The fynbos is a unique blend of plant species that can grow in nutrient-poor soil and under difficult climatic conditions. In the Cape's hot, dry summers, these 8,500 (!) evergreens need no umbrellas. The vegetation is part of Cape Floral Kingdom, the Cape's floral kingdom, which is one of six flora regions in the world to be protected and has been on Unesco's heritage list since 2004. - TEXT EDITORS | IMAGE 'FYNBOS-VINEYARDS' | PIERRE VAN DER SPUY / WINES OF SOUTH AFRICA
Vineyards and Fynbos | Western Cape, South Africa
Many fynbos species are found near vineyards. They can affect the aromas or flavours of wine by dispersing organic materials, such as vegetable oils or pollen.
Wine is bottled landscape, you might say. But wine is not the only drink of this unique terroir. There is also spicy and floral gin, for those who want more alcohol. Cape Fynbos Gin contains 33 native botanicals, hand-picked from the bushes in the fynbos, such as wild dagga, honeybush, devil's claw, bushman's ecstasy, renosterbos, cancer bush, African wormwood and African potato. Did we hear honeybush there? We also know those from tea, as well as rooibos, for those who want a very healthy drink from the region.
However, the plant species of the fynbos are threatened by the growth of agriculture, pine plantations and cities. A number of species are already extinct.
Wineries are doing their best as members of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI) to make the best use of South Africa's natural resources and not ruin nature. Vines produce quality grapes in nutrient-poor soil because they have to try so hard to root deeply for food, but viticulture as a monoculture can be disastrous. The coastal region near Cape Town includes the famous wine district of Stellenbosch, home to family-owned winery Simonsig. Besides vineyards and orchards, as much as 12 hectares, 4 per cent of their family estate, is dedicated exclusively to fynbos conservation and restoration.
Curious to find out more about vineyards and fynbos? You'll find them in WINELIFE Magazine 82. You can order this one here!
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