Pink Valley, the new winery devoted to the production of rosy-hued wine, has opened a tapas and Rosé bar. On the slopes of the Helderberg, a cellar has been given new life as a stylish gathering spot. Interior designer Pieter Burger, who with Ziana Firmani transformed the space, tells MARGUERITE VAN WYK about the cellar’s rebirth.
MvW: Why did the winemaker, Schalk Willem Joubert, want to open a Rosé and tapas bar?
PB: It makes perfect sense to have a restaurant where you can have wine and food pairings. What could be more relaxing than sipping a Rosé and sampling a delectable dish? Like the wine estate, the restaurant is called Pink Valley because the estate is renowned for making premium Rosé.
MvW: What were the greatest challenges to creating this restaurant?
PB: We had to start from scratch. Although only a brick building with a door, the cellar had loads of potential. Our job was to give it soul, and that meant introducing light. People don’t want to eat in a dark dungeon and we had to work creatively with natural light. So on the upper deck we put in doors that open onto verandas with spectacular views as far as False Bay. The overall result gives us great pleasure and we hope to inspire many foodies and Rosé lovers.
A rosé bar must have a touch of pink, artfully complemented with earthy tones and natural materials. The colours find an echo in a large artwork by Walter Battiss, Walking Feathers, which adorns one wall and inspired the Pink Valley Wine labels.
MvW: How would you describe the vibe of the restaurant?
PB: The dining section is laid-back, ‘lived in’, with a classical, stylish vibe that is welcoming. The bar section is more slick and contemporary.
MvW: What gives the decor its distinctive style?
PB: The South African abstract painter Walter Battiss’s artwork Walking Feathers inspired the company logo and wine labels. A 2x2m print of one of his artworks adorns one of the walls and complements the colour scheme that I have played with: rich and earthy autumn colours such as dirty greens, brick, taupe and pink.
A green eco theme comes to the fore in the bathrooms, with their clean white tiles and a touch of drama coming through in the wallpaper.
MvW: What inspires you?
PB: Interacting with people. I used to be a corporate banker in Johannesburg but I always did styling, interior decorating and design on the side. They are my passion. For the past 18 years, however, I’ve been able to follow my heart. I love designing spaces as well. At least once a year I hone my creative skills by visiting top international interior and design shows like the Maison & Objet in Paris. Travelling stimulates creativity and opens up new horizons.