Riverton Stud Farm going green

“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land,” Aldo Leopold

Environmental Awareness

As farmers we experience climate change firsthand with shifting rainfall patterns negatively impacting our seasons, the environment and the availability of drinking water. Reducing our environmental footprint is thus a priority to ensure the sustainability of our thriving farming community. As stewards of the land we are constantly researching innovative, cost effective and practical solutions to reach our conservation ideals.

Water Conservation

Living in a low rainfall area (180mm to 250mm per annum) we are very aware of the need to conserve water. The availablity of clean drinking water is a priority.

– The houses and sheds on the farm all have rainwater collection tanks.
– Water quality is tested according to SABS standards on an annual basis.
– The bath and shower water from the guest house is used to irrigate the grass.
– The horse pastures are sprinkler irrigated and not flood irrigated.

To encourage water optimisation, Riverton holds annual staff competitions with cash prizes to chose the best vegetable garden. The added benefit of having fresh organic vegetables available at the dinner table cannot be overestimated!

Staff Vegetable Garden
81 Solar panels Riverton

Solar Energy Farming


In 2019 Riverton Stud installed 81 solar panels to run the irrigation pumps. Currently, we haven’t as yet succumbed to installing toxic battery storage.


In 2024 a further 12 solar panels were installed to feed the guest house.

Riverton Staff Solar Geysers

Solar Energy

In 2007 / 2008 the Riverton staff housing and the stable office received solar energy geysers.

Solar lights also light the farm roads at night. Where practical an on-going policy of replacing geysers with solar energy geysers has been implemented.

Organic Compost

We make our own compost:

Grape skins and pips that are left after the wine has been pressed and horse manure (one of the safest animal manures to use) collected from the paddocks is combined with autumn leaves and old bedding straw, turned for 3 years and our compost is ready.

Each compost heap is at least 20 meters in diameter and 2 metres high.

Proper land management 225

Proper Land Management

The source of supreme bone quality in our horses and the superior quality of the vines in our valley, lies in the soil.

Proper land management and paddock rotation of our calcium rich soil is employed on a continuous basis at Riverton.

Repurpose or Recycle

In our on going quest to minimise  our farm’s waste production we encourage repurposing or recycling. Used containers that are safe to repurpose become fire sand buckets or planters. Tires are remodelled into soft feed buckets for the yearlings who love playing soccer with them. Tractor tires make wonderful sandpits or swings. Potatoes planted in stacked tires provide a supply for several months.

We have a contract with a local recycling company to remove our used plastic containers, glass, tins  and so forth. Our self-catering guest house also has designated bins for our guests to recycle.


Almost two decades ago a rust fungus (Uromycladium tepperianum) that is specific to reducing the reproductive and vegetative growth of the alien Port Jackson (Acacia Saligna) trees along the Breede River was introduced. Whilst unfortunately not exterminated, the Port Jackson’s ferocious growth has been curbed to allow vegetation indigenous to our area to regain a foothold. In 2011 we also had 2 scholars chop down Port Jackson trees as part of their community service to achieve their President’s Award.

In 2007 a large number of the alien water guzzling Blue Gum (Eucalyptus) trees were professionally chopped down along our stretch of the Breede River. Our area unfortunately has very few indigenous trees and whilst the reeds quickly grew back they were no match to the ferocious growth of the Blue Gums. A single Blue Gum tree can consume up to 600 liters of water per day. More Blue Gums were ruthlessly cut down by the government in 2019, not allowing even one of the 150 years old trees to survive as a home to the magnificent high roosting Fish Eagles, Harrier Hawks, the Western Osprey and a host of aquatic birds. Fortunately the majority of these birds have now found a home in the Blue Gums at the stables and around the farm further away from the river. 

Riverton has always been home to the most magnificent trees and it is our policy to replace fallen down trees and plant new indigenous trees on an on going basis. Sadly, the majority of these indigenous trees that we planted near the river, were washed away in the 2nd unprecedented flood in September 2023.

Whilst financial constraints in adopting new technologies are often an initial barrier to lowering our environmental footprint …

Every small step can and does make a difference!

Independant Audits

Regular audits that include environmental awareness and sustainability give us a valuable independant benchmark as to our success and of greater importance it highlights areas were we can improve.

We were all pleased that we showed a 6% improvement over 2015 to achieve 98% for our 2016 IGAP audit.

We are registered for the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) and passed our environmental sustainability audit in 2016 with 84%.

  • IGAP 96% 96%
  • IPW 84% 84%
As with the international BSCI code of conduct which we follow we are also registered with WIETA which applies a holistic approach and not only audits that we are operating according to international health & safety standards but that our staff are managed according to all legal requirements and treated with the respect that they deserve.