Go-to destination for ‘greenies’
It is a well-known fact that the Cape Winelands are crisscrossed by steep mountain ranges, giving each valley and wine region a different, individual character. Situated on the scarlet-red cannas paves R317 road, Van Loveren is not only a premium wine tasting hub, but a go-to destination for those who are looking for an environmentally friendly vacation.
Except for the riparian zones, most of the natural area is still in pristine condition, with little to no alien vegetation present. With the eight kilometers of river frontage running through the family-owned farm, fish eagles are still regularly heard.
A resident breeding pair successfully raised ten fish eagle chicks over the past nine years. The local bird club visits the area and up to 92 species has been spotted during a single morning – the most ever in the Breede River Valley.
The Fish Eagle hiking trial starts on the estate and takes the visitors along the river, as well as through the various veld types found here. A very unique feature on the farm is the special rock formation (formed some 1.3 million year ago), only found on this farm and near Sutherland. The Goedemoed (or Klaasvoogds) Olive Melilitite intrusion forms a conspicuous dark triangle on the Elandsberg hill south of the Van Loveren Private Cellar.
The Witteberg quartzite capping the hill appears to have stopped the intrusion subsequently exposed by weathering. The vegetation on this section of the hill also appears quite different to the surrounding vegetation.
In May 2006 Van Loveren introduced a new range of wines, called the Five's Reserve (with the big Five on the label). Part of the grapes, from which this wine is produced, comes from their BEE farm (52% owned by the farm workers).
A percentage of the income generated from this wine is used for future conservation projects. At present the re-habilitation of the riparian zones has been identified as a priority project.
Van Loveren remains committed to the conservation of the natural area on this estate. This area consists of mountain fynbos, renosterveld, succulent Karoo as well as some riparian areas along the Breede River.
As a member of the Biodiversity and Wine initiative, Van Loveren remains committed to minimising the further loss of threatened natural habitat, and to contribute to sustainable wine production, through the adoption of biodiversity guidelines by the South African wine industry.
More than 500 hectares have been set aside for the conservation of the natural environment and the natural resources, for its utilization in a balanced way on the basis of an integrated management plan.
Also, tree-planting has been a priority since 1937 when Jean Retief and her husband, Hennie sr., started commemorating special family, political and historical occasions. More recently the 2010 Fifa World Cup was celebrated by the planting of a wild plumb tree, and a similar activity will most certainly be an integral part of Van Loveren’s 30th birthday celebrations.
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