However, the house, built in 1788 during the ownership of Johan David Beyers to whom the property had been transferred by Martin Melck, Beyers's father-in-law, bares a strong similarity to the well-known Martin Melck House in Strand Street, Cape Town. It is highly possible that the same architect, J C Herzendosch, could well have been employed for the similar-looking house on the Uitkyk property. The sculptor, Anton Anreith, is likely to have been responsible for the extraordinary neo-classical front door that carries the outline of Table Mountain; a design that is repeated on all the inner doors of the splendidly restored homestead.
During its restoration, two beautiful murals were found on the interior wall of the entrance hall, buried under 15 layers of paint. The process of uncovering these wall paintings has been painstaking and meticulous. It was preceded by careful research and liason with European experts in the field. Samples of paint fragments taken from the murals were sent to Europe for analysis and where possible, similar natural pigments were used in the restoration which was completed in 1998.
The result after three years of work, is a splendid example of late 18th century wall decoration of unsurpassed quality - a project which received the Cape Times Memorial Medal in 1998 for exceptional conservation projects in historic architecture. The original paintings are part of a composition based on the four seasons and make use of neo-classical elements such as paterae, swags, ribbons and trompe l'oeil treatments. Delicately painted, the two restored panels portray the seasons of Summer and Spring. It is expected that Autumn and Winter will be found on the opposite wall, for similar lines are visible when the light falls on that wall in a certain way. All the colourful birds, plants and insects so meticulously depicted can be found on Uitkyk today.
Today, however, winemaking is the order of the day at Uitkyk. It is a property of some 600 hectares, of which about 200 are currently under vineyard ranging from 200 to 500 metres above sea level. The size and the undulations of the mountain slopes provide several different meso-climates and a range of soil types varying from decomposed granite to deep, loamy red originating from Table Mountain sandstone. From noble red and white varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay, winemaker Estelle Swart produce fine varietal wines and blends which draw the spotlight and feature as some of the best-known South African labels. Thanks to the progressive viticultural methods at Uitkyk, the state-of-the-art cellar can rely on grapes of exceptional quality and flavour - vintage after vintage.
History Of The Estate:
Uitkyk Estate was founded in 1712 when it was first granted to Jan Oberholzer who used the property mainly for grazing. In 1929 it was purchased by an immigrant Prussian nobleman, Hans von Carlowitz. It was Von Carlowitz who recognized the winemaking possibilities inherent in the high slopes of the Estate, with their good soil and drainage. With the help of his son, Georg, they developed the vineyards, planting predominantly Chenin blanc, Cape Riesling, Cinsaut and Cabernet.
It was a blend made from Cinsaut and Cabernet for which the family is still remembered. This was the famous Carlonet (the few remaining bottles of this blend are prized collector's items), which was complemented by a fine white blend, the sweet and fruity Carlsheim.
After falling on hard times in the post-World War II period, the Estate has made a come-back under new management. It was purchased by Distell (then Distillers Corporation) in 1983. Since 1999 Uitkyk is owned by Lusan Holdings (Pty) Ltd, a joint venture between Distell and Hans-J Schreiber. The joint venture is responsible for the farming activities and the production of the wine. The joint venture markets and sells its products exclusively through Distell.
How To Get There:
From Cape Town to Uitkyk via the N1: Uitkyk is situated halfway between Stellenbosch and the Paarl on the R44 road. When travelling from Cape Town in the direction of Paarl, take the R44 off-ramp from the N1 and travel towards Stellenbosch via Klapmuts. Approximately 9 kilometres from the N1, the turnoff to Uikyk Estate will be on the left. Uitkyk and Kanonkop Estate share an entrance.
For further details visit www.uitkyk.co.za.