We’re a family of nature lovers and active sportspeople who own and operate Canetsfontein, so it’s only natural that the farming operations and recreational activities reflect our lifestyle.
After experimenting with organic farming between 2006 and 2010, the estate turned fully organic in 2014. Conventional farming was stopped and the last chemicals were sprayed.
Firm in the belief that organic farming must be economically viable in the area, as it was 100 years ago, we applied for organic status with Control Union in 2015. The farm now holds the status of being “organic in conversion”.
After the first official organic in conversion harvest in March 2016, we’re very happy to report that, despite many warnings about serious loss of crop, both the quality and quantity of the yield were outstanding.
Experience has proven to us that Canestfontein’s microclimate and location are highly suitable for organic farming.
The wind has much to do with our farming success. Situated directly leeward of the Hawequas peaks (1 350 m above sea level) and Wellington Sneeukop (1 550 m), Canetsfontein is exposed to down-funnelled winds that accelerate the prevailing summer southeaster (the Cape Doctor) into an almost permanent and often gale force wind on the farm, literally blowing away potential diseases.
On the peaks towering above Canetsfontein the strong local wind frequently creates a line of thick clouds resembling Table Mountain’s famous tablecloth. This local wind usually still howls as long as a day after the tablecloth has disappeared in Cape Town.
Cooled significantly by wind and clouds and cleaned by the strong winds, the grapes of Canetsfontein are harvested much later than those of other Cape wine regions. The prevailing climate allows the grapes to develop disease-free without chemical treatment.
Even the organic treatments (copper and sulphur) that many organic farms apply once or twice a week to keep mildew or black rot away, have had to be applied only twice during the entire 2015/16 season.
The organic quality of the vineyards is further supported by the clean mountain and spring water of the estate, which we use for irrigation. The water was tested at source to be of mineral water quality.