Bouchard Finlayson is a top class, internationally renowned estate, situated in Walker Bay, mid-way between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas (the most southerly tip of Africa). The climate is largely influenced by the nearby cold Atlantic Ocean rendering it one of the coolest wine-growing areas in the Cape. The Hemel-en-Aarde valley, home to Bouchard Finlayson, is surrounded and sheltered by a mountain barrier, formed by Galpin Peak (810 metres) and the Tower of Babel (1200 metres), which traps the cloud cover and moisture brought in from the sea by the prevailing wind.
The estate is committed to conservation and sustainable farming, and they strongly believe their BWI membership sets them apart from other winemaking regions in the world. BWI (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative) is a partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector, aimed at protecting the Cape’s rich floral kingdom. To this end, only 19ha of their most precious resource – the land – is under vine as the natural indigenous fynbos (a valuable ecosystem) is being preserved.
A part-time environmental consultant and respected botanist Frank Woodvine, has been employed by the farm to manage and coordinate all conservation activities.
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Bouchard Finlayson is situated in the wine ward of Walker Bay, mid way between Cape point (Cape Town) and Cape Agulhas (the most southerly tip of Africa). The climate of Walker Bay is largely influenced by the nearby, cold Atlantic Ocean rendering it one of the coolest wine growing areas in the Cape. The Hemel-en-Aarde valley, home to Bouchard Finlayson, is central to Walker Bay. The valley is surrounded and sheltered by a mountain barrier, formed by Galpin Peak (810 meters) and the Tower of Babel (1200 meters), which traps the cloud cover and moisture in from the sea by the prevailing wind. Summer conditions are consequently warm rather than hot, and winter conditions are mild and frost-free.
Winemaker, Peter Finlayson, is a graduate oenologist from Stellenbosch University. He furthered his studies at Geisenheim in the Rheingau in 1975. A period (between 1976 and 1979) at the fledgling Boschendal winery was followed by the challenge of setting up and running the first winery in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley. His sucess at this cellar became legendary culminating in the 1989 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award for his achievements with the Pinot Noir grape. Peter is committed to raising the standards of his award wining wines. Many study trips to Burgundy have ensured that valuable friendships have been kindled with associates such as Paul Bouchard and Bruno Lorenzen. These contacts have spawned a web of knowledge, which can only be measured in the pleasure enjoyed from the product of Peter's winemaking.
The protection of grapes from predatory birds and animals is by way of zero damage. Our property is fenced and fruit is also defended by way of netting and other passive means.
The Bouchard Finlayson winery property enjoys 70% of its land as Wilderness area which is classified and managed under the BWI program. This requires active management and attention is paid to the removal of invasive plants.
Water Conservation policies
We use no chemical cleaning agents - the only agent used is potassium hydroxide, this is for washing purposes only. The Potassium is a recyclable element which is an essential vineyard plant food. Returned to the lands through the irrigation system back into the vineyard.
We analyze and monitor all waste water from the winery. This ensures that the no environmental damage may be affected from the cellar waste.
Recycling of dry goods
Packaging materials from the winery and other refuse from the property is removed for professional recycling.
Actions to neutralise carbon footprint
Our soils are handled according to a minimal tillage system which thereby limits any unnecessary tractor use.
We avoid the use of any hormonal herbicides in our weed control practices. The use of organo - phosphates in the control of insect pests is considered a no no.
No mechanical picking. This ensures that casual employment can be optimized with financial gain in the pockets of the needy.