Wedderwill is a signatory to the Word Wildlife Fund (WWF) Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, and is one of just 18 of local estates to be declared ‘Champions in Conservation’.
In the narrowest definition, ‘biodiversity’ refers to the variation of life forms within any given ecosystem. But, as human activity has increasingly impacted on natural spaces, the term has become more meaningfully understood as a measure of the health of biological systems. And there’s little doubt that agriculture puts a strain on these systems. The best solution then, is to farm sensitively.
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The Quagga Project
The international Carbon Footprint Protocol is a complicated business – but a vital one. It calculates the annual carbon emissions of a company, graded against three different levels. ‘Scope three’ demands the highest standards, and is the one used by Wedderwill. Everything is audited, including: Used fossil fuels, Used electricity, Used fertilizers, Air miles travelled, Car hire usage, Delivery to FOB, shops, restaurants and other clients. The only exclusion is emissions created by the production of dry goods – such as labels, bottles and corks – produced by third parties.
The study area is situated in the Fynbos Biome according to Rutherford & Westfall (1986). The biome covers an area of about 70 000 square kilometres or 5,72% of the country. The vegetation is an open to closed grassy, dwarf shrubby, shrub/woodland which generally does not exceed 3 meters in height.
The farm, excluding the game reserve and the developed sections and titles, has a size of close to 100ha of which 43ha are arable land. Of these 34ha is planted under vines and the rest is grass land.
Other than the Boland granite fynbos there are special habitats such as the riverine and tributaries of the Sir Lowry’s Pass river and its seeps and fynbos wetlands. A herbarium was started in October 2005 due to an initiative to record plants and species of two sites on the farm that are of botanical value. […]
Wedderwill and its game reserve dedicated to wild life and areas outside the reserve have abundant fauna. The estate is frequently visited by Fish eagles and Secretary birds. It is also home to falcons, buzzards, hawks and many other birds.
The climate is influenced by macro-global geological phenomena: Situated on the Schapenberg ridge some 300m above sea level E18°54 and S34°06’ at 7.5km distance from the Atlantic Ocean and Falsebay it can be concluded that our vines are cooled by the Antarctic. Jet streams and global winds result in oceanic movements and currents. The Benguela current carries ice cold water from the Antarctic to the Cape and into False Bay. From there chilled winds reach the farm.
The farm falls within an area covered with pre-weathered biotite granite part of the Cape Granite Suite formed some 600 million years ago. The Schapenberg hills in the Helderberg basing ridging off and out of the Hottentots Holland Mountins, formed at the same time, is partly covered by remnants of layers of the Malmesbury Group which is 900 million years old and largely forms shales, siltstones and fine grained greywackes.
The eastern part of the farm joins up with the Hottentotts Holland nature reserve and becomes quite steep closer to the mountains. The elevation at its highest point is at about 430m above sea level. Most of this area is designated to a Game Reserve.