Hollywood comes to town


Two of the lead actors in the road outside the slave-built Welvanpas mansion. The man with the boom is recording the sound of a departing bakkie (pick-up truck). You can probably detect that the parting was not on good terms.

Stormhoek is way out in the rural, rustic hinterland – deep in the hills, on a cul-de-sac, bump-bump dirt road traveled by few cars and the twice-a-day bus. But something really exciting is happening in sleepy hollow! Hollywood has arrived. A hundred bustling technicians, actors and producers have taken over Welvanpas, our next-door neighbour. We know a lot about this as the only road to and from Stormhoek passes through the Welvanpas front yard.

They are filming and recording everything from the picking of grapes, “Cut. Can we do that again more slowly?” to the owls in the darkened oak trees, all of which is a backdrop to a soapy story that covers seven hour-long episodes.

The story is in Dutch and Afrikaans and centres around a small wine farm in Stellenbosch in the 1990’s, showing how the owners and the workers got along day by day after Nelson Mandela set everyone free.

The series is designed for television in Holland, with the action taking place in the great house, on the front stoop (verandah), in the front yard of the mansion and elsewhere in the vineyards and cellar.

When we go to town to buy anything, we have to stop to wait while a shot is completed and it’s the same when we come back.

Shooting is set to complete on March 11.


Stormhoek Activity