A wonderful surprise arrived, hand-delivered to my home and I’ve been enjoying sampling them ever since. A selection of Vineyard Friends – fine Wine by Douglas Green.
Speaking to my love of the environment, sustainability and vegan-friendly practices – let alone appreciation of good wine, this delicious range comes highly recommended and can be enjoyed while supporting the adorable creatures they honour.
As I was travelling in Mozambique I never opened a bottle on receipt, but have since tried them over different dinners that ranged from light and summery vegetarian salads which I had with the Chenin Blanc, to a robust lamb curry that perfectly matched the Pinotage. My favourite is likely the Sauvignon Blanc, which I sipped on over chats with a friend. The Merlot I’ve set aside to enjoy on a special occasion.
It feels so good to be enjoying these wines, knowing that beyond the perfectly balanced flavour spectrums is a story, philosophy and commitment to sustainable practices, the environment and these adorable vineyard friends – as adopted by DGB.
Vineyard Friends, a Wine By Douglas Green
Vineyard Friends is a newly launched wine range from DGB that connects the consumer with the natural wildlife and sustainable practices that underpin its winemaking principles. The range includes four wines; Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinotage and Merlot Malbec – is vegan friendly and 100% GMO free not to mention delicious. Celebrated for its name and design, Vineyard Friends is dedicated to the unique animals of the Cape Winelands that make the precious vineyards their home: the Grey Duiker, the Cape Grey Mongoose, the Bat Eared Fox and the Grey Heron.
These intelligent creatures don’t just live in the vineyards where the story of this wine begins, but each animal plays an integral role in the lifecycle of the vineyard, from maintaining soil health to removing pests. This not only ensures a healthy harvest but limits the need for pesticides. Importantly, it is not just these incredible cape creatures who are doing their part to create a more sustainable option for South African wine drinkers. In fact, Vineyard Friends is the culmination of two decades of practical response to environmental challenges and the result of a myriad of sustainable practices championed by DGB.
Douglas Green Wines
DGB is South Africa’s leading independent wine and spirits company and the first South African wine company to achieve the big 5 accreditation certifications that incorporate recognition for the environment, quality, food security, health & safety and ethical practices. DGB not only believes that commitment to sustainability is the right thing to do – it’s what they want to do, and Vineyard Friends is the celebration of the strides they’ve made in sustainable practices to date.
The wines represent the ongoing commitment to innovate the environmental process from vineyard to bottle.
1. The vineyards themselves make use of water-saving cover crops while facilities make use of bio-treated greywater in all ablutions and gardens – drastically reducing the use of potable water. In addition, an anaerobic process sees clean water released into the local municipality, to support the community. With 50 million precious litres of irrigation water reclaimed per year to provide the vineyards with the water, they require to thrive.
2. The Vineyard Friends cellar in Wellington has the largest solar photovoltaic energy installation of any wine production facility in South Africa. An 801 kW roof array of 2400 panels not only offsets 1265 tonnes of potential CO2 emissions but also produces clean, surplus energy to be fed into the grid of the neighbouring town and its communities.
3. Partners and suppliers are chosen very carefully – only working with those who share a commitment to honouring nature and biodiversity through sustainable and ethical practices. Even the Vineyard Friends bottle itself has recycled glass content, is lightweight and includes a label on 100% recycled paper from Enviro LabelTM.
Despite all of these interventions, the creators of Vineyard Friends know that the journey to sustainability never ends and that the environmental impact of winemaking still remains. That is why a community-led bamboo growing carbon reduction project runs in parallel with the work in the vineyards, the production facilities and on the bottle itself. It is also why there is a continuous commitment to innovating sustainable practices and maintaining world-class certifications across ethics and the environment.
Sustainable winemaking is a team effort. It’s about maintaining the delicate balance between flora, fauna and the human hand. Great wine is made in the vineyard farming side by side with nature – not against it.