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Conservation Champions Asara Wine Estate & Luxury Hotel, caring for the environment….


21 December 2017  -  Michael Olivier Communications

Asara Wine Estate and Luxury Hotel is situated amongst the rolling Polkadraai Hills to the west of the town of Stellenbosch and in the heart of its eponymous Wine Appellation. The owners and management of this beautiful estate, as conservation champions, are aware of the situation in which they find themselves in terms of sustainability and excellent farming and hotel keeping practices.

The Asara Vineyards are situated in a little valley with many different soil types and aspects which create ideal pockets for the grapes for their excellent wines.

Surrounding these vineyards is unfarmed land known as fynbos, the natural habitat of the Cape Winelands, which its threatened.  Asara is known as a Conservation Champions while Management continues to create pockets of well managed and maintained natural areas.  Farming practices are such that they have minimal impact on the biodiversity both of the vineyards and the surrounding areas.

Insect predators like lady birds are brought in to eat aphids and mealy bugs which feed off the sap juices of the vines.

Within these natural areas, insects return, plants provide seed, rodents come in to exist on them, owls, for which Asara provides nesting boxes, exist on the rodents. Guinea Fowl come in to eat the seeds and insects. Caracals move in to live off the Guinea Fowl and the rodents.

An indication of the conservation that is going on at Asara, is a scientifically monitored alien removal project started in 2017. Recently in the middle of a patch of alien bush, the team discovered flowering Babiana Villosula, an endemic species with a limited dispersal area. This Babiana has lost 80% of its habitat as a result of urban expansion. It grows low to the ground and has attractive little blue star trumpet shaped flowers.

 

Fynbos & Vines  I  Babiana Villosula

One source of pride on the Estate is the effluent purification facility. Grey water runs from the buildings through a peat based filtration system and out into a farm dam and is then used for irrigation on the estate.

Talk of recycling, the estate has an efficient refuse recycling system where refuse is sorted and then recycled.

In the winery, there is a move to use corks made from a plant-based biopolymer derived from Brazilian sugar cane.

The labels of the Asara Vineyard Collection wines are made from paper using recycled sugar cane.

Continually on the lookout for cutting edge farming methods, hotel keeping procedures and winemaking practices, Asara stays at the forefront of conservation, sustainability and eco-friendliness in running the estate.

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