Neetlingshof has one of the most beautiful estates in the Cape, its famous kilometre-long avenue of stone pines leads to the Cape Dutch Manor House, which is now home to excellent visitor facilities. Behind sits a massive and modern winery. This is the contemporary face of a company that is now a core part of the giant Distell Group, and in particular its ‘Cape Legends’ fine wine division which extends to 21 individual wine brands, most based around estate wineries.
I was met here by winemaker De Wet Viljoen who explained that the 120 hectares of vineyard was divided 50/50 for the production of red and white wines, but that the bulk of the 400ha estate was given over to biodiversity – restoration of the Renosterveld and Fynbos – the Cape’s famous floral kingdom of Proteas and other indigenous species, now being actively reinvigorated on many wine estates through clearing of invasive foreign species like eucalyptus and black wattle.
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