Avondale Wine Estate, based just outside of Paarl, had to think quickly in order to survive lockdown and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. “If it had not been for the export component of our business, we may very well not have made it,” says Johnathan Grieve, proprietor of Avondale Wine Estate.
“The resulting impact would have been dire – not just for us but, more importantly, for the community in which we operate.” Established in 1996, Avondale Wine Estate employs no fewer than 70 full-time and seasonal workers, the majority of whom come from the surrounding areas. “We also operate a Community Centre that includes a well-resourced creche and aftercare facilities for the children who live on our farm,” continues Grieve.
During the lockdown, FABER Restaurant – headed up by Chef Dale Stevens – was turned into a community outreach programme that provided at least 5000 meals a week over three months to the HEART NPO. “It gave us the opportunity to support an immediate need in our community, whilst we formulated our thinking and plans moving forward.”
But over the last 12 months, Avondale has also looked at other ways it can adapt to include much more than just its wine and dining experiences. “We looked at the beauty Mother Nature has given us and felt it apt to transform a visit to Avondale into an entire experience, for everyone and anyone, by offering access to our home, our gardens, and this natural beauty,” says Grieve.
Visitors to Avondale are now able to choose from several activities:
Avondale Eco Wine Safari
A wine tasting experience set in the vineyards, visitors will experience and hear first-hand the origin of the Avondale organic and biodynamic ‘slow wine’ process.
Avondale Garden Bar
The perfect way to end the week – sipping a glass of the Avondale organic wines or a gin cocktail in the beautiful Avondale gardens, surrounded by breathtaking views of the Paarl and Simonsberg mountains.
A fine selection of produce from local like-minded suppliers, complete with readymade frozen FABER meals and the full range of Avondale wines. Ochra Deli also serves breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.
Choose from six private picnic tables on Avondale’s lawn, surrounded by mountain views, or be seated in the shade of the oak trees next to the stream. Complete with a picnic basket filled with treats from FABER Restaurant and OCHRA Deli.
Avondale Farm Walks
On Saturday mornings experience the natural fauna and flora as you choose one of many different walking routes.
Avondale Venue Hire
Experience Avondale as the venue for your next event from small intimate gatherings, birthday parties, and weddings through to corporate meetings and conferences, year-end events, and private wine tastings and lunches.
“It has been an extraordinary couple of months,” continues Grieve. “Unprecedented times call for determination and resilience and open-mindedness to look at things differently. We are cautiously optimistic that the expansion of our offering will help us continue to navigate the challenges of these times – both for our own sustainability and the resulting continued delivery of a positive impact on the community and surrounding areas in which we operate.”