WWF Conservation Champion Almenkerk talks about their approach to sustainability

As Charles Kellogg said “Essentially, all life depends upon soil. There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” This beautiful sentiment is taken seriously at Almenkerk where they have used regenerative farming to improve the soil health of their vineyards. Joris explains in the video that once the weeds were left to grow around the vineyards, they saw an increase in the soil life in this area.

The rhizosphere or zone of soil surrounding a plant root, where the biology and chemistry of the soil is influenced by the root, is vastly improved by the number of roots you have in that zone. This is true for all roots, whether they are vine roots or weed roots, therefore improving the quality of the soil due to the increase of weed roots. Buffer zones of natural vegetation and fynbos were created throughout the estate, in between the vineyard blocks.
These zones ensure a safe area for natural predators that eat the unwanted vineyard pests, to hide and live. They also create a barrier between the blocks, which help to prevent the spread of possible disease.

One of the unique features of the Almenkerk estate is their hiking trail that takes young and old on an exploratory adventure. All monies generated from this trail go to supporting alien clearing on the farm, which is done on a continuous basis. Sometimes all these indigenous plants need is a bit of help to outcompete the aliens and they start to flourish on their own.
This inspiring approach to farming is why Almenkerk is one of the admired WWF Conservation Champions.


Over the next few months, Winelands Explore, wine.co.za and @followthesugarbird will be highlighting farms that are WWF Conservation Champions, who are helping to conserve our beautiful Cape winelands.

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