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Farming Philosophy

More than 50% of the Van Loveren farms that produce the grapes for Tangled Tree wines are not cultivated and a significant portion is under active conservation management.

We make space for nature and ecological processes, and work actively to restore precious natural habitats by removing invasive alien plants. We also emulate the best practices in sustainable viticulture in our vineyards. When this sometimes means sacrificing some grapes to baboons or birds, we do so with our eyes on a bigger picture.

Water is a precious resource in Southern Africa and at the core of our environmentally responsible farming methods is a state-of-the-art water management system. Moisture levels in the soil are measured electronically and the information used to ensure the vineyards are never over-watered. Accurate watering has many benefits, including:

  • Saving water and electricity;
  • Preserving nutrients in the soil that might otherwise have washed out, so less fertilizer is needed; and
  • Avoiding fungal and root diseases.
  • We've noticed a marked increase in birdlife in the vineyards as we've systematically reduced pesticide use. Ground life under the vineyard canopy is also very vibrant, an additional benefit of the ground cover we sow to improve the carbon content of the soil.