Western Cape: Driving sustainability

Despite South Africa’s long-standing history of producing wine, it has successfully carved out a place for itself in the modern era.

The recent CapeWine exhibition is the wine industry’s perfect illustration of this. For 2022, the decision was made to present all the projects, programmes and activities that contribute to sustainability within the industry, under the banner ‘Sustainability 360’. The primary focus has been placed on three pillars – ‘People, Place and Prosperity’ – each one of them playing a vital role in ensuring a better future for South African wine, and those who are directly involved and committed to it. The future of the surroundings, the fauna and flora with which the wines interact, is also a critical component of the long-term growth and development of the industry.

The ‘Sustainability 360’ theme is a nod both to the full circle or 360° sustainability achieved by the industry and its age. Since the very first day Cape grapes were fermented in 1659, over 360 years of winemaking have been notched up.

Much more recently, the Integrated Production of Wine scheme (IPW) was established in 1998. Producers comply with IPW requirements and are independently audited. Farms that pass the audit are entitled to use the sustainability endorsement.

As WOSA CEO Siobhan Thompson wrote recently: “Without sustainability, there can be no growth”. The stance resonates with Gilbert & Gaillard, as illustrated by this special editorial feature (page 74) which sheds light on the wines and practices of these committed wineries.




By Samarie Smith photographs - courtesy of the estates