Situated in the Western Cape region, on the fynbos slopes of the Klein Drakenstein mountains lies Avondale, Paarl, South Africa – a unique parcel of land we call home. Our family-owned and run wine estate Avondale is committed to the practice of organic, biodynamic, and sustainable farming practices.

It is in these vineyards we’ve become renowned for crafting the richest and most authentic award-winning certified organic and biodynamic natural slow wines.

We regard our wine estate as a dynamic living system where all its elements form part of a complex web of relationships that are interconnected and interdependent

Johnathan Grieve – Proprietor, Avondale Wine Estate.

IT STARTS AND ENDS WITH THE SOIL

Throughout the wine producing world, the best wines are produced from the best vineyard sites.

There is a simple reason for this – vines grow in soil.

The better the quality of the soil, the stronger and healthier the vine, the better the vine, the better the quality and balance of the grapes. This means minimal intervention in the cellar and authentic wines with a clear voice. In our case, a voice that subtly says Avondale, Paarl, South Africa.

Our journey towards sustainability is grounded in organic and biodynamic farming practices. We understand that the health of our vineyard ecosystem, the quality of our wines, and the balance in our own lives all stem from one fundamental source – our soil.

These are the comprehensive and effective steps we take to ensure our soil is a living dynamic source of life for our vines.

Diverse Soil Types: We have thirteen distinct soil types, including:

  • Loam;
  • Granite;
  • Sandstone

We conduct detailed analysis to match our vines to specific soil types to maximize their potential.

Balancing the soil: We employ Dr. William Albrecht’s soil balancing system, re-mineralizing the soil with natural elements, and maintaining a diverse plant community for abundant soil microorganisms.

Natural Predators: To ensure no harmful chemicals destroy the soil, we use beneficial bacteria, predatory wasps, and raptors to manage pests, preserving the natural balance.

The Duck Posse: Our snail-hunting ducks are both picturesque and effective, negating the need for harmful snail control methods. They are our inspiration for our Jonty’s Duck range of wines.

Interacting with Nature’s Feedback Loops: We utilise modern science and technology for better interaction with the ecosystem, from soil moisture monitoring to disease forecasting and sophisticated plant sap reading technology.

Energy of Place: We embrace biodynamic preparations to connect with our farm’s unique energy and cosmic influences.

WATER RECYCLING AND CONSERVATION

Avondale acknowledges that scarcity of water is a global threat. We apply a “whole-system approach” to minimize waste and recycle for reuse, ensuring a holistic perspective on water conservation.

Water-Wise Farming Practices: Our comprehensive water management system addresses alien vegetation, dams, gravity flow irrigation, humus creation, and wastewater treatment.

Humus Creation: Creating stable humus aids soil moisture retention, nutrient retention, and soil health, particularly during drought.

Cover Crops: Diverse cover crops reduce water evaporation, prevent nutrient loss, and contribute to humus creation.

Irrigation: Avondale utilizes gravity irrigation and a sophisticated moisture probe system to irrigate vines efficiently and responsibly.

CLEAN ENERGY:

Our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint by cutting down on fossil fuel-based energy can be seen in our solar power plant, ensuring energy security for the farm, the winery, the restaurant and all our accommodation.

Solar Array: Comprising 14 solar tables with 580 panels covering 1400m², this system generates 525MWH per year.

Inverters and Battery Bank: Two 150KW inverters and a 300KW battery bank enable us to run off solar power even during peak times.

Benefits: We gain energy independence, reduce our carbon footprint by approximately 500 tons per year, and benefit from extensive cost savings by reducing reliance on generators and traditional power sources.

READ MORE about our solar installation.

BIODIVERSITY:

To avoid the devastating impact of monocultures, we actively promote biodiversity throughout the farm in our fijnbos groves, gardens, vegetable gardens and vineyards. Biodiversity promotes and strengthens ecosystem robustness.

Cover Cropping: We carefully select cover crops and indigenous fynbos plants to nurture micro-life in soils and attract beneficial insects.

Natural Wildlife: A variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles, call Avondale home. This biodiversity from Fish Eagles, leopards, buck, porcupines, and meerkats reflects a healthy environment.

Sustainable Wine Packaging: We constantly review current best practices ensuring we choose sustainable wine packaging, such as recycled glass bottles and eco-friendly labels, to minimize environmental impact.

OUR AVONDALE FAMILY

As a family run estate, we are committed to and actively involved in our broader community.

In the 1990s we established a registered NPO called THE AVONDALE COMMUNITY ORGANISATION (NPO 12488) on the farm.

We believe in ensuring the next generation gets the best possible start in life. To this end we established a well-resourced crèche and after care facilities for the children of the parents who work on our farm.  The children are exposed to vital learning and development opportunities in a safe and stimulating environment.

A nutrition programme at the crèche provides balanced meals every day of the week.

RECOGNITION

Avondale proudly holds multiple awards and certifications, including organic and biodynamic certifications, Biodiversity in Wine certification, and membership in environmental sustainability schemes. Full overview of organic certification

Our wines are rated by Decanter Magazine and James Suckling yearly.

THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainability is a way of life, an intergenerational commitment to leave the land in a better state than how we found it. It is for this reason we continue to lead the way in sustainable viticulture, setting a powerful example for the industry and demonstrating that quality wine and eco-conscious practices can thrive hand in hand. Our commitment to respecting the land, resources, and community remains unwavering as we embrace the future of sustainability.

Together, we can build a more sustainable and vibrant world, one vineyard at a time. And remember, when you purchase a bottle of Avondale wine, you have made a conscious choice to support diversity, sustainability and a safer better future – from all of us at Avondale and Mother Earth – Thank You and Bless You.