Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tree work and holding thumbs

After two of our giant 150 year old oaks crashed to the ground (making us think the 3rd world war had started), we brought in Leon Visser and his team to take a look at them. Nothing to be done about their age, dryness and rot, he said, but a severe pruning to balance the trees better would prolong their life.

So that’s what we have done and now we just have to hold thumbs. We are very impressed with Leon’s work. Lots was taken off but the trees still look good.

Lots of clearing and after pictures

Thursday, 13 April 2017


Mines we are contesting

The mines on the other side of the Paardeberg that we have appealed and the mine next to Fynbos both await responses. We will keep you posted

Illegal extending of the DE HOOP mine

Apart from the above mines there is an existent sand mine on DE HOOP farm in Joubertskloof near us that was passed and not contested.  Visitors to Fynbos have commented on how terrible it looks right here in the heart of the mountain and how bothered they are by the sand trucks and the dust they have to share the road with.

3 areas
Area across road

Watching the mine carefully, we have seen that the applicants have extended their mining well past the legal consent given. They asked for 2 areas of 2.5 hectares and have already mined more than 5 hectares and are continuing to mine additional areas besides. The extent of the mine can be seen on the photos with and additional illegal area mined across the road as well as preparation being made to mine on yet another large area.

Second area has begun

We have complained to the Swartland Municipality who say they will look into it as well as to the DMR (Department Mineral Resources). It is rumoured that the latter has little capacity to deal with their own sector. (For example the illegal mine on Granaatfontein after a year is still just in the state it was left).

Paardeberg mining on SABC

This Sunday Evening on Focus @ SABC2 there will be a program on sand mining in our area. 

50/50 to do a program on illegal mining in Gauteng and rumour has it Carte Blanche will do something too

We will keep you posted.

Monday, 10 April 2017


This was the third year that a group of Norwegian tourists (mostly older people), visited Fynbos. We fed them bobotie, braai and malva pud, chatted with them about South Africa and the farm and took them for a walk up the mountain.  They seemed to have a wonderful time and before they left they sang Sarie Marais to us (after copious wine drinking) and we were given gifts.  We are delighted that the tour company has booked again for next year.


Once again our group had a wonderful time at Fynbos. Delicious food and wine and atmosphere and information. And the walk up the mountain was greatly enjoyed.

Toril and her husband from Norway and Sue from South Africa  

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


Sri Sri Yoga Level 2 Retreat taught by Trusha Lakhani 

Our first `Art of Living’ retreat was held here in February. Meditation and yoga formed the basis of the retreat with talks and music and home-made food by Vena.

Comment from the facilitator Gerlinda Vassen. It was the perfect place for the retreat and we are so happy to have found Fynbos. We will definitely be back.

More on the Art of living

Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the Art of Living is an educational humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The organization operates globally in 152 countries so far touching the lives of over 370 million people
The programs are guided by Sri Sri's philosophy of peace: "Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace." To help individuals get rid of stress and experience inner peace, The Art of Living offers stress-elimination programs which include breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. These programs have helped millions around the world to overcome stress, depression and violent tendencies.
The Art of Living movement has spread peace across communities through diverse humanitarian projects, including conflict resolution, disaster relief, sustainable rural development, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education for all, and environmental sustainability.

For more information
Gerlinde Vassen 
Tel +27 83 301 3976

Posyden Productions

Weekend Retreat using medicinal plants run by Melisa and Armando


The feedback from our group is that the space was beautiful, calm and in a beautiful setting and the accommodation very comfortable and clean.  Thank you for making this possible.      Melisa

Mad Hatters Gathering

About Mad Hatters

The Mad Hatters is a South African based group which brings ~ Vision Quests and Sacred ceremonies back into our modern culture.”  We gather to hold sacred plant ceremonies, in the spirit of reviving rites of passage and sacred ceremonial practices. We have met up at Fynbos Wine Estate quite a few times


Fynbos is a purely beautiful and perfect space for our ceremonies. The environment is healing and uplifting, and it is a privilege to wake up and have the views that we do after conducting a ceremony.

Nathan Raaths, Reagan Warner

Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Retreat

For more pics of the retreat see http://bit.ly/2nrPFjj

More about the Tushita Kadampa Buddhist Centre
This is a Mahanyana Buddhist school offering introductory meditation classes suitable for both beginners and those with some knowledge. The hour and half classes included guided meditation, practical advice on how to use meditation in daily life and questions and answer sessions.



The Rest & Reflect Meditation Retreat we held at Fynbos was our first event there and we were all really delighted with the outcome. It is conveniently located, only an hour from Cape Town, yet it feels far removed from the busyness of modern life. The chapel proved to be a suitably cool and quiet venue for the meditation sessions. The retreatants also enjoyed the beautiful scenic walks into the nature reserve and the opportunities to take a dip in the lovely pool. We felt really welcomed in the nurturing and caring atmosphere at Fynbos and we are looking forward to hosting another event there soon!

Love, Pagpa

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Paardeberg Sand mining update

On the 3rd March the Appeals against the two consents given for sand mines on the Paardeberg were submitted to the Appeal Authority of the Swartland Municipality on behalf of 250 appellants (landowners, workers, others connected to the mountain) together with a petition of 3000 signatures. This is a remarkable response from the Paardeberg community.

The basis of the Appeal
Adv Martin Coetzee claims the consent given to be in breach of procedure on a number of counts and that it reveals inconsistencies, as well as unsubstantiated, biased and erroneous statements. He points to objections that were ignored or dismissed (as opinionated or unsubstantiated) one of which he regards a fatal flaw - namely the dismissal of the objection by the Department of Agriculture. Coetzee also claims the decision is not consistent with and in fact, in contradiction to the Spatial Development Frameworks and Integrated Development Plan of the Municipality, and that the land use deviation is in conflict with the surrounding land uses. He points out that the mines would have a substantial impact on the character of the surrounding area.
Coetzee shows that there is no evidence that the development will have a positive economic impact - not even to the land owner and mine operator . He further points to the overwhelming negative view of the Paardeberg community to the mines.
Overall he concludes that the applications should have been refused by the MPT since it in all instances will constitute a small, isolated non-feasible mining activity that is bound to neglect to implement the necessary environmental precautionary measures, proper, that must be discouraged in terms of the stated policy of the West Coast District Spatial Development Framework.
We wait to hear the outcome of these appeals. The Paardeberg Coalition will meet soon to evaluate events thus far and consider future actions. We will keep you posted.

Monday, 13 March 2017


With the help of marketer Linda Christensen and her company JIGSAW we hosted a media day for Dragonridge

A cellar tasting was followed by a paired food and wine tasting.  We also did a wine and information drop to numerous bloggers and magazine wine writers who could not attend the day. It was all a great success with numerous good write-ups that followed.

Christian Eades: View article
Michael Olivier review of Cygnus - View article
Lovely piece in the Feb issue of Landbouweekblad.


Cygnus will feature in the April issue of Woman & Home!
The wines will be featured in the April issue of Garden & Home!

Neil Pendock called Cygnus a magical wine!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Harvest 2017 Report

Harvest has come to a close and we can all breathe a bit before the March weddings arrive. All in all considering the drought this year and last, it was a good harvest. The quantities were higher than we expected and the quality was good.
Once again we had Andy our associate wine maker here for three weeks to run the harvest, which he did with his usual skill, humour, liveliness and thank heavens, a sense of order. And with him this time came the other half of the team, Becky his wife who added her hard work, her forthrightness and her delightful laugh to the mix. Together Andy and Johan made all the big decisions and the team of contracted pickers, wonderful overseas volunteers and our staff made it all possible. Special mention goes to Charles and Doubt members of our staff who Andy has been training and who look after the wine throughout the year. They did a wonderful job last year and are as keen as ever for the year to come.

Thanks to you all