasting times and buying details can be found here but we also recommend making a weekend of it, particularly the weekend of 4 May, when the annual Riebeek Olive Festival is happening. Allesverloren is one of eight hosting estates, and along with their own wine, will have wines from Org de Rac (organic), Theuniskraal, Tukulu and La Bonheur. There will be a food and wine market on the estate, including the region’s second favourite ‘export’, olives.

Besides the participating estates, Riebeek Kasteel itself will host entertainment, wine and olive tasting, food and more – and all the wonderful shops and galleries in this quaint town will be open, of course! A full programme of events can be downloaded here or contact the folks over at Riebeek Valley Tourism for more info.

It is set to be a fantastic day of food, wine and general merriment.

022 461 2320
R311, off the R46 between Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West

natural, botanical essential oils and body products with a conscience

The last thing that one associates with Kloof Street is fertile rural landscapes against the backdrop of a majestic mountain. Well, a mountain, perhaps; rural splendour, not so much. Except when Kloof Street is situated in the beautiful Riebeeck Valley, where the Still Pure factory and shop can be found.

Still Pure is a relatively new venture, but one that evolved from the company’s original business of custom designing and manufacturing distillation machines for the essential oil industry and supplying farmers with essential oil plants and information. Co-owner Sue Pugh says it was a natural progression, aided by her husband and co-owner Sandor’s background as an engineer and his penchant for playing “mad chef” in the kitchen.

Their handcrafted soap bars were the first products produced and remain a best seller. Like all the Still Pure products they are made from natural, botanical ingredients with a base of olive oil & organic unrefined shea butter, to which exceptional moisturising oils are added. They are also, except for one bar in the range, suitable for vegans. There is little to beat the feeling of gorgeous hand crafted soaps that have moisturising properties! It epitomises affordable luxury.

We asked Sue to recommend their current favourite products for readers yet to discover this wonderful range.

For the girls:

  • Gently cleanse with the SKIN REPAIR BAR (enriched with sweet almond &rose hip cold pressed oils and fragranced with rose geranium essential oil)
  • Moisturize daily from face to toes with the SKIN DRINK FOR DRY & MATURESKIN (with baobab and rosehip cold pressed oils);
  • Feed your skin added nourishment at night with the SKIN REVIVAL ANTIAGEING healing balm (made primarily of the best unrefined, organic shea butter we’ve ever known, infused with a selection of cold pressed and essential oils);
  • Slough away that pasty winter skin with the SOOTHING SALT SCRUB, emotionally calming, soothing away stress and anxiety.

And for the boys:

  • The SHAVING BAR works up a lovely creamy foam with fresh eucalyptus, orange & sandalwood notes, along with tea tree to disinfect any nicks while shaving;
  • Follow your shave with the SKIN REVIVAL FOR MEN, gently moisturises without feeling oily, sticky or making you sweat;
  • Start the day with a zing by showering with the REFRESHING WASH liquid soap;
  • Moisturize with the SKIN FOOD BAOBAB & LIME, deeply nourishing with a fresh citrus fragrance.

Every product is, as we mentioned, natural, botanical, hand crafted and entirely African. Still Pure commits to using only local products, as close to their factory as possible, but extending further into South Africa where necessary. This commitment is matched by their care and respect for the environment and their willingness to pay higher prices for ingredients, to ensure that farmers and community projects from whom they source ingredients are paid a fair price.

Still Pure describes their products as “made with love and respect for you, our community and our environment. Truly products with a clear conscience!” We believe that it makes their beautiful products that much more beautiful.

You’ll find Still Pure products at Wellness Warehouse, in coincidentally, Kloof Street, but you can also buy online via their website where you can learn more about the company and all the products available. And if you are ever in Riebeek Kasteel, make sure to pop into the Still Pure shop.