Cavalli Wine Estate | Somerset West South Africa | OvP Associates


The setting for this project is a 110 hectare sub-division of a wine farm in the Cape Winelands between Somerset West and Stellenbosch, consisting of existing vineyards and some indigenous natural areas largely infested with alien invader species.

Small wine farms are generally commercially unsustainable and to this end the client, a pharmaceuticals entrepreneur, wishing to enhance the value of his investment and diversify the land use, has developed a flagship stud farm, training facility, vineyards and olives orchards on land which he recognized as having potential due to its location and natural setting.

The client’s brief was to recognize the natural setting with the backdrop of the Helderberg mountains and distant views of Table Mountain, to integrate the existing vineyards with the new equestrian training facilities, to encourage biodiversity through the management of stormwater and waste and the restoration of the indigenous fauna and flora of the Cape Winelands biosphere in accordance with the following principles of the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve:

  • Conservation of the Cape Floral Region and its associated ecosystems.
  • Provision of a sustained flow of high-quality water to adjoining regions.
  • Promotion of sustainable development in order to alleviate poverty and inequality.

Together with the architects, OvP developed the site plan, heralding entrance to the farm with an eye catching gateway, flanked by formal row planting of lavender and olive trees with immediate reference to adjoining orchard row planting.


The access driveway through the estate passes the paddocks and is flanked with trees and a stormwater bio-swale and retention pond with associated fynbos planting. The training facility, set deep into the site forms a backdrop to this pastoral scene. The visibility of the paddocks and training facility from the arterial road was enhanced for commercial reasons.

The state of the art training facility and outdoor arena, cut slightly into the rising ground are integrated into the site by means of a series of place making elements, including forecourt and side spaces with subtle changes of level and horizontal planes with trees, space defining walls and formal planting beds. The design intent is of calmness, minimalism and restraint.

The peripheral planting consists of indigenous fynbos, some of which has been harvested from the existing endemic species pool on site and incorporated into the hydro-seeding of new areas. Formal areas closer to the buildings, for visual effect, consist of carefully selected mixed planting groups, coordinated for colour, texture and variety, providing seasonal year round interest. An indigenous garden links the training facility to the dam and this area now abounds with a diversity of wild flowers attracting various wildlife including guinea fowl, chameleon, waterfowl, butterflies and steenbok.


Through managed intervention, Cavalli is contributing substantially towards the Cape Winelands bioshere with the planting of thousands of indigenous plants and the introduction of sustainable farming practices.

Phase two consisting of a restaurant and wine tasting facilities is currently in progress.

Cavalli Wine Estate | Somerset West South Africa | OvP Associates

CLIENT Cavalli Wine Estate
ARCHITECTS | Bouwer Architects
CONSULTING ENGINEERS | Element Consulting Engineers
QUANTITY SURVEYORS | Metric Quantity Surveyors 0218528868
LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR | Eco Creations & Keith Kirsten horticulture


About Damian Holmes 3274 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at