We are very proud of the fact that our Bio-LOGIC approach to vineyard management has seen a return of many species of wild animals to the farm, including a variety of raptors such as small falcons and owls. Unfortunately some of these birds get hurt on their way to us or when hunting their prey, and need to be rehabilitated before being set free. An organisation doing sterling work in this regard is the Witzenberg Wildlife Rescue and Rehab Centre and we have recently entered into an agreement with the Financial Mail and Diners Club Choice subscribers to donate a percentage of proceedings from wine sales to this noble cause.

Meryl and Rob Cochrane, the rehabilitators at the Witzenberg Wildlife Rescue and Rehab Centre, have been involved with wildlife rescue for many years and were suddenly getting a lot of calls asking for help with rescued birds. They were keen to help, but had nowhere really suitable to care for any birds and animals brought to them. This put them on the path of building some basic facilities for the purpose of providing a tranquil, safe haven for injured and orphaned wildlife until they were ready to be released back into the wild. They were given permission to put up some flight cages on a local farmer’s land and the vets in Ceres agreed to assist them in cases where they needed professional help.Cape Nature was consulted, a management plan drawn up and an application made for a permit. In January 2009 Meryl and Rob were granted a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation permit and they began the construction of a very small wildlife rescue/ rehab centre.

During the course of the year the centre received a total of 69 birds, the majority of which were raptors, mainly owls. Of these 32 were rehabilitated and subsequently released. At the time of writing, they have 15 birds being rehabilitated in preparation for release.

Another large flight cage is badly needed before the next breeding season. Different species cannot be mixed, and if the existing flight cages contain, for example, barn owls and spotted eagle owls, there is nowhere for buzzards and other large birds.

Do you need any better reason to enjoy Avondale wine, safe in the knowledge that your pleasure can also make the world a better place? We will be updating our website on a regular basis to show the contributions that we have been able to make due to your support.