Biodiversity in the Cape Winelands

We are blessed to live in the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest yet most diverse of the six floral kingdoms on earth. It is also the most threatened. The ‘fynbos’ (local name for the Cape Floral Kingdom) is situated on the tip of South Africa, an area of biodiversity which produces world-famous wine.

A crowd of wine farmers in tune with their natural surroundings banded together for the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative, endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund. There are now 167 wine farmers across the Cape Winelands committed to this project.

King protea flower

A king protea in the sunlight

They have set aside farmland for conservation, and follow farming practises to best protect those conservation areas. There is more land set aside for conservation than there is under vines. As the fynbos recovers, so the indigenous creatures return. Porcupine, guinea fowl, caracal, owls, small antelope, frogs, sugar birds and even leopard are found. They all help to restore nature’s careful balancing act.

What’s in a name?

Many quirky wine lables have sprung up as side effect. Boekenhoutskloof wine farm offers the Porcupine Ridge wine range, which supports research into fynbos residents and the role they play.

Cape Point Vineyards offer Splattered Toad wines, so named after the Western Leopard Toad. An initiative has been set up to protect theses endangered frogs from being killed when they cross roads – hence the odd name.

On the road to Franschhoek you will pass the magnificent leopard sculpture by Dylan Lewis at Leopard’s Leap wine estate. This estate is passionate about these big cats and donates money to the Cape Leopard Trust. Their wine labels depict three leopards.

Neethlingshof produces an Owl Post Pinotage (a wine unique to South Africa). It is named after the owl boxes installed on the estate to control rodents in the vineyards.

And now for something completely different….

Porcupine

A porcupine standing in the rocks

We are blessed to have farmers committed to protecting the environment and they are quite creative about it. We’ve discovered a few of these ingenious plans.

Bartinney Estate offers a signature wine and fynbos pairing, but for the more energetic Waterford wine estate offers the Porcupine Trail Wine Walk through the fynbos. If you have green fingers then the farm shop at La Motte has pincushion plants as well as cut flowers when they are in bloom.

We at Taylor Tours look forward to being out in our beautiful winelands with you and having the opportunity to show off the success of the Biodiversity and Wine initiative in our precious Cape Floral Kingdom.