back label stories
We are powered by the sun. In 2010 we installed the largest, privately owned, roof mounted, solar power generation facility in South Africa. It supplies most of our needs outside of harvest time. Wine is often described as “sunlight in a bottle” and Villiera truly lives up to that. We also save energy through greater use of natural light, insulation, energy efficient equipment and lighting, timers on energy guzzlers.
duck and the snail
We ceased using insecticide in 2000. Instead we control pests naturally. Snails are one of our biggest problems and we have a flock of ± 1000 white Peking ducks who feed on snails. They are moved around the vineyard where snails are a problem. The ducks need to be partially fed, to have the strength to seek out snails, but if they are overfed they become lazy and spend all day on a dam.
Villiera is a family owned and managed wine company. Simon Grier oversees the vineyard activities, Jeff Grier oversees the winemaking activities and Cathy Brewer (nee Grier) looks after sales and marketing. However, there is a greater Villiera family of loyal staff, many of whom have been with us for over 20 years. This dedicated Villiera family are committed to quality and service.
At Villiera there is an abundance of experience. Simon and Jeff Grier, the wise old owls have been keeping a beady eye on activities at Villiera for over 3 decades. They are supported by others who have been at Villiera for equally as long. Their experience is also being passed on to the next generation.
We use environmentally friendly farming methods .We have rehabilitated a large tract of land and returned it to its natural state. In addition a natural guest experience (wildlife sanctuary) has been created at Villiera. We naturally replenish our soils with winter cover crops and we recycle water for irrigation purposes. This approach has led to a vibrant eco system on Villiera.
We have been enthusiastic tree planters for many years but our wildlife sanctuary development has provided an opportunity to offset our carbon footprint by planting 100 000 trees. The trees are indigenous and spekboom, the most efficient carbon binding plant, has been planted prolifically.
leave an impression
At Villiera we know our vineyard. Simon Grier knows each m² intimately and Jeff joins him in the harvest to physically decide when to pick. The vineyards are inspected on foot, the grapes are tasted and decisions relating to quality are made. Our vines are hand pruned, the canopies are hand controlled and the grapes are handpicked. This careful, personal attention leaves an impression on the wine.
doing things slowly
Our family is thorough in evaluating the effectivity of practices employed. We adopt new practices once we are assured of the benefit to our business and our wine. Innovation is important to us but we don’t wildly adopt new methods without proven benefits. It is the old story of the tortoise and the hare.
We farm as naturally as possible without compromising the annual harvest. Techniques are employed to limit driving tractors up and down the rows. In the process we limit compaction of the soil and burn less fuel. We avoid spraying insecticide and rely on natural predators to control pests such as mealy bug. We attract birds of prey to scare off flocks of smaller grape eating birds. We capture all our winter runoff water and strictly control the use of it for irrigation purposes in summer. We limit our waste and recycle everything. Social sustainability is also important as can be witnessed through our support for the Pebbles project, the Owethu Clinic and our farm Crèche