Sustainable wine farming with friends

Sustainable wine farming with friends

How animals help us in the vineyards

The four animals on the labels of our wines serve a much greater purpose than simply looking cute.

In the vineyards, these animals do a great deal of work, helping us in more ways than they could know.

The 4th of December is World Wildlife Conservation Day – a day that is particularly close to our hearts. Our purpose at Vineyard Friends is to create wines that leave as minimal an impact as possible on the habitats of our spectacular indigenous wildlife, who have been our inspiration and motivation to farm and produce sustainably. With this special day coming up, we’d like to tell you a little bit more about the four Vineyard Friends on our labels, and explain the crucial role that they play in bringing your favourite wines to life.


The Bat-Eared Fox

You’ll see this sweet forager on the label of our Bat-Eared Fox Pinotage – a remarkable wine with dark juicy fruits and hints of vanilla and chocolate. But – did you know that this animal, in many ways, helped to make this wine?

The Bat-Eared Fox serves a critical purpose in the vineyards by foraging for insects that are harmful to the grape vines. In this way, the Bat-Eared Fox is a winemaker’s ally – serving as an environmentally-friendly form of pest control. 

The Grey Duiker

The Grey Duiker graces the label of our superb Sauvignon Blanc. This wine has a zesty character and bright, fresh finish. This zest and brightness reminds us of these small African antelope, who are a delight to watch as they prance and play in their habitat.


In the vineyards, Grey Duikers are vital team members - using their little hooves to dig around, searching for insects to munch on. In this process, they mix through the soil, integrating compost and thus enriching the soil, naturally.

The Grey Heron

The austere Grey Heron inspired our Merlot-Malbec blend – a wine as elegant and beautifully structured as its namesake.

This long-legged, water-wading bird is an exceptional hunter, and in the vineyards, protects the vines from insects and other pests. This natural form of pest control offers a win-win scenario to both the vines, and the Grey Heron.


The Cape Grey Mongoose

The bushy-tailed Cape Grey Mongoose inspired our Chenin Blanc – a wine that is as dynamic and big on attitude as the playful mongoose.

These cheeky critters have a very important role to play in the vineyards, as they burrow in the vineyard to look for insects to eat. While doing so, they act as pest control, and enrich the soil, with their burrowing mixing through compost and loosening the soil.

Each one of these four special animals are vital to the vineyards. So, when you next pour yourself a glass of delicious Vineyard Friends wine, be sure to raise a toast to their hard work – and to yourself, for choosing an ethically and sustainably-produced wine that strives to protect these animals and their homes.
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