We bought two pieces of land in the Botrivier Valley in 2008. Today the land is known as Anysbos. Anysbos is named after the Anysboegoe (Agathosma Cerefolium) that grows in the Overberg.
“Johan has always been a farmer at heart, but without a farm. Farming is his third career: first a lawyer, then a filmmaker and now a farmer. Sue’s from the IT industry; her knowledge of computers and what can be done with them on a farm is a huge help.” - By Eatout
We learnt a few things since moving here a few years ago.
The Northwester brings rain but also blows the blossoms off the olive trees. Clay based soils hold its moisture longer but tears off the micro roots of the plants when it gets really dry. Too little stone and the soil gets marshy; too much and the water disappears. North facing slopes versus south facing slopes. Sandstone versus shale. Water from sandstone is good but water from shale is too salty.
You can not learn without making mistakes but if you don’t learn from your mistakes you are in trouble. With time we had to accept that some vineyards need just that a little bit of extra water. But there are those that produce a crop with only the rain that falls.
We had to replace some of the Coratina Olives because they don’t like wet feet. Had to change the goat pens to get rid of seepage; take out some vines because the soil is too salty. Find ways to overcome the salinity.
One thing we are rather proud of is the fight against the invasive aliens, Port Jacksons. We chop them down, we chip them and we spread them in our vineyards as mulch, which keeps the moisture in and the weeds out and increases the quality of our wines.
We often had to learn things that our staff had known for years. Some have been with us from the beginning. The help and advice from the winemakers of our valley has helped us immensely.