Farming Practices

Asara Vineyards: Cultivars | Soil Types | Bio Diversity | WIETA | Fairtrade

As the old saying goes, ‘making great wines starts in the vineyard’, and the Asara vineyards are carefully managed through the seasons. This includes meticulous canopy management, and the judicious stressing of the vines as required. The farm and winemaking teams work closely together to monitor the vineyard blocks and to decide when to start the harvest.

The estate is blessed with all the elements of a perfect terroir. During spring and summer we have a warm climate at the estate, tempered by cooling ocean breezes from False Bay, which is only 12km away to the south. In winter abundant rains sweep in from Table Bay to the west. Soils on the estate are hundreds of millions of years old, derived from decomposed granites and shale, and are highly suited to the cultivation of high quality grapes. The estate is hilly with two large ridges running from top to bottom, giving many varied aspects. Elevation ranges from 120m to 200m above sea level.

Soil Types
Asara is very close to the False Bay coast and geology on the estate is typical of the southern Cape coastal region, with soils that are millions of years old, sandstone mountains, granite intrusions and patches of shale.

Two soil types are predominant on the estate - Oakleaf and Tukulu. These soils are closely related, both are derived from ancient granites that have decomposed, and are characteristically well-drained and fertile with high clay content and good water retention. Vines on these soils tend to perform consistently over the seasons, and the soils provide a solid foundation for production of high quality grapes of the noble varieties.

There are also small patches of Glen Rosa and Vilafontes, gravelly and quick drying soils that are derived from shale. These soils have less inherent fertility than the Oakleaf and Tukulu and tend to produce smaller vines, lower yields and highly concentrated fruit. Grape varieties planted on these soils include Petit Verdot, Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Farm management makes use of water stress strategies to induce the vines to produce grapes with concentrated flavor. Soil moisture levels are tracked with the use of computer monitored probes, and irrigation is supplied as deemed optimal.

Bio Diversity
We cherish our amazing natural heritage, and strive to protect and promote biodiversity which is essential to the health of the farm’s ecosystem.

This includes setting aside empty land for precious fynbos to regenerate, and an ongoing programme of clearing alien vegetation. A small river runs from the top of the farm to the bottom, and we are clearing alien vegetation from the river banks and encouraging the growth of indigenous plant species instead.

In the vineyards we use cover crops to naturally regenerate the soil, and to promote micro-life and insect life. This is complemented by the construction of owl houses, the release of ladybirds, and the fostering of birdlife in general as a means of natural pest control.

The level of biodiversity and health of the farm’s ecosystem is evidenced by the huge variety of birds that are seen, and the presence of numerous small animals including frogs, reptiles, porcupines, mongooses, foxes and small species of buck.

The Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trading Association (WIETA) is a multi-stakeholder, non-profit voluntary organisation which actively promotes ethical trade in the wine industry through training, technical assessment, audits and a code of good practice.

Asara has been WIETA certified since 2014.

Fairtrade is an ethical certification, which certifies product supply chains; it is also a powerful tool consumers all over the world use to change the world every day and for businesses to become more sustainable and access markets locally and internationally.

Fairtrade is a global movement that believes in human rights and the protection of the environment for our future generations. Fairtrade is the world's most trusted ethical certification system.

Asara Wine Estate & Hotel has been Fairtrade certified since 2016.

Asara Wine Estate and Hotel