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Drink to nature

July 29, 2011

I recently heard about an interesting partnership between some of our local wine producers and conservationists called the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative.  This project aims to protect and conserve our unique natural heritage within the Cape Winelands whilst maintaining living, productive landscapes.

The Western Cape is home to the world’s smallest and most diverse plant kingdom on earth. Fynbos is found nowhere else and has the highest species richness in the world – more than three times that of the South American rainforest. Fynbos provides services critical for human survival, such as freshwater, soil and oxygen provision.

The beauty of our natural landscape is a major attraction for visitors to the winelands. Natural places provide the space to breathe fresh air, to enjoy spectacular scenery, to relax and to explore the wonders of nature. And asSouth Africais vulnerable to climate change, protecting ecosystems and the services they provide is key to withstanding climate change and protecting our current way of life.

Local vineyards such as Backsberg, Waterkloof, Delheim, Vergelegen and Lourensford are all conserving significant areas of fynbos, clearing alien species and introducing water conservation and other nature-friendly practices to their vineyards.

Backsberg has an eco-centre and is a carbon-neutral winery, whilst Avondale offers eco-toursto visitors and Reyneke uses biodynamic methods to produces organic wines. Spier is involved in several sustainability initiatives and farms nearly 300 hectares biodynamically.

Here at Penny Lane Lodge, we cannot claim anything on quite such a large scale.  However, we do pratice water-wise gardening, concentrating on native plants which are resilient to drought. We try to use green products wherever we can and we don’t mind sampling the odd glass of wine in support of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative…cheers!

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