Some winery owners make the decision to “protect the land” because it’s good business. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the ultimate results are good for the environment.
Most vintners, however, understand that a more “healthy” environment will produce better, more expressive and more interesting wines. That, too, is good for business, but for those winemakers, business is not the reason for their Earth-friendly decisions.
In some grape-growing areas, there’s more at stake, from an environmental perspective, than just grapes. In the case of the Boekenhoutskloof winery in South Africa, the farming practices also protect a Cape Floral Region, where one can encounter plant life seen nowhere else on Earth.
You can read more about the Cape Floral Region and its amazing diversityhere.
From the Boekenhoutskloof website, here’s a look at this special area, and what the winery is doing to help protect it:
“The Cape winelands are located in the Cape Floral Region, one of six such plant kingdoms in the world. It is the smallest yet richest, home to some 9,600 plant species—more than are found in the entire Northern Hemisphere. This makes the Cape Floral Kingdom a world heritage site.”
“In the interests of conserving this unique biodiversity, we are removing invasive alien plants from the farm. Large parts of the mountain have already been cleared of pine and gum trees. Restoration of the sensitive riverine area, as well as the re-introduction of various protea species, is ongoing.”
“A rare Erica called Erica Lerouxiae has been identified on the property and is completely unique to Boekenhoutskloof and the neighboring farm, Haut Espoir. Boekenhoutskloof is a founder member of the Franschhoek Mountain Conservancy (together with Haut Espoir), an initiative to improve cooperation between neighbors, as well as to improve fire management and fynbos conservation in the valley.”
You can view a picture of the Erica Lerouxiae here. And when you do, you’ll understand why protecting this special place is so important.
It’s good to know that the Boekenhoutskloof winery is doing its part in this important conservation initiative.