Vineyard Friends Wine Farms Side by Side with Nature

Words: Crush

Newly launched wine brand, Vineyard Friends, connects the wine drinker with the natural wildlife and sustainable practices that underpin its winemaking principles. The new range, which includes four wines — Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Merlot Malbec — is vegan friendly and 100% GMO free.

Farming Side by Side with Nature

Vineyard Friends is dedicated to the unique animals of the Cape Winelands that make the precious vineyards their home: the Grey Duiker, the Cape Grey Mongoose, the Bat Eared Fox and the Grey Heron. Each animal plays an integral role in the lifecycle of the vineyard, from maintaining soil health to removing pests. This not only ensures a healthy harvest but limits the need for pesticides.

It’s not just these incredible Cape creatures who do their part to create a more sustainable option for South African wine drinkers, Vineyard Friends is also the culmination of two decades of practical response to environmental challenges and the result of a myriad of sustainable practices.

Working Towards a Sustainable Future in South African Winemaking

The vineyards themselves make use of water saving cover crops while facilities make use of bio-treated grey water in all ablutions and gardens – drastically reducing the use of potable water. Additionally an anaerobic process sees clean water released into the local municipality, to support the community. 50 million precious litres of irrigation water are reclaimed per year to provide the vineyards with the water they require to thrive.

The Vineyard Friends cellar in Wellington has the largest solar photovoltaic energy installation of any wine production facility in South Africa. An 801 kW roof array of 2400 panels not only offsets 1265 tonnes of potential CO2 emissions, but also produces clean, surplus energy to be fed into the grid of the neighbouring town and its communities.

Even the Vineyard Friends bottle itself has recycled glass content, is lightweight and includes a label on 100% recycled paper from Enviro LabelTM.

Continuous Commitment to the Environment

Despite all of these interventions, the creators of Vineyard Friends know that the journey to sustainability never ends and that the environmental impact of winemaking still remains. That is why a community-led bamboo growing carbon reduction project runs in parallel with the work in the vineyards, the production facilities and on the bottle itself. It is also why there is a continuous commitment to innovating sustainable practices and maintaining world class certifications across ethics and environment.Choosing to only work with partners and suppliers that share the same commitment to sustainable practice, Vineyard Friends understands that sustainable winemaking is a team effort. It’s about maintaining the delicate balance between flora, fauna and the human hand. Great wine is made in the vineyard. Farming side by side with nature – not against it.

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