Five More Wine Farms Attain WWF Conservation Champion Status

WWF South Africa is delighted to announce that five more wine farms have been welcomed into its prestigious Conservation Champion programme,...

WWF South Africa is delighted to announce that five more wine farms have been welcomed into its prestigious Conservation Champion programme, bringing to 55 the total number of WWF Conservation Champions in the Cape Winelands, which overlaps two major global biodiversity hotspots – the Cape Floral Kingdom and the Succulent Karoo.

Warwick Wine Estate
Biodiversity loss is among the top environmental risks according to the 2021 Global Risk Report from the World Economic Forum.

“Having recently celebrated International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May with the 2022 theme ‘Building a shared future for all life’, there could not be a better time to welcome our five new WWF Conservation Champions, all of whom have met stringent criteria and shown exceptional commitment to sustainable practices, while safeguarding endangered species in unique habitats,” says Shelly Fuller, manager of WWF’s Fruit and Wine programme. “We are delighted to extend our recognition to these farms that promote farming in harmony with nature in our uniquely biodiverse corner of the world.”

The five new wine farms to have joined the WWF Conservation Champion programme are:
WWF Conservation Champions are acknowledged as environmental leaders in the wine industry for their exceptional commitment to regenerative farming practices, including implementing responsible production practices; spearheading innovations in water and energy efficiency; and conserving previously unprotected ecosystems to provide a habitat for many rare and endangered species.

Many of the farms have set aside land for conservation to protect the rich and diverse biodiversity; rehabilitated vast sections of the area through alien invasive clearing projects; and diversified their offering to attract more visitors and contribute to ecotourism, through sustainable nature-based activities like walking, hiking and mountain biking trails, outdoor dining, bird watching, eco-lodging, picnics, nature drives and ‘vinisafari’s’.

Collectively, the 55 wine farms recognised as WWF Conservation Champions own 45,263 hectares of land spread across the Cape Winelands from Constantia to Robertson, and from Stellenbosch to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Of this land, 24,372 hectares is now conserved as a pristine part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. This achievement is due to the unique and symbiotic working relationship between WWF and Cape wine farmers.

The Conservation Champion programme, facilitated by the WWF, supports wine farms in their conservation endeavours through advisory support and assistance with setting tangible targets and prioritising actions to address their most pressing environmental risks. The 55 farms work closely with WWF, undertaking annual assessments to ensure they meet the specifications required of a Conservation Champion.

Their commitment to nature and to WWF's high standards entitle Conservation Champions to use the distinctive sugarbird and protea logo on their wines, which officially affirms their commitment to biodiversity conservation to guide environmentally concerned consumers in their purchases.

Choosing a WWF Conservation Champion wine is as easy as looking for the distinctive sugarbird and protea logo on wine bottles when purchasing wine from your local retailer.

Wine lovers, locals and tourists can also download the Champion Wine Guide App at to find special offers, explore wine farms and browse through nature-based experiences and ecotourism activities.

For more information about the prestigious WWF Conservation Champions programme, or to find out if your favourite wine is a WWF Conservation Champion, visit our website at or follow us on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter
#ConservationChampions #followthesugarbird


Creation Wines
Farm Size: 68,014 Ha
Area Conserved: 15.850 Ha
Location: Hemel-en-Aarde

Creation Wines are passionate about preserving the natural environment and are committed to participating in, and supporting, leading scientific initiatives in the wine industry. These include ClimaVin, a global climate change project spearheaded by Stellenbosch University, and Vititec’s GEN-Z project involving new plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The development of Creation Wines ‘Walks-in-Progress’ project involves the rehabilitation of their natural vegetation, and additional environmentally friendly practices include armies of wasps and ladybirds to control pests in the vineyard.

Creation Wines are one of only nine wineries in South Africa to receive EnviroWines accreditation. In addition, they are currently working on initiatives with WWF to promote sustainable wine tourism, and are also excited to collaborate with the Grootbos Foundation on their Grootbos Florilegium project, which celebrates and honours the Cape Floral Kingdom in the southern Overberg as a valuable botanical heritage.

Farm Size: 90,2 Ha
Area Conserved: 9,831 Ha
Location: Stellenbosch

Established in 2003, DeMorgenzon supports an abundance of indigenous wildlife. The presence of predators such as the African Fish Eagle indicates a healthy functioning environment, vital to the protection of the area’s unique biodiversity. A Renosterveld area covering roughly 10% of the farm is maintained and preserved with the help of the Bottelary Hills Conservancy.

Solar panels were recently installed to reduce dependency on conventional electricity sources. A network of runoff waterways prevents soil erosion, and channels rainwater to storage dams. Creating a healthy microcosm of water and bird life, the water in the evaporation dam is tested weekly to provide a natural habitat for various bird, plant and aquatic life, including tilapia, an indigenous fish.

All plant waste generated on DeMorgenzon is recycled and reused to produce compost, while cellar effluent is naturally decomposed. Predatory insects control the spread of mealybugs in the vineyards, limiting the use of chemical pesticides.

Hasher Family Estate
Farm Size: 175.97 Ha
Area Conserved: 53 Ha
Location: Hemel-en-Aarde

Situated in the heart of the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, 15 minutes from Hermanus, the Hasher Family Estate spans 180 ha of vineyards, a production facility and diverse fauna and flora.

The estate take a low-impact sustainable approach to farming, with minimal interference in both the vineyards and in the cellar. They have also introduced organic management principles, regenerative farming practices, winter pruning techniques and more natural vineyard practices.

In addition, 53 hectares of the estate, including pristine sandstone fynbos and wetlands, are now dedicated to wildlife preservation and nature conservation, forming a corridor for the wildlife roaming along the bank of the Bosdam between the Fernkloof and the Babilonstoring Nature Reserves.

Game cameras and game drives provide opportunities to see Cape leopard, blue cranes, micro frogs, honey badgers, antelope, caracals and bat-eared foxes, and soon visitors will also be able to enjoy nature from eco-friendly off-grid holiday cottages overlooking the De Bosdam and Babilonstoring.

Farm Size: 62,167 Ha
Area Conserved: 16,449 Ha
Location: Somerset West

Highberry is a family-owned wine farm and function venue on the slopes of the Schaapenberg, outside Somerset West. With 38 hectares under vine, the wine farm produce limited amounts of Highberry Cabernet Sauvignon and Highberry Sauvignon Blanc.

Highberry delights in sharing their picturesque farm with guests and recently built a custom-designed function venue, which was awarded the Best Wine Farm Venue by Pink-book in 2019. The undulating terrain on their farm is also great for mountain bikers, and they are proud to feature on both the Cape Epic and Wines to Whales routes on a regular basis.

Over the last five years, Highberry have lovingly restored 17,11 hectares of critically endangered Swartland Shale Renosterveld to an original Cape Floral Kingdom habitat, attracting birdlife and small wild animals alike. In February 2016, these 17,11 hectares of restored land was declared a Conservation Area through a Biodiversity Partnership Agreement signed with Cape Nature.

Warwick Wine Estate
Farm Size: 694,82 Ha
Area Conserved: 306,714 Ha
Location: Stellenbosch

Situated in the foothills and mid-slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain, Warwick Wine estate has all the elements required for world-class wine. The estate have a rich range of cultivars, and the quality of their wines is as much due to the elements and environment as it is to the vineyard and cellar teams.

Warwick Wine estate work the land in a way that maintains a balance between the vines and biodiversity, including practices such as sowing cover crops and using water sparingly. As a sustainable source of irrigation water, a 23kl/d wastewater treatment plant and sewage collection system with pump stations has been installed. They also avoid harmful insecticides by using natural predators instead.

Just over half their farmland is now a conservation area because, while it may be admirable to produce a wine like Warwick Wine’s Trilogy that can outlast a generation, they believe it is as important to preserve our environment to outlast us all.


Background to the WWF Conservation Champion Programme

The WWF Conservation Champion programme, originally known as the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI), was initially developed to protect the natural heritage and unique biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which at the time was under threat due to rapid vineyard and agriculture expansion into these critical habitats. The unique partnership created widespread awareness and catalysed behaviour change towards more sustainable farming practices in South Africa’s wine growing regions.

The South African wine industry has also received international recognition as leaders in sustainable wine production in the global wine sector. In fact, more than 90% of the local wine industry has embedded environmentally responsible farming practices into their businesses, as represented in Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) sustainability seal.

Awareness around environmental threats facing unique habitats like the Cape Floral Kingdom has driven demand for sustainably produced wine both locally and globally. In fact, certain countries are drafting legislation to ensure goods are only imported from countries that practice sustainable farming.

Fortunately, the 55 WWF Conservation Champions occupy the top of the global leader board in terms of sustainably produced wine. All 55 champions’ credentials are underscored by South Africa’s IPW scheme, having achieved 70% or more in their IPW audit and their conservation principles are under the stewardship of the WWF.

About WWF

WWF is an independent conservation organisation, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF South Africa

WWF South Africa is a national office that is part of the WWF network. We are a local NGO that for more than 50 years has been working to ensure a sustainable and equitable future in which humans and nature thrive. For Nature. For You.

WWF stands for the World Wide Fund for Nature

Contact: Andrea Weiss or 082 920 5993


Pictures: SUPPLIED

©2022 Herman Lintvelt - WineTourismZA 

You Might Also Like