Three special projects
Cederberg Private Cellar is involved in several social responsibility and conservation initiatives to ensure that the winery and its people leave a sustainable legacy for future generations. Through the years we have given generously donated to many organisations – internationally, nationally, regionally and within our local community. Requests for donations have grown exponentially as more and more people struggle to make ends meet. After careful consideration, we have selected projects that directly benefit the workers on our farm and those in the Western Cape winelands. Since 1 July 2015, we have been supporting the following three projects:
World Wildlife Fund for Nature
Cederberg Private Cellar is a WWF Conservation Champion. This programme was previously known as the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI). Its aim is to promote sustainable management and the protection of biodiversity in the wine and fruit industries. Being a Conservation Champion means we are acknowledged as an environmental leader in the wine industry for our commitment to conservation, responsible production practices, integrated environmental management systems, and for spearheading innovations in water use, energy efficiency and climate adaptation.
Read more at wwf.org.za
The Waitrose Foundation emphasises long-term relationships with their farmers and suppliers by supporting responsible sourcing, treating people fairly and leaving a light footprint in the natural environment. Cederberg Private Cellar produces the Waitrose Sustainable Chenin Blanc and Waitrose Sustainable Shiraz for the Foundation. These wines are sold in selected Waitrose stores in the UK.
Read more at waitrosefoundation.org.za
The Pebbles Project works with families in the farming areas of the Western Cape winelands. It focuses on the entire life of the child and the challenging circumstances in which they grow up. Through emphasising education, nutrition, health, community and protection, the Project aims to make a significant and lasting difference in the lives of these children and their parents.
Read more at pebblesproject.co.za
This section contains a short description of things nature-related in and around Cederberg Private Cellar:
- the Cederberg Wilderness Area
- the Cederberg Conservancy
- the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor (GCBC)
- the Cape Leopard Trust
- the flora and fauna
- Widdringtonia cedarbergensis – the Clanwilliam cedar
Cederberg Wilderness Area
Dwarsrivier farm – where Cederberg Private Cellar is situated – is surrounded by what is known as the Cederberg Wilderness Area. CapeNature is the custodian of this protected area, known as a conservancy. Nineteen landowners joined forces with CapeNature to set up the conservancy. Cederberg Private Cellar is one of eight landowners whose property borders on the Wilderness Area.
A wilderness is an area big enough to allow natural processes to take place unhindered. It must be a place that provides a spiritual, therapeutic, aesthetic, cultural and historical experience, and where the water, land and air are free of any pollution.
Described as ‘wild, rugged and captivating’, the Cederberg Wilderness Area stretches from the Middelberg Pass at Citrusdal in the south to the Pakhuis Pass behind Clanwilliam in the north. It encompasses about 72 000 ha of rugged, mountainous terrain. To the east, the 12 000 ha at Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve is situated on the drier eastern boundary of the Cederberg Mountains. This area was proclaimed in 1995 with the assistance of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-SA) and includes the famous Stadsaal rock formations and some excellent examples of San rock art.
Geologically, the Cederberg is part of the Cape Fold Belt and consists mainly of Table Mountain sandstone. Weathered sandstone formations, most notable at the Wolfberg Arch and the Maltese Cross, are typical of the Cederberg. These mountains fall within the Cape fynbos region and are managed as a catchment area. The Wilderness Area also forms the core of a leopard management area that was established in 1988.
The Cederberg Wilderness Area is situated in the Cape floral region, which was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 2004.
Read more at capenature.co.za
The Cederberg Conservancy constitutes a voluntary agreement between landowners and the provincial government to manage the environment in a sustainable manner. This is achieved by means of environmental management plans, ecological auditing, co-operation and dedication to the conservation of nature on private land.
The area consist of 84 800 ha of provincial land and 109 913 ha of privately owned land, which is used for agricultural and tourism purposes. A vast area of the privately owned land is unspoilt. Altogether, the area comprises 194 713 ha – less than 10% of this land is ‘used by man’.
The Cederberg Conservancy was established on 20 October 1997. One of the many reasons why this Conservancy is still going strong is possibly the fact that it was built on the basis of a strong tourism association, which was formed in the early 1980s. Winemaker David Nieuwoudt’s grandfather, Oom Pollie Nieuwoudt, was its first chairman. The organisation included farmers in and around the centre of the mountain range, while the then Cape Nature Conservation (now CapeNature) and the Department of Forestry were major role-players. When the organisation was formed, it was ahead of its time. Today the Conservancy consists of 19 members who meet every third month to address issues such as the management of leopards, fire protection, cedar tree restoration, tourism, fish conservation, waste management, and recycling and re-use.
Read more at cederberg.co.za
Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor (GCBC)
View map HERE
The Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor (GCBC) was formed by CapeNature and the Cape Action for People and the Environment (CAPE) to establish a link between the low-lying coastal area in the west and the Tanqua Karoo in the East. There are seven similar corridors in South Africa. The Cederberg Conservancy is an important link between the coast and the Karoo in the GCBC. Dwarsrivier farm is one of the initial four members in the eastern part of the GCBC.
Read more at cederbergcorridor.org.za
Cape Leopard Trust
The Cape Leopard Trust is a project that originated in the Cederberg Conservancy. The project is run by Quinton Martins and his team. It has grown in leaps and bounds and now includes areas like the Gamkaberg area, Kammieskroon and Namaqualand. At present Quinton is seen as a pioneer in research on the Cape mountain leopard. The aim of the initiative is to monitor the Cederberg leopard population as a long-term project (>15yrs) to understand the biology and behaviour of the animals. By doing so, the conflict between stock farming and conservation can be managed and minimised.
Read more at capeleopard.org.za
Flora and fauna
The two primary vegetation types on Dwarsrivier farm are Sandstone Fynbos and Succulent Karoo. Succulent Karoo vegetation grows in shale, while Cederberg Sandstone Fynbos thrives in Table Mountain sandstone. Other conservation projects in the Cederberg include the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP) and the conservation of reptiles and amphibians.
Apart from this website, many other sources such as magazines and other websites contain a wealth of information on this topic.
CapeNature has provided a species checklist which you can download HERE.
Widdringtonia Cedarbergensis – The Clanwilliam Cedar Tree
The Cape or Clanwilliam cedar is one of three indigenous South African cedar tree species. Only four cedar species are found in Africa – three in South Africa and one in Malawi. Cedarbergensis widdringtonia is endemic to the Cederberg, growing only in areas of 800 to 1 400 m above sea level.
European settlers began stock farming in the Cederberg in the 18th century. In 1876 a forester was appointed to oversee Crown Land in the mountains. This was possibly the first attempt at conservation in the Cederberg. From 1903 to 1973 exploitation of the Cederberg’s natural resources was rampant. Large amounts of cedar wood, rooibos tea, buchu and Rockwood bark were harvested, while farmers used the mountains to graze livestock in times of drought. Large numbers of cedar trees were felled as the wood was in great demand for construction – about 7 200 trees were used as telephone poles between Piketberg and Calvinia. Fires added to this destruction and the Clanwilliam cedar tree is now on the brink of extinction. In 1967 the removal of dead cedar trees was halted. Other forms of exploitation ended in 1973 with the proclamation of the Cederberg Wilderness Area.
CapeNature now hosts an annual Cedar Tree Day during which saplings are planted in their natural habitat. This also creates awareness of the endangered status of the cedar tree among concerned nature lovers and visitors to the Cederberg.
Read more at plantzafrica.com