The secret is out! Riaan Stassen, bought the farm and took over the reigns in June 2015. Having worked for Distillers for 14 years, his new venture is not completely foreign to him! Since arriving at Hidden Valley he has implemented various projects and upgrades to further enhance the consumer experience at the estate.
One such project was to create a new icon for the brand - one that the consumer will identify and immediately associate Hidden Valley with.
Riaan, a lover of fine art, amongst other things, approached well-known sculptor, Willie Botha, with his idea. This idea was translated into a story which became the inspiration behind the classical fragment that has been placed at the entrance of the estate. The classical fragment has now become the new icon for the Hidden Valley brand.
Drawing inspiration from the majestic Helderberg Mountains, Willie set out to create what would become the new icon for the Hidden Valley brand. Willie noticed the massive granite boulders that had rolled down the Helderberg Mountains and which came to rest in the valley on the farm. He wanted to create the impression that there must have been an ancient civilization that lived high up in the mountains and, with erosion over time, the granite boulders as well as the fragments of huge classical sculptures rolled down the valley and were only recently exposed and discovered.
After a detailed study of classical faces and sculptures from the Hellenic period in Greece, Willie started off with a full face sculpture by first creating a macquette (French for scale model of a sculpture) in a scale 1.2 times larger than life size, in ceramic clay. This process made it easier for him to manipulate the clay and make the necessary changes until he was happy with the result. The next step was to make a silicone rubber mould from the head, from which a couple of thin plaster of paris castings were made. He then started breaking off pieces from these castings to get an authentic break effect that he was happy with. This piece was then sanded and smoothed to a shiny surface. From this, another silicone rubber mould was made in which a replica was cast in resin for presentation to owner, Riaan Stassen. Riaan was happy with the result and gave the go ahead to upscale to the required size. The resin cast was then taken to a company where it was first laser-scanned on computer software, after which it was milled out of polyurethane foam fifteen times life size. The sculpture was then collected in twelve pieces and transported to Willie’s studio and foundry in Hermanus. In the studio the twelve pieces were assembled and the long process of finishing off and sanding the surface between each of the seven layers of filler spray paint commenced. After this another silicone rubber mould was made in which the final sculpture was cast in Cold Cast Bronze - atomized bronze which is amalgamated with polyester resin.
For it to be transported back to Hidden Valley on a low-bed trailer, the weather conditions had to be perfect.
2 December 2015 now marks another important date in the history of Hidden Valley Wines. It was on this day, that a new icon was welcomed to our valley…