Tel: +27 (0)83 265 6341
Josef Lazarus and Candice Stephanou are the owners of Lazanou Organic Vineyards, a small, picturesque family run farm tucked away on a dirt road just outside Wellington approximately 45 min drive from Cape Town.
Not because visitors aren’t welcome, but merely because it is just the two of them(and their 2 children) who live on the farm and they are not always there to welcome unannounced guests.
Josef is a philosophy graduate from the University of Cape Town and has worked in higher education and community development for the past 20 years. He spends many hours per month consulting to the SA Hospice Association.
He and Candice bought the farm in May 2002 and spent the next few years converting it into an SGS certified organic wine farm. It is his belief that “it is conventional farming that is a deviation from the norm”
A lot of extra effort goes into organic wine making, says Josef, but if it complements your lifestyle then you are driven not only by the quality of your fruit, but also by your quality of life.
Sitting next to the dam, the sense of your surroundings brimming with natural and varied life is both uplifting and calming at the same time. There is a vegetable garden as well as ducks (to keep snails at bay), chickens, cows and sheep all grazing in the surrounding and adjacent fields. The aim being to make the farm as self sufficient as possible.
Lazanou Organic Vineyards is one of the smallest wine farms in South Africa. The full extent of the farm is 8.48 hectares, of which 5.54 hectares are under vineyards. The rest of the farm includes cow pastures, a few small olive groves, a fruit orchard, an earth dam, a bird sanctuary, various buildings and importantly a number of biodiversity zones.
These zones are created on the farm to encourage plant diversity and to attract natural predators to combat pests and diseases within the vineyards.
No herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used on the farm. The soils are continuously improved through extensive composting, mulching and planting of nitrogen fixing cover crops (green manuring) during the winter months. Compost is produced on the farm using their own cow manure, earthworms and organic materials from the farm.
Although Lazanou Organic Vineyards has only just over 5 hectares under vineyard it boasts a variety of cultivars carefully chosen for their suitability to the microclimatic conditions and soils of the farm. Cultivars include Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Syrah (Shiraz) and Mourvedre from which 5 gorgeous wines are produced:
- Chardonnay, Chenin, Viognier 2009 – Unwooded – [Rating: 3.5] John Platter
- Chardonnay 2008 – Lightly Wooded – [Rating: 3.5] John Platter
- A Single Vineyard Wooded Chenin 2009 – [Rating:4.5] John Platter
- Single Vineyard Syrah/Mouverdre 2009 – [Rating: 4.5] John Platter
- Single Vineyard Syrah 2008 – [Rating: 4.5] John Platter
The farm won the awards for the Best White Wine and the Best Wine Overall at the inaugural Nedbank Green Wine Awards in 2009 for their unwooded Chenin Blanc 2008 as well as receiving numerous Michelangelo awards for their wines.
A wonderful way to experience the farm is to attend one of their periodic open days where the public are invited to join Josef and Candice for a day on the farm including a tour of the vineyards, a wine tasting and a lunch made from all the organic produce of the farm, served outside, under umbrellas on the banks of the farm dam.
Truly a vineous and culinary experience not to be missed…all this for R250 per head!
I can wholeheartedly recommend this experience and will be keeping you informed of the next one to be held.
They also host a stall at the Neighbourgoods Market in the Old Biscuit Mill on Saturday mornings where you can taste and buy all their wines and get to meet Josef himself.
Wines with heart and soul, try them!