South Africa’s WWF Conservation Champion wine farms are environmental leaders in the local wine industry. There are 40 of these conservation-minded wine estates whose wines are produced using environmentally responsible practices. They’re celebrated by the distinctive black, pink and gold logo on their bottles. The logo consists of a pink Protea and a gold sugarbird, collectively signifying the synergy of the fynbos region.
Sustainable wine from WWF Conservation Champion farms
Each bottle of Conservation Champion wine has a story to it, and underlying each story is the common goal of conserving the unique vegetation of the Cape Floristic Region. This is one of six global plant kingdoms and is also the smallest yet remarkably the most diverse. It has over 9,000 species, of which more than 70% of these are found nowhere else in the world! The Conservation Champion programme is especially important because in South Africa, 90% of wine growing takes place in the Cape Winelands. By choosing these wines, you are supporting conservation in action and when paired with the right meals, you could forget your lockdown woes for a while!
Inside the homes of chefs from our wine farms
Inviting you into their homes for home-cooked meal demos – paired with Conservation Champion wines – are some superstar chefs from Conservation Champion wine farms: Bouchard Finlayson, Lourensford, Neethlingshof, Klein Constantia, Wildekrans and Gabriëlskloof.
Fancy a scrumptious burger for lunch or dinner? Bouchard Finlayson has shared chef Stefan’s burger recipe video paired with their delicious and inspiring Italian-French Hannibal red blend.
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Lourensford’s general manager, Koos Jordaan, has shared a few of his favourite homemade recipes, like the one with free-range chicken flavoured with olives, herbs and caramelised baby onions. This chicken dish is a fantastic match for their limited release viognier. He shows that this versatile white variety isn’t limited to only being paired with spicy dishes, as is often assumed.
The Restaurant at Neethlingshof boasts a hearty roast chicken and leek pie recipe by chef Brendon Stein. His Korean-style chicken wings, pak choi and steamed rice with pickled cabbage is also part of Neethlingshof’s social media challenge on recipes to try at home.
A sustainable duo of seafood and wine
The Bistro at Klein Constantia profiles a classic combination of smoked salmon, cream cheese and crispy capers. They recommend a white wine like Klein Constantia’s chardonnay to mirror the dish’s bold zesty notes with its burst of citrus.
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Next in our #WiningandDiningTogether series, a crowd favourite – Chef’s smoked salmon, cream cheese and crispy capers. A classic combination! This calls for a wine that mirrors the dishes bold zesty notes and has a burst of citrus, what better wine than our Klein Constantia Chardonnay. The richness of the salmon and the freshness of our Chardonnay are a match made in heaven. Cheers! @thebistroatkleinconstantia – – – #lunch #wine #wineandfood #food #foodie #pairing #wineandfoodpairing #salmon #smokedsalmon #creamcheese #capers #chardonnay #perfectpairing #bistro #thebistroatkleinconstantia #kleinconstantia #foodstagram #ctrestaurants #capetown #constantia #travellater #lemon #citrus #alfresco #eat #letslunch
As farmed Norwegian salmon is on WWF-SASSI’s orange list, a better option is to request rainbow trout, a delicious green-listed alternative farmed in South Africa and Lesotho. Then you can dine with a green conscience – sustainable fish together with your sustainable wine!
Another dish divulged by Klein Constantia is the classic French favourite of escargot in garlic herb butter with gruyère gratin, paired perfectly with their brut MCC. You can follow more of their concoctions in their #WiningandDiningTogether series on Instagram.
Home deliveries and lockdown cooking
Wildekrans lockdown cooking posts showcase hearty, wholesome and easy, realistic dishes that anyone can make. It includes recipes such as chef Gordon’s coq au vin packed with veggies and served with guacamole, salsa and flatbread; jazzed-up baked beans; a traditional pap recipe; fresh salads; fragrant curries; comforting toasties; and hearty soups. Created during level 5 lockdown, the recipes require no fancy deli-type ingredients. This series has been designed around basic, standard household ingredients. Under Level 4 lockdown they have introduced a country gourmet meal delivery service for Sunday lunches! To celebrate Sauvignon Blanc Day on 1 May, food pairings were suggested to complement the fresh tropical aromas of citrus and pineapple with hints of grapefruit and gooseberry in their Estate Range sauvignon blanc. Fish dishes were top of the list, served with a fresh garlic-and-herb aïoli featured in their lockdown cooking series.
Gabriëlskloof is another Conservation Champion wine farm whose restaurant is whipping up home-cooked meals to deliver to locals. A variety of convenient frozen meals, picnics and platters, weekly “Chef@Home” dishes and freshly baked treats are being prepared for delivery to local towns in the Overberg area. Chef Frans also gives tips on the perfect comfort food during this time of lockdown as winter sets in, with potato gnocchi highlighted in their Instagram stories.
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You say comfort food, we say #gnocchi! Chef Frans has received so many requests for instructions on how to make the perfect #potatognocchi that we’ve turned it into our recipe share for this week. Follow his step-by-step tips for making your own light, pillowy gnocchi at home – and serve with your favourite sauces or pestos. The full recipe is now available in our highlighted Instastories. Happy cooking! #CookingAtHome #StayHome #Lockdown #LockdownSA #homemadegnocchi #bestgnocchi #easygnocchi #comfortcooking @overbergchef
Making a difference one hearty meal at a time
We are proud of the country’s finest Stellenbosch-based chefs who have sharpened their knives to support local communities during this pandemic. We applaud chef Bertus Basson of Spier Wine Farm, Chef Brendan Stein of Neethlingshof and many others who are part of setting up a soup kitchen to provide 20,000 nutritious meals each week to surrounding communities. This is in addition to all the wine farms growing goodness and supporting local communities.
Stay tuned to the WWF Conservation Champion wine farms and WWF’s @FollowTheSugarbird account on Instagram. Together we are contributing to a planet where people live in harmony with nature. In showing your support, you are champions too.
NOW READ: Growing goodness with conservation champions
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