South African wine region hit by wildfire

South African authorities say raging wildfires in the country’s wine region near Cape Town have destroyed part of the country’s oldest wine estates, while some mountain slopes above Cape Town’s exclusive beach enclave of Llandudno were also affected.

The historic Vergelegen wine estate, which has been around since the 1700s and considered one of the country’s best wineries, is estimated to have lost 40% of the land on the estate to fire. Some vineyards were damaged, but much of the fire burned on conservation area land.

Don Tooth, Vergelegen’s MD, said on Monday: “Vergelegen currently have an independent viticultural team assessing the damage to vineyards and we estimate approximately 10% could be affected. Options for remedial action and replacement strategies will be considered.

The fire is now contained and we’re open for business as usual,” he said.

Low rainfall, dry vegetation and strong winds are said to be the cause of fires in the country’s wine region in the summer months. Two years ago, a similar fire on the country’s famous Table Mountain lasted for nearly two weeks.

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