Sustainability & Biodiversity

Lourensford Estate is one of the world’s most beautiful wine estates, with the Hottentots Holland and Helderberg mountains framing 4 000 hectares of land.

Of the 4000 hectares, 1200 hectares is Fynbos with farmed Proteas, forestry, fruit orchards and vineyards making up the remainder. No wonder this idyllic spot is home to the majestic Cape Leopard (Panthera pardus pardus).

Our vision is one where economic stability and environmental sustainability form a profitable partnership. So we accept full responsibility for the management of our rich biodiversity, while pursuing fruit, grape and wine production.

Sustainability & Biodiversity

Our efforts are recognized by WWF’s Conservation Champion Programme (previously the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative) and by the Nedbank Green Wine Awards.

SUSTAINABILITY

To underline our commitment to sustainable wine growing practices and to reduce our carbon footprint, we installed 686kWp solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on the roof of the winery and the pack shed.

Sustainability - Solar Energy

Solar power plants

The solar power plants, installed by Sustainable Power Solutions, generate 2800kWh daily, enough to run the winery with the surplus fed to the grid supplying the rest of the Estate.The solar plants contributed to Lourensford being named Best Farming Practice Winner in the Leadership in Energy Conservation category at the Nedbank Green Wine Awards 2016 for the second consecutive year.

Sustainability - Energy Saving in the Winery

Energy Saving in the winery

  • Smart metering installed (real-time computerised measuring of electricity usage to guide future practices)
  • Procedures put into effect regarding the switching on and off of the compressors
  • Refrigeration chiller software adjusted for more effective energy use
  • ‘Time of use’ communication to staff on ‘red’ expensive times of energy use
  • Installing energy saving bulbs in the winery
Sustainability - Solar Energy

Energy Saving on the broader estate

  • All homesteads on the farm have switched to prepaid electricity
  • Timers and blankets installed on geysers
  • Tracker units gathering live data were installed on tractors and farm vehicles to monitor performance and reduce fuel consumption
  • Inverters installed on pumps to ease start-ups
  • Annual Earth Protection Awareness training sessions for staff

BIODIVERSITY

Great emphasis is placed on the conservation of the estate’s unique biodiversity and rich floral heritage.

WWF Conservation Champion since 2006

A WWF Conservation Champion since 2006, the estate actively manages its 1200 hectare biodiversity area, which is made up of Cape Winelands Shale Fynbos and Boland Granite Fynbos, both of which are endangered vegetation types and hold many red-listed species. The farm also holds mapped areas of the critically endangered Lourensford Alluvium Fynbos and pristine pockets of Afromontane forest. These areas are monitored by the estate as well as the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers and 300 species of plants and trees have so far been recorded.

The estate has well over 100 bird species recorded with surveys and updating of mammal, reptile and amphibian species lists happening on an ongoing basis.

The Cape Leopard Trust’s Boland Leopard Project

In association with The Cape Leopard Trust’s Boland Leopard Project, a monitoring programme for the Cape Mountain Leopard is ongoing. With seven motion sensitive camera traps in place, the estate contributes to one of the projects objectives of determining how many leopards still roam the mountains of the Boland. The estate forms an important corridor for the movement of the leopard and other wildlife, allowing connectivity between protected areas. The estate is also involved in the Leopard Trusts’ environmental education programme.

Cape Leopard
Cape Leopard
Cape Leopard
Cape Leopard

Alien vegetation clearing project

An alien vegetation clearing project was started in the mid-2000s to rehabilitate the upper reaches of the Lourens River as well as restoring wetlands and indigenous Afromontane forest; with alien vegetation being one of the biggest threats to biodiversity, this plan continues today and provides employment to the local community.

Lourens River declared a Protected Natural Environment

The source of the Lourens River and its pristine upper reaches lie on the farm; of all the rivers in South Africa, the Lourens River is the only to be declared a Protected Natural Environment and thus the responsibility of managing the river responsibly is taken seriously. The watercourses and natural areas are also a vital tool for environmental education whereby school groups and farm workers are encouraged to take ownership of protecting the environment in their area. This is also reinforced on interpretive signboards on the estate.

Other focus areas include:

  • Strenuous fire and erosion management
  • Encouraging higher education institutions to conduct research on the estate
  • Improving the coherence of and access to information on biodiversity
  • Actively seeking to engage in new conservation and sustainable development projects
  • Continually working towards more effective land use planning and reducing our carbon footprint
  • Regular environmental assessments and audits