De Wetshof becomes first recipient of WWF Conservation Pioneer Award

Posted by David Henning on 25 October 2021

De Wetshof Estate in Robertson is the first recipient of the prestigious WWF Conservation Pioneer Award, one of the awards under the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism and Wine Tourism Ambassador Awards.

These awards are a celebration of excellence in wine tourism across eleven of the greatest wine regions across the world. In a thorough judging process, seven expert judges and three wine tourism ambassador award judges conduct ‘mystery’ type visits to wineries in their assigned categories.

This year’s winners were announced at an award ceremony at Creation Wines in Hermanus on 12 October.

Situated near Robertson in the Breede Valley, De Wetshof is one of 50 wineries that form part of the WWF Conservation Champions Initiative. This initiative is overseen by the WWF, recognising wine farms committed to conserving the natural ecosystem on and around their farms.

According to WWF’s sustainability manager for fruit and wine, Shelley Fuller, De Wetshof was the first of the Cape’s wine farms to be recognised when the initiative was launched in 2005. ‘De Wetshof has been an exemplary champion and is always finding ways to improve its profile as a pioneering wine farm.’

The 50 farms that form part of WWF’s conservation champions over large swathes of land, where 22 000 ha is conserved as a pristine part of the endemic Cape floral Kingdom, fynbos and succulent Karoo.

One of De Wetshof initiatives picked up by the WWF was the conservation of indigenous flowers amongst the vineyards. ‘With our famous fynbos plant kingdom, we Cape wine farmers might just be sitting with the most unique cover crops in the world,’ says Johann De Wet, CEO of De Wetshof.

The Estate is committed to conserving the unique fynbos, not only by putting land aside as wild, uncultivated veld but also incorporated amongst the vines.  This has proven effective in controlling pest-y nematodes in the soil that would rather snack on fynbos than the delicate vines; meaning farmers need to use fewer pesticides.

Picture: De Wetshof Estate


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