Biodiversity highlights:Area conserved : 89 ha
Founder of the Greater Simonsberg Conservancy, which has been cleared of all alien vegetation and where pristine yellowwood forest can still be found at the top (see photo below).
Delheim is situated in the Simonsberg region and owned by the inimitable ‘Spatz’ Sperling. Today, daughter Nora and son Victor Sperling are helping him to continue this work with even more gusto and environmental sensitivity. The Sperling property extends over 364 hectares (consisting of the farms Delheim and Delvera), of which at least a quarter are fynbos conservation areas, 150ha are planted to vine and the rest is a pine plantation.
In 2004, Spatz Sperling collaborated with local farmers and founded the 54-hectare Greater Simonsberg Conservancy in order to help protect the Swartland Shale Renosterveld originally found there before the gum plantations took over. Together with Cape Nature Conservation and the LandCare programme of the Department of Agriculture, the landowners elected to rid the area of alien vegetation.
This conservation initiative also gave way for several eco-tourism initiatives at the Sperling-owned farm Delvera, such as hiking and mountainbiking in stunning surroundings, as well as a charming little agricultural village, with wine and olive tastings, arts and crafts shops, a Kokerboom nursery, loads of kids’ activities, delicious farm fare, B&B accommodation at the Oakleaf Lodge and panoramic views. A portion of the hiking and biking permit fee is donated to the Conservancy.
Delheim has fulfilled the stringent criteria and is now enjoys BWI champion status. The Conservancy started out under the name “Klapmutskop Conservancy” with five farms - Delheim, Elsenburg, East Hill, Le Bonheur and Warwick. The Conservancy has since grown to the current nineteen farms. These wine farms act as curators of the conservancy and plough their efforts into protecting and conserving the area through sustainable practices.