Botanica Wines was founded in 2009 by owner and self-taught winemaker Ginny Povall, an intrepid American who fell in love with the beautiful Cape winelands, purchased Protea Heights farm in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley and relocated to the southern tip of Africa in 2008. Established in the late 1940s, Protea Heights was the first farm in South Africa to cultivate indigenous protea flowers commercially. Inspired by this horticultural history, it was only natural that Ginny would choose to develop her wine brands and labels with a botanical flair.
Today the estate boasts eight varieties of proteas (four of which are hybridized species unique to the property), largely destined for export to Europe. The 21.6 hectare farm is planted with 10 hectares of indigenous flowers, which bloom throughout the year, and 5 hectares of organically farmed, high density vineyards. Planted between 2009 and 2010, the estate vines provide the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Albariño used to craft Botanica’s Arboretum, Big Flower and Flowergirl ranges.
Protea Heights is also home to Sugarbird Manor, a 4-star luxury guesthouse with nine modern guest rooms and suites and four loft-inspired cottages, offering the perfect winelands retreat.
The Protea Heights vineyards were established in 2009 and 2010, with high density plantings ranging from 5,600 – 10,100 vines per hectare. They are positioned primarily on cooler south to southeast facing slopes, at an altitude ranging from 200 to 250 meters above sea level. Cooling afternoon breezes from False Bay provide natural air conditioning for the vineyards during the warm summer months, cooling the temperatures by an average 10+ degrees. The vineyards were converted to organic farming practices in 2014.