GVK-Siya Zama: Keeping Western Cape Wine Farms in Grape Shape

Posted on 14 August, 2017

Tourists pour into the Western Cape to witness the wonders of its winelands. Not only do the wine estates that dot the Cape’s 18 picturesque wine routes produce some of the best wines in the world, they also offer unforgettable experiences.

To enhance the winemaking capabilities and entertainment offerings of estates like Vergenoegd in the Stellenbosch vicinity and the Anthonij Rupert Wyne Estate in Franschhoek, specialists in the construction, renovation and restoration of buildings, GVK-Siya Zama, have been enlisted.

Improving the Vergenoegd experience

Visitors are flocking to the Vergenoegd Wine Estate in Stellenbosch to watch its world-famous team of 1,000 Indian Runner Ducks parade through the grounds three times a day. The estate has become a must-stop spot, not only because of this popular procession, but also for the weekly market, 3km and 5km fun runs as well as live summer concerts featuring some of South Africa’s hottest talent. Plus, there’s picnicking under ancient oak trees with a basket packed full of seasonal produce, spring water and a bottle of Vergenoegd’s very own Runner Duck wine.

The influx of guests has put a strain on the existing infrastructure. To address this, GVK-Siya Zama are adding more ablution facilities as well as installing a deli-style farm kitchen, complete with serving counters, storage space and a cold room facility. The wine dispatch in the 1700’s barn (part of cellar) has also been integrated as part of this construction project.

GVK-Siya Zama Contracts Manager, Rupert Rademan, shares that three restrooms, one of which will offer wheel chair accessibility, are being added along with a baby changing room. In addition, the kitchen, which will be used to prepare the popular picnic baskets, is being created by splitting open some of the existing wine tanks on the property.

With Vergenoegd being one of the oldest wine estates on the Stellenbosch Wine Route, and the main werf was declared a monument site in the 1970’s. Historic built fabric includes a ‘kraal’ wall adjacent to the cellar, which needed to be protected during the works. The team installed hoarding to box the wall in and prevent it from being damaged. GVK-Siya Zama Business Development Manager, Graham Brookman, believes that one of the reasons why the company was selected to work on the project is because of its 50 plus years of experience in the preservation of historical buildings.

The upgrades commenced on 22 March 2017, with completion scheduled for September 2017. “While visitors may encounter some minor inconveniences, they can rest assured that we have all our ducks in a row,” says Rademan.

Augmenting the Anthonij Rupert Wyne Estate

Renowned for its red wines, the La Garonne cellar on the Anthonij Rupert Wyne Estate is being extended with an additional 2000m² storage space for new fermentation tanks and barrel stowage to increase production.

GVK-Siya Zama Quantity Surveyor, Nicholas Allen, reveals that the process has involved cutting the ground down to a suitable level, removing the existing floor tiling and replacing this with epoxy, installing columns infilled with brickwork and topping the building with a galvanized structural steel roof. The result is a massive warehouse with more space for the fermentation process.

He shares that laying the epoxy proved challenging as the cellar was full of massive fermentation tanks that needed to be shifted around while the work was being done.

The project began in January 2017 and is due to be completed in July, but had to be split into phases because of the grape harvest in February and March.

“Visit these estates to tantalise your taste buds with award winning wines, experience true winelands hospitality and see our enhancements for yourself,” concludes Rademan

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