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Discover The Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course

The ‘Golden Bear’ opened the course in 2003, commenting: “Surrounded by mountains this is one of the most spectacular settings in which I have designed a golf course.” In the world of golf it is simply not possible to receive a greater endorsement.

It has the thumbprint of a true champion and is the realisation of one man’s vision, philosophy and passion for the greatest game of all.

A Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course is the highest tier of design offering from world leaders Nicklaus Design. This design features the most extensive involvement by Jack Nicklaus, who personally directs all design-related issues and serves as promotional spokesman for the golf course. Jack Nicklaus visits the site to determine the feasibility of layout and design, is present during the construction phases and provides input and approval on all key decisions.

Jack’s unique touch is evident throughout the course and his masterpiece is characterised by lush green-all-season fairways, exceptional bunkering and the clever use of beautiful water features. The total length of the course, off the championship tees, is 6749 metres, whereas the members length ranges from 5878 metres from the blue club tees to the senior/ladies championship tees at 5586 metres. The ladies course spans 4935 metres. The layout of the course was designed with the prevailing winter north-westerly and summer south-easterly winds in mind. All par 3’s and par 5’s play in different directions, providing the golfer with varying conditions throughout the round.

Accolades and Timeline

  • 2003 – Opened by Nicklaus and the Black Knight – Gary Player
  • 2005 – Best New Golf Course of The Year 2005 by Golf Digest
  • 2010 – 2019 – Best Conditioned Golf Course in the Western Cape by Golf Digest
  • 2006 – 2017 –  Ranked among the top ten courses in South Africa by Golf Digest
  • 2007 – 2009 – Host of the South African Open
  • 2008 – 2013 – Five Star Golf Experience Award by Compleat Golfer
  • 2014 – Justin Rose selects Pearl Valley’s fourth hole as one of his favourite ‘Nine Holes From Around The World’, in partnership with British Airways
  • 2018/2019 – Ranked as the 5th best golf course in South Africa by Golf Digest

Destination & Travel

Surrounded by three awe-inspiring mountain ranges, Val de Vie Estate falls within the verdant Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, where historic farms and the natural splendour of the Cape Floral Kingdom beckon visitors from across the globe. Residents and visitors to the region regularly enjoy Franschhoek’s charming European ambience, art, music and exquisite culinary experiences which have placed the area on the map as the fine food capital of South Africa.

AREA & SHOPPING

Deli’s stocked with artisinal products proudly and locally produced in the Cape Winelands are to be found all around and are the perfect places to get some fresh produce before heading back home. Wine, olive oil, preserves, flowers and other gifts are to be found on the estate at our Deli at nearby deli’s such as Babylonstoren Farm Stall, Boschendal Farm Shop, Deli Fresh on the R301, Lust at Vrede & Lust, La Paris, Fairview, Spice Route and many more.

Nearby shops include Paarl Mall, only 6km from the entrance gate, as well as Laborie Shopping Centre and Rembrandt Mall. The main road of Franschhoek is lined with boutiques and other quaint stores. Tygervalley Mall is 39km away. Canal Walk and the V & A Waterfront are respectively 52km and 61km from the estate.

TRAVEL

Val de Vie Estate’s proximity to Cape Town International Airport and to Cape Town, both less than 40 minutes away, makes it a convenient point from which some of South Africa’s finest offerings.

  • 35 minutes from Cape Town CBD via the Berg River bridge
  • 35 minutes from Cape Town International Airport via the Berg River bridge
  • 15 minutes from Stellenbosch via the Berg River bridge
  • 15 minutes from Franschhoek
  • 8 minutes from Paarl

There are very few places in the world with such a variety of quality lifestyle offerings within a 90-minute drive. Whale watching in Hermanus or a road trip to the undiscovered treasure trove of the Westcoast are within easy reach.

How to Find Us

R301, Wemmershoek Road (Exit 59, N1 north towards Paarl)

GPS: -33.818212°, 19.000358°

ACCOMMODATION

The Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis is a luxury establishment situated on Pearl Valley, forming part of the award-winning Val de Vie Estate which is  internationally recognised for its polo facilities and other world-class amenities. Set in the picturesque Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, the Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis is an approximate 35-minute drive from both Cape Town and Cape Town International Airport. The hotel is located only a short drive away from many of South Africa’s most renowned wine estates and restaurants.

FOOD

In the Cape Winelands, there is wine in abundance, and there’s also mild Mediterranean-type weather, beautiful scenery, and a plethora of sumptuous hotels and lodges, some on magnificent wine estates where fine wines are produced and the sensuous pleasures of good living liberally uncorked.

Taking these unique qualities into account visitors will be further enlightened to all that this area has to offer with a leisurely journey along the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route. This exciting initiative builds on Franschhoek’s reputation as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, taking the concept of a food and wine experience to an entirely new level. Offering visitors an array of innovative food, wine and lifestyle experiences is truly unique to the Cape Winelands.

WINE

Val de Vie Estate is synonymous with the bountiful offering that is brought forth by the picturesque Paarl-Franschhoek Valley. This magnificent region – or The Valley of Life as we call it.

With many of the wine farms sharing a French Huguenot heritage, expect to find enormous French influence.

The Paarl Wine Route, renowned for its rich, full-bodied, spicy red and crisp white wines, is the second oldest in the country. The area is best known for the quality of its Shiraz, the climate in particular favouring this variety. Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinotage, Viognier and Mourvedre are increasingly well regarded.

Paarl is also home to a couple of craft breweries, olives and olive oil producers.

Franschhoek Wine Route is known for superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc, to the full-bodied reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Franschhoek district produces some of the country’s extraordinary Méthode Cap Classiques, which can all be enjoyed during a trip along the Franschhoek MCC Route.

WINELANDS MAP

Click on the Grapes icon to the left to view all the wine farms in the Cape Winelands.

HIKING & CYCLING THE CAPE WINELANDS

The Cape Winelands offers lush valleys framed by rugged mountain ranges. This provides a myriad of adventures available for the professional or novice hiker and cyclist. The valley floors offer relaxed walks among the vineyards while the mountain slopes and crests offer a more challenging series of hikes and single track for cycling through the Winelands indigenous Fynbos vegetation.

The local nature reserves is home to numerous trials of varying degrees of difficulty. Trials can range from one or two hour walks, to three days mammoth excursions through valley’s and over mountain passes.

Some of the local nature reserves is Limietberg, Paarl Mountain, The Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve and The Kogelberg Nature Reserve including The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area.

ART

Within both Stellenbosch and Paarl- Franschhoek Valley are a collection of fine art galleries, which make ideal stops while exploring the region.

It’s a completely natural fit, the blending of meticulously curated art with the Cape’s picturesque winelands. Be it perfectly sculpted pieces that add character to landscaped lawns, galleries that showcase the best of the country’s classical artists or a space where contemporary art meets African fusion.

Some of the top art galleries to visit in the Cape Winelands to enjoy a day or an afternoon pursuing spectacular works of art is Everard Read, Is Art Gallery and Pierneef Gallery at La Motte, The Rupert Museum all in close proximity to Franschhoek.

Image: The Gallery at Val de Vie Estate – For more information

POLO

Surrounded by the mountains and vineyards of the famous Paarl-Franschhoek valley, Val de Vie Estate is one of the most spectacular polo venues in the world. Our passion for the sport has transformed the estate into an unrivalled polo destination.

Pink Polo, ISPS Handa and Veuve Clicquot Polo Series are some of the international polo events that are hosted on our estate, and are a luxurious introduction to the sport of kings.

Gardens and Wildlife on the Estate

Val de Vie Estate is celebrated for its scenic natural environment, with lush indigenous fynbos, ample trees, numerous lakes and an abundance of wildlife and birds. With the iconic African fish eagle, spotted owl, malachite and pied kingfishers, buzzards, kites, commerants, coots and African duck to name a few – the estate is a birder’s paradise. Maintaining this natural heritage is a priority and Val de Vie Estate currently has an indigenous vegetation coverage of 80% in residential and open areas.

Environmental Updates by Simon Allen
Simon Allen has been working closely with Mike Westman who has assisted us in obtaining our Aduban accreditation.

Bird Nesting Boxes

Owl Boxes at Val de Vie Estate

As part of our environmental strategy and in partnership with our friends from Eagle Encounters, owl boxes have been put up across the estate. There already exists a current population of owls but by putting up owl boxes we encourage these birds of prey to stay in the area and also to breed. There are two predominant owl species within our area being the spotted eagle owl and the barn owl.

Overall the estate can accommodate about 20 owl boxes. Because these baby owls have been reared in a box they will seek out a box as a nest. Once they have claimed a box they will stay there forever as they are territorial and breed in the area.

Releasing Rehabilitated Owls Back into the Wild

In conjunction with our partners from Eagle Encounters, we have been releasing rehabilitated owls back into the wild. Eagle Encounters receives and rehabilitates birds of prey that have been injured, poisoned, abused or hand reared. When they are fit, healthy and able to hunt and breed again they are released into the wild. Only hand-reared birds are kept for education purposes.

Our first fourowls arrived in October 2015 and to date we have successfully released nine spotted eagle owls. When the owls arrive, they are kept enclosed in a cage for about two weeks. They are fed daily and fresh water is supplied. After about two weeks we open the cage but still supply food and water daily. Eventually we start feeding less and less until the owls are self-sufficient and move out of the area.

Official Bird List

With no less than 132 different bird species officially recorded on the estate (855 different bird species are found in Southern Africa), Val de Vie Estate can be considered a bird sanctuary. Apart from the impressive diversity, vulnerable species such as the black harrier, blue crane and great white pelican are also found here. Please click here to download the official Val de Vie Estate bird list, the result of a project carried out over several years and a recent official independent bird count. The list indicates the most likely areas for sightings and specie conservation status. We especially recognise the efforts of Dr. Rob Little from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute at the University of Cape Town, The Cape Bird Club, Evert Nel (former Pearl Valley Golf Club Captain), Joël Roerig and Chris Brunt for their assistance in the compilation of the list.

Berg River Rehabilitation

The Berg River forms the south-western border of the estate along a 1.2km stretch. Val de Vie Estate, in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, embarked on the Berg River Rehabilitation Project in 2014. Restoring this important river system benefits both the greater agricultural industry and surrounding communities. The removal of large swathes of alien vegetation (such as port Jackson andb gum) and re-introducing endemic indigenous species will have various benefits, including bank stabilization, flood attenuation and filtering surface flow run-off from adjacent lands. Val de Vie Estate successfully introduced more than 12,000 shrub and tree plantlings including yellowwood, wild peach, wild olive and wild almond on the estate’s riparian zone, covering 2.4 hectares.

Discover The Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course

The ‘Golden Bear. opened the course in 2003, commenting: “Surrounded by mountains this is one of the most spectacular settings in which I have designed a golf course.” In the world of golf it is simply not possible to receive a greater endorsement.

It has the thumbprint of a true champion and is the realisation of one man’s vision, philosophy and passion for the greatest game of all.

A Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course is the highest tier of design offering from world leaders Nicklaus Design. This design features the most extensive involvement by Jack Nicklaus, who personally directs all design-related issues and serves as promotional spokesman for the golf course. Jack Nicklaus visits the site to determine the feasibility of layout and design, is present during the construction phases and provides input and approval on all key decisions.

Jack’s unique touch is evident throughout the course and his masterpiece is characterised by lush green-all-season fairways, exceptional bunkering and the clever use of beautiful water features. The total length of the course, off the championship tees, is 6749 metres, whereas the members length ranges from 5878 metres from the blue club tees to the senior/ladies championship tees at 5586 metres. The ladies course spans 4935 metres. The layout of the course was designed with the prevailing winter north-westerly and summer south-easterly winds in mind. All par 3’s and par 5’s play in different directions, providing the golfer with varying conditions throughout the round.

Accolades and Timeline

  • 2003 – Opened by Nicklaus and the Black Knight – Gary Player
  • 2005 – Best New Golf Course of The Year 2005 by Golf Digest
  • 2010 – 2019 – Best Conditioned Golf Course in the Western Cape by Golf Digest
  • 2006 – 2017-  Ranked among the top ten courses in South Africa by Golf Digest
  • 2018/2019 – Ranked as the 5th best golf course in South Africa by Golf Digest
  • 2007 – 2009 – Host of the South African Open
  • 2008 – 2013 Five Star Golf Experience Award by Compleat Golfer
  • 2014 – Justin Rose selects Pearl Valley’s fourth hole as one of his favourite ‘Nine Holes From Around The World’, in partnership with British Airways

Accolades

  • 2003 – Opened by Nicklaus and the Black Knight – Gary Player
  • 2005 – Best New Golf Course of The Year 2005 by Golf Digest
  • 2007 – 2009 – Host of the South African Open
  • 2006 – 2017- Ranked among the top ten courses in South Africa by Golf Digest
  • 2008 – 2013 Five Star Golf Experience Award by Compleat Golfer
  • 2014 – Justin Rose selects Pearl Valley’s fourth hole as one of his favourite ‘Nine Holes From Around The World’, in partnership with British Airways
  • 2017 – Audubon Certification Achieved
  • 2008 – 2019 – Best Conditioned Golf Course in the Western Cape by Golf Digest.
  • 2018/2019 – Ranked as the 5th best golf course in South Africa by Golf Digest

Destination And Travel

Surrounded by three awe-inspiring mountain ranges, Val de Vie Estate falls within the verdant Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, where historic farms and the natural splendour of the Cape Floral Kingdom beckon visitors from across the globe. Residents and visitors to the region regularly enjoy Franschhoek’s charming European ambience, art, music and exquisite culinary experiences which have placed the area on the map as the fine food capital of South Africa.

AREA & SHOPPING

Nearby amenities include the Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Camelot Spa Val de Vie, Paarl Mall, only 6km from the entrance gate, as well as Mediclinic Paarl and Paarl Provincial Hospital – both less than 10 minutes away.

Other nearby amenities include the Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Camelot Spa Val de Vie, Paarl Mall, only 6km from the entrance gate, as well as Mediclinic Paarl and Paarl Provincial Hospital – both less than 10 minutes away.

There are very few places in the world with such a variety of quality lifestyle offerings within a 90-minute drive. Whale watching in Hermanus or a road trip to the undiscovered treasure trove of the Westcoast are within easy reach.

TRAVEL

Val de Vie Estate’s proximity to Cape Town International Airport and to Cape Town, both less than 40 minutes away, makes it a convenient point from which some of South Africa’s finest offerings.

  • 35 minutes from Cape Town CBD via the Berg River bridge
  • 35 minutes from Cape Town International Airport via the Berg River bridge
  • 15 minutes from Stellenbosch via the Berg River bridge
  • 15 minutes from Franschhoek
  • 8 minutes from Paarl

How to Find Us

R301, Wemmershoek Road (Exit 59, N1 north towards Paarl)

GPS: -33.818212°, 19.000358°

ACCOMMODATION

In the Cape winelands, there is wine in abundance, and there’s also mild Mediterranean-type weather, beautiful scenery, and a plethora of sumptuous hotels and lodges, some on magnificent wine estates where fine wines are produced and the sensuous pleasures of good living liberally uncorked.

The Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis is a luxury establishment situated on Pearl Valley, forming part of the award-winning Val de Vie Estate which is  internationally recognised for its polo facilities and other world-class amenities. Set in the picturesque Paarl-Franschhoek Valley, the Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis is an approximate 40-minute drive from both Cape Town and Cape Town International Airport. The hotel is located only a short drive away from many of South Africa’s most renowned wine estates and restaurants.

FOOD

Taking these unique qualities into account visitors will be further enlightened to all that this area has to offer with a leisurely journey along the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route. This exciting initiative builds on Franschhoek’s reputation as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, taking the concept of a food and wine experience to an entirely new level. Offering visitors an array of innovative food, wine and lifestyle experiences is truly unique to the Cape Winelands.

WINE

Val de Vie Estate is synonymous with the bountiful offering that is brought forth by the picturesque Paarl-Franschhoek Valley. This magnificent region – or The Valley of Life as we call it.

With many of the wine farms sharing a French Huguenot heritage, expect to find enormous French influence.

The Paarl Wine Route, renowned for its rich, full-bodied, spicy red and crisp white wines, is the second oldest in the country. The area is best known for the quality of its Shiraz, the climate in particular favouring this variety. Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinotage, Viognier and Mourvedre are increasingly well regarded.

Paarl is also home to a couple of Craft breweries, olives and olive oil producers.

Franschhoek Wine Route is known for superb whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Semillon and Chenin Blanc, to the full-bodied reds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Franschhoek district produces some of the country’s extraordinary Méthode Cap Classiques, which can all be enjoyed during a trip along the Franschhoek MCC Route.

WINELANDS MAP

Click on the Grapes to the left to view all the wine farms in the Cape Winelands.

GOLF

As the name implies, our Pearl Valley Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course truly bears the stamp of the world’s preeminent golf course designer. Golf Digest has named the course as ‘Best Conditioned’ in the Western Cape from 2010 – 2019. Since 2006 the course has consistently been placed among the top ten in South Africa and ranked as the 5thbest in the country in 2018/2019 by Golf Digest magazine. For six consecutive years Compleat Golfer bestowed the Five Star Experience Award on the course.

HIKING THE CAPE WINELANDS

The Cape Winelands offers lush valleys framed by rugged mountain ranges. This provides a myriad of adventures available for the professional or novice hiker. The valley floors offer relaxed walks among the vineyards while the mountain slopes and crests offer a more challenging series of hikes through the Winelands indigenous Fynbos vegetation.

The local nature reserves is home to numerous trials of varying degrees of difficulty. Trials can range from one or two hour walks, to three days mammoth excursions through valley’s and over mountain passes.

Some of the local nature reserves is Limietberg, Paarl Mountain, The Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve and The Kogelberg Nature Reserve including The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area.

ART

Within both Stellenbosch and Paarl- Franschhoek Valley are a collection of fine art galleries, which make ideal stops while exploring the region.

It’s a completely natural fit, the blending of meticulously curated art with the Cape’s picturesque winelands. Be it perfectly sculpted pieces that add character to landscaped lawns, galleries that showcase the best of the country’s classical artists or a space where contemporary art meets African fusion.

Some of the top art galleries to visit in the Cape Winelands to enjoy a day or an afternoon pursuing spectacular works of art is Everard Read, Is Art Gallery and Pierneef Gallery at La Motte, The Rupert Museum all in close proximity to Franschhoek.

Image: The Gallery at Val de Vie Estate – For more information

POLO

Surrounded by the mountains and vineyards of the famous Paarl-Franschhoek valley, Val de Vie is one of the most spectacular polo estates in the world. Our passion for the sport has transformed the estate into an unrivalled polo destination. The Polo Club Restaurant

Pink Polo, ISPS Handa and Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo are some of the international polo events that are hosted on our Estate, and are a luxurious introduction to the Sport of Kings.

SCHOOLS

Val de Vie Estate is a paradise for young families offering safety and security while being in close vicinity to some of the top schools in the country. We know that one of the greatest gifts you can give your child is an excellent education and an opportunity to excel in life.

READ MORE > Top Schools

Gardens and Wildlife on the Estate

Val de Vie Estate is celebrated for its scenic natural environment, with lush indigenous fynbos, ample trees, numerous lakes and an abundance of wildlife and birds. With the iconic African fish eagle, spottede owl, malachite and pied kingfishers, buzzards, kites, commerants, coots and African duck to name a few – the estate is a birder’s paradise. Maintaining this natural heritage is a priority and Val de Vie Estate currently has an indigenous vegetation coverage of 80% in residential and open areas.

Environmental Updates by Simon Allen.
Simon Allen has been working closely with Mike Westman who has assisted us in obtaining our Aduban accreditation.

Bird Nesting Boxes

Owl Boxes at Val de Vie Estate

As part of our environmental strategy at Val de Vie Estate and in partnership with our friends from Eagle Encounters, owl boxes have been put up across the estate. There already exists a current population of owls but by putting up owl boxes we encourage the owls to stay in the area and also to breed. There aretwo predominant owl species within our area being the spotted eagle owl and the barn owl.

Overall the estate can accommodate about 20 owl boxes. Because these baby owls have been reared in a box they will seek out a box as a nest. Once they have claimed a box they will stay there forever as they are territorial and breed in the area.

Releasing Rehabilitated Owls Back into the Wild

In conjunction with our partners from Eagle Encounters, we have been releasing rehabilitated owls back into the wild. Eagle Encounters receives and rehabilitates birds of prey that have been injured, poisoned, abused or hand reared. When they are fit, healthy and able to hunt and breed again they are released into the wild. Only hand-reared birds are kept for education purposes.

Our first fourowls arrived in October 2015 and to date we have successfully released nine spotted eagle owls. When the owls arrive, they are kept enclosed in a cage for about two weeks. They are fed daily and fresh water is supplied. After about two weeks we open the cage but still supply food and water daily. Eventually we start feeding less and less until the owls are self-sufficient and move out of the area.

Official Bird List

With no less than 132 different bird species officially recorded on the estate (855 different bird species are found in Southern Africa), Val de Vie Estate can be considered a bird sanctuary. Apart from the impressive diversity, vulnerable species such as the black harrier, blue crane and great white pelican are also found here. Please click here to download the official Val de Vie Estate Bird list, the result of a project carried out over several years and a recent official independent bird count. The list indicates the most likely areas for sightings and specie conservation status. We especially recognise the efforts of Dr. Rob Little from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute at the University of Cape Town, The Cape Bird Club, Evert Nel (former Pearl Valley Golf Club Captain), Joël Roerig and Chris Brunt for their assistance in the compilation of the list.

Berg River Rehabilitation

The Berg River forms the south-western border of the estate along a 1.2km stretch. Val de Vie Estate, in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, embarked on the Berg River Rehabilitation Project in 2014. Restoring this important river system benefits both the greater agricultural industry and surrounding communities. The removal of large swathes of alien vegetation (such as port Jackson andb gum) and re-introducing endemic indigenous species will have various benefits, including bank stabilization, flood attenuation and filtering surface flow run-off from adjacent lands. Val de Vie Estate successfully introduced more than 12,000 shrub and tree plantlings including yellowwood, wild peach, wild olive and wild almond on the estate’s riparian zone, covering 2.4 hectares.