Johan and I, looking back over 2017, are delighted by an abundance of awesome happenings both for Fynbos and for Dragonridge wines. Such lovely people have stayed here, partied, married, come for wine tastings and feasts and run retreats and workshops. Our online write-ups and ratings are extremely high, not to mention all the positive comments written and told to us. The gist of the feedback is that this is a very special and unusual place- a gem, a jewel and such like. What better could one hope for.
None of our success would be possible without our committed and good spirited team. As always Charlie and Doubt make a great pair in the wine cellar and on the bar, and they generally look after the farm wonderfully, while the women Priscilla and Virginia have run housekeeping with commitment and lots of hard work. We have recently lost Eliot and Precious due to visa problems, but employed two new permanent members of staff - Arlington who can weld, work in wood and drive, and his wife Rose who helps with housekeeping. Also new to the team is Romayne Midgely - helping part time with financials, and she comes along with her pooch Wobbles – now too a part time member of the farm. On the marketing front there is great excitement as Tharien Pieterse joins Lisa Du Plooy, Johann Human and I to get us much more out there. So watch this space and like/follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Andy and Becky were here early in the year making wine and are soon to return, and we have had lovely volunteers as always. And of course Gail has managed all manner of things – including a host of successful events - with her usual potency and generosity.
Out and about
This last year we were much more out and about taking Dragonridge and Fynbos to the world. We provided wine for the SOLO art opening at Riebeek Kasteel, exhibited at the SIP show in Paternoster and the TOPS at SPAR show. And in the UK Andy and Becky have been selling Dragonridge wine alongside their Kershaw wines made with Fynbos grapes. We now have 2 four star wines in Platter.
|Natural Light Photography|
On the farm
Water and flowers
Water – yes of concern. We are managing for the moment but are holding our breath that our underground water supply holds. Like everyone else in the Western Cape we use buckets and divert grey water and entreat guests to be careful. Luckily our vines are never irrigated so while our yields are smaller, given they have long well adapted roots, they keep going.
Despite the lack of water this year’s display of spring flowers was absolutely gorgeous and the birds in the garden and up the mountain an absolute treat. Except for the heron that is, who insists on preying on our goldfish who have sunk to the bottom of their pond in defence.
Animals and protection of the Paardeberg
On the animal front we have lost our darling Carlie to kidney disease at the young age of 5, but our aged Sweet Pi is still going along tail a-wag though half blind and half deaf. We rescued and fostered little Winston who has landed in a perfect new home and the farmyard donks, goats and sheep continue to do well. With regard to wild animals we are losing animals on the mountain to poaching and need to tackle that next year, and we on the Paardeberg still face sand mining problems. An organisation called Protect the Paardeberg has formed to deal with this. We have also tackled alien vegetation again this year with help from Working for Water and Cape Nature Conservation.
So things have been a-humming here at Fynbos as always. We feel immensely privileged to run this wonderful place and be part of the great team that has grown here. As always the farm is a kind of alchemy. A mix of design and chance which is how Johan describes winemaking. We love this concept, as after all we can’t really control anything can we? Well just a bit maybe….
With much gratitude we wish everyone who has been part of Fynbos in whatever way, a wonderful 2018.