As we enter into 317 years of the Estates Winemaking history it has never been more important for us to focus on our future, giving considerable attention on what we need to do to protect the land in our stewardship which in tern will hopefully allow us to continue producing exceptional wines for at least another 300 years! So what are we doing to ensure our sustainable future?
· Planting of cover crop- this helps to prevent soil erosion as well as putting back organic material into the soil which helps aeration and adds nutrients to the soil benefitting the growth of the vine during summer. It also improves water holding as well as having the added benefit of smothering weed growth which would otherwise compete with vines for water and nutrients.
· Planting of Agroforestry corridors around the Vineyards. We will be planting Vygies and Fynbos both indigenous to South Africa. These help to prevent erosion as well as attracting bees and insects who will in turn eat the mealy bugs which are harmful to the vines. overall creating a favourable ecosystem.
· Continuing to Handpick our grapes-as well as allowing us to produce high quality wines this is much kinder to our environment and provides local employment. By handpicking we reduce energy usage, emissions and the damaging effects of compacting the soil.
· Minimal Ploughing- we are extremely mindful of the damaging effects ploughing has and keep this to a minimal going through the vineyards only with mulching in of the cover crop residue. This prevents compacting of the sub-soil allowing the soil to build up an active ecosystem with bacteria, earthworm and other organisms, all helping to create nutrients and nitrogen for the vine to use.
· Drylands Estate- as water is becoming a more scarce resource it is ever more important for us to continue conserving water, the fact that we are a drylands estate saves enormously on our water usage. We also adapt our pruning style using the suckering technique which helps our vines to adapt and flourish with less water.