Farm Activities

Oak Valley offers a a range of farm activities including a beef cattle siting and beef sales, largest production unit and wholesaler of fresh cut flowers in the Western Cape, fruits and wines production.

The cattle on Oak Valley graze on open pastures that are established to a combination of clovers and grasses, mainly ryegrass. The clovers have their origins in Australia and the seed is imported from that country. The clover plants provide the nitrogen required to feed the grasses and the process is self-sustaining.

The climate in the Western Cape is Mediterranean and in November annually the pastures dry off before the start of summer and regenerate in the autumn with the advent of the opening rains. The animals graze on the green grasses and clovers during the wet months whilst the dried off pasture seeds provide the source of protein in the summer. This is supplemented with oat hay which is also grown on the farm and which is cut and baled.

Apple pomace from the juice plant is an important supplementary foodstuff for the animals and is also a by-product of our orchard business. Thus it is that the food the cattle eat is homegrown in a perfectly natural way, giving rise to tender and flavoursome beef.

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Established in 1978, the division has grown to become the largest production unit and wholesaler of fresh cut flowers in the Western Cape. Products grown are Chrysanthemum, Alstroemeria, Oriental Asiatic and Longiflorum Lilies, Statice, Delphinium, Iris, Freesia, Tulips, Gladiolus, Lisianthus, Paeony (in season) as well as Greenery. As a result of long-term relationships with overseas plant breeders, Oak Valley Flowers has access to the latest varieties available worldwide.

There are over 13 hectares of greenhouses, shade houses and open fields in production, including the first fully imported automated climate controlled Dutch glasshouses in South Africa. The wholesaling division markets and distributes the Oak Valley production together with other products sourced from selected quality suppliers across South Africa and neighbouring countries, under the highly regarded Oak Valley Flowers brand.

The target market is the market for quality cut flowers in the Western Cape and Southern Cape regions. The primary goal is to produce and distribute the best quality cut flowers available in South Africa. The customer base ranges from wholesale to florists, hotels and Multiple Retailers; Oak Valley Flowers is the supplier of choice to Woolworths in the Western and Eastern Cape.

Oak Valley is one of the largest deciduous fruit production units in South Africa with 335 hectares currently under production. 70% of this hectarage is planted to apples, whilst 30% is established to pears. Oak Valley has invested large amounts of capital in modernising the orchard capacity with new cultivars being introduced in line with current market demands. Two thirds of the total fruit area is planted to high value varieties. Production averages 15 000 tons of fruit per annum.

With apples the varietal mix includes Pink Lady, Sundowner, Fuji, Braeburn and Royal Gala as well as the more standard Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Topred. The pear mix includes Abate Fetel, Forelle, and Doyenne du Comice as well as a lesser hectarage of Packhams Truimph, Bon Chretien and Buerre Hardy.

Oak Valley was one of the first three farming units outside of the EU to achieve the prestigious Tesco Natures Choice accreditation and is also Eurepgap accredited giving it priority access to supermarket shelf space in these important markets. The Natures Choice accreditation was upgraded to Gold status in Jan 2004. Oak Valley has also achieved preferred supplier status with Waitrose in the United Kingdom. The Oak Valley fruit crop is packed and stored at the Two-a-Day Group Limited (established 1948) where Oak Valley is a substantial shareholder. The Two-a-Day Group has a wholly owned subsidiary Elgin Fruit Juices (Pty) Ltd which was established in 1980 to deal with processing quality fruit on its shareholders farms. This fruit is converted into apple and pear juice concentrate for sale in markets across the world.

The marketing of the dessert quality fruit is conducted through a joint venture company established in 2001, known as Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing (Pty) Limited. Tru-Cape has grown to become the largest single supplier of Pome fruit to Capespan and is, in its own right, one of the biggest exporters of fruit out of South Africa. Exports are targeted at the UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East and the Far East, whilst Tru-Cape is also the largest supplier of apples and pears to the domestic and over border markets.

Oak Valley, a relatively new entrant in the South African wine industry, has made great strides in the market since the launch of the first wine in 2003, a much-acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc. The wines are products of the exciting new cool climate Elgin Ward, which is rapidly attracting the attention and investment from a number of leading South African winemakers.

The Oak Valley range of wines includes Sauvignon Blanc, a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a Bordeaux styled blend, known as The Oak Valley Blend. The wines have been consistently well rated by the market and the 2005 Sauvignon Blanc won Gold and the Regional Trophy at the 2006 Decanter World Wine Awards whilst the 2004 Oak Valley Blend won the International Trophy for Bordeaux Styled Blends over £10 at the 2007 Decanter World Wine Awards. The flavours of the wines are characterised by minerally undertones complimented by fresh acidity, giving an elegance that has its origins in the cool terroir of the valley.

Currently the breakdown of vineyards on Oak Valley is as follows:
Sauvignon Blanc: 42%
Chardonnay: 5%
Merlot: 18%
Cabernet Sauvignon: 6%
Cabernet Franc: 8%
Petit Verdot: 1%
Syrah: 7%
Viognier: 2%
Semillion: 1%
Pinot Noir: 10%

Cellar space has been rented at Paul Cluver Wines from the 2003 - 2010 vintages. Our wines are made by Pieter Visser, the Oak Valley Winemaker/Viticulturist, who is a graduate of the Elsenburg Agricultural College and has been working on the farm since 1993. Ultimately an own cellar is planned for Oak Valley. The wine tasting room on the Estate is set in lush surroundings adjoining an oak forest, and is open on weekdays from 9am to 5pm. Out of hours by appointment only. Tastings are conducted free of charge.

Oak Valley