A fire which broke out on the Simonsberg mountain on the afternoon of Tuesday 19/01/16 raged for 5 days before it was brought under control. It swept right around our beautiful mountain, destroying many hectares of indigenous “Fynbos”, pine forests and vineyards. All the farms around the mountain were affected, some more than others.
According to director Victor Sperling, Delheim lost about 95% of our entire pine plantations (Delheim has one of the biggest privately owned plantations in the Western Cape province), and most of our natural Fynbos vegetation. It takes about 25 years for the pine trees to reach commercial maturity, so it is a massive blow for us. The estimated loss in revenue stands at about 3.5 million Rand.
We were fortunate that we had minimal damage to our vineyards, but some Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer blocks suffered partial scorching of vines and bunches. The smoke taint will be a challenge for our winemaking team to overcome, but fortunately their are ways and means of managing this in the cellar.
We would like to give a massive thanks to all the staff members, volunteers and other firefighters who worked around the clock this week to assist with protecting our property. A big thank you must also go to the greater Stellenbosch community for their support and dropping off of supplies like water, energy drinks and food for the firefighters – your commitment and assistance is much appreciated!