Nature’s diversity in harmony with winemaking

Bouchard Finlayson, is a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion – acknowledged as an environmental leader in the industry for our commitment to conservation, responsible production practices, integrated environmental management systems, and spearheading innovations in water, energy efficiency and climate adaptation. Our devotion to conservation has meant that only 22 hectares of the precious land is under vines. The natural indigenous Fynbos –the smallest and richest floral kingdom in the world – is being preserved in the interests of biodiversity. 330 species of Fynbos have been identified on the property to date.

Flower of the Season

Merciera Leptoloba

Merciera Leptoloba 

Family: Gampanulaceae 

Common name: White Fox-tail 

A sprawling shrubby plant, up to 30cm tall which flowers after fire. The white flowers have a strong smell of curry. It grows profusely on lower slopes, often on disturbed ground and it has a wide distribution from Cape Town eastwards to Bredasdorp. Flowering time is December to February. The other member of this genus found on the farm is the blue-flowered M.teniufolia, also in flower now.

FRANK WOODVINE

Passionate conservationist and botanist

With 58 years of environmental conservation experience, and at over 80 years of age, Mr. Woodvine is still actively involved in furthering the environment and promoting the importance of the Cape Floral Kingdom. With Frank's involvement, Bouchard Finlayson is now, proudly, a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion – acknowledged as an environmental leader in the industry for our commitment to conservation, responsible production practices, integrated environmental management systems, and spearheading innovations in water, energy efficiency and climate adaptation.

He has been involved part-time at Bouchard Finlayson since 2005, managing and coordinating all conservation activities and improving sustainability. Born in Lancashire, Mr. Woodvine did his diploma in Forestry in Wales before moving to ertwhile Rhodesia to oversee the rehabilitation of oak woodland in 1953. His long legacy of conservation on the African continent includes prioritising flora and fauna alongside forestry, partaking in numerous research projects, lecturing, developing ecotourism, training rangers, being an honorary ranger himself, an honorary life member of Hermanus Botanical Society, member of the Cliff Path Management Group, volunteering on several environmental initiatives, and consulting in conservation and botany.

In 1976, Mr. Woodvine was recruited to the Fernkloof nature reserve in Hermanus as a botanist, conservationist and ecotourism guide. After many years as superintendant at Fernkloof, he retired in 1995. His passion has kept him active in conservation and he has been instrumental at Bouchard Finlayson for the past decade. Among Woodvine’s contributions to the estate is the identification of many rare species of South Africa’s precious Fynbos flora. One such species called “Bokmakierieriet” was thought to be extinct in the greater Hermanus area. This holds great positive promise for many other species, which are believed to be under threat. Under his guidance, wine-making is done in partnership with nature – protecting both the grapes and wildllife. Bird census has been introduced, Blue Crane nesting sites are avoided, owls have been encouraged to thrive by bringing in owl boxes. Wildlife strips have been implemented and removal of alien vegetation together with rehabilitation of the indigenous species have been a success.

Resulting also from Woodvine’s involvement, Bouchard Finlayson is a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion – acknowledged as an environmental leader in the industry for our commitment to conservation, responsible production practices, integrated environmental management systems, and spearheading innovations in water, energy efficiency and climate adaptation.

WWF at Bouchard Finlayson

As a WWF member, the natural areas attached to the total farm complement are given equal importance to the vines. The vineyard and winery functions have been formalised through an environmental assessment. A part-time environmental consultant and respected botanist, Frank Woodvine, is employed by the farm to manage and coordinate all conservation activities. Plant mapping, clearing of alien plant infestations, replanting, and rehabilitation of indigenous vegetation are some of the many environmental activities at Bouchard Finlayson.

Find out more about WWF

Integrated Wine Production IPW accreditation

IPW is a self-audited initiative where all winemaking and grape growing processes are measured and recorded. These records are then an indication of how responsible the farm is during winemaking practices. Bouchard Finlayson complies with the South African IPW system. In addition, the estate is involved with the University of Cape Town’s project researching biological control mechanisms associated with eradicating alien plant species, under Prof. Cliff Moran. Waste water is monitored and maintained at secure levels for redistribution through the irrigation system. The control of foraging wildlife on spring vineyards is controlled through bonox fencing and bird control at harvest is achieved through an audio system which broadcasts bird scare calls. Bouchard Finlayson takes the stewardship of its natural environment seriously, to ensure that this beautiful piece of “Heaven and earth” (Hemel-en-Aarde) will be preserved for years to come.