Water

February 8, 2011

Sweet Waters
A stream of natural, sweet water runs down the slopes of the Klein Drakenstein mountains through Avondale’s land.  We are blessed to have pure quality water as the source of life in our vineyards and to use in the making of our extraordinary wines.

Irrigation – An integral part of our eco-system design is that we are able to irrigate the vineyards using gravity instead of pumps.  A sophisticated moisture probe system in the vineyard soils enables us to gauge the needs of the vines so that we irrigate only when necessary.

Water conservation – Avondale controls the use of water and prevents wasting water in the cellar with a system of automatic shut-off valves on all taps.  We also save water and reduce waste water by making use of sterilising UV lights to supplement the cleaning of tanks and barrels.

Waste Water System – We only use cleaning agents that meet organic standards; they are readily biodegradable and free of harmful residues.  However, waste water from the cellar is also concentrated with grape residues which would pollute the environment if introduced back without treatment.

Avondale has a waste water system that mimics the way Nature cleans water.  This is a system of three dams interlinked by spiraling channels of cleansing reeds that replicates a natural river system.

  • Effluent from our cellar is pumped into the first dam and inoculated with Effective Microorganisms which digest the excessive nutrients in the water.  Water flows from the first dam through the first spiraling ‘river’ system where the cleansing reeds draw out even more nutrients; growing thick, lush and green and providing us also with composting material.
  • At the second dam the water is already aerobic, and it provides a habitat for a host of insects as well as foraging and nesting birds, all signaling the health of the environment.
  • Water continues to flow through the next set of spiraling reed-lined channels to the third dam by which time the water is superbly purified and the environs are hosting even more wildlife.

It is a highly effective natural, closed-nutrient cycle that yields quality water from waste which we can then use for irrigation.