As with the rest of the world, our wine industry has started to focus on “going green” and doing away with the harmful practices of the past. There are different levels of this journey and various estates are contributing in different ways.
Some of the different categories would include:
- Biodynamic Farming – this involves becoming organic first prior to moving on to farming in tune with the moon cycles.
- Organic farming – moving away from use of anything harmful in the production of the wine. Interesting strategies to combat the “pests” include bringing ducks into the vineyards to get rid of snails. This is a strategy that Avondale wines use to combat their problem.
- BWI (Biodiversity & Wine Initiative) –this was an initiative that many of the farmers were following and many still are – where by they aim to conserve the remaining local vegetation known as Fynbos and Renosterbos on their estates – it is also about using sustainable farming methodologies. Although the drivers behind this initiative. The organization that was pushing this has folded – however – many estates are still following this initiative on there on steam.
This tour stops to visit a couple of estates that are involved in different ways in creating a sustainable future. Some of the estates that may be included would be:
Avondale (organic/biodynamic/biologic) – we start the day here for their farm and cellar tour. This is a good rustic farm experience – you literally climb on to the back of a truck and head around the farm to learn about their processes. These guys are madly passionate about the environment and love nothing more then to share their practices with you! En Route we stop for chats and for wine tastings and to visit their ducks! One then proceeds to their cellar to see that the process and the philosophy are carried through 360 degrees here. This tour takes about 2 hours! The cost is R250 per person for the tour on the farm. This is a great way to start the going green tour. The wines range across whites and reds and they are all absolutely fantastic. Great complex flavours on all of the wines!
After the Avondale Farm Tour – one could opt for a lunch on their estate. They have a great fine dining spot called Faber.
Or we could head to Babel at Babylonstoren – this is on an organic fruit and vegetable farm (Closed on Monday and Tuesday and subject to availability – this one is hard to get in to and needs to be booked two months in advance!)
Alternatively we head on for more exploring and head through to Stellenbosch for lunch. Choices for after lunch will depend on how long you have lunch!
My top choice for after lunch would be – Reyneke Wines (organic & biodynamic) – one can chose to explore a little on this estate or to simply have a wine tasting.
Other choices that may pop in to the itinerary because of your wine interests or availability of the above – Waterkloof (Biodynamic), Backberg (carbon neutral and champion status BWI), Vergelegen (champion BWI status due to its conservation of the fynbos), Ken Forrester (farms along Organic lines – but when trying to go organic he has his entire crop wiped out. He also has ducks, which are used to control the snails and then find their way into the pot of his restaurant 96 Winery Rd!)
Most tours manage to visit around 3 estates during the day.
Tour Duration – Full Day
Type of tour – Private Tour
Rates – simply email us – the rate depends on the number of people and where you are staying:
Read my blog for more information about Avondale and their quest to use a combo of Organic/Biodynamic and Biologic farm practices