Cavalli Canters Lightly

Rolling through the gates of Cavalli Estate, you get the feeling you’re about to experience something big. Food, wine, art, design—this is where big and bold things happen, while nature quietly nudges matters along.

Apart from making hot-property wines, stabling more than 30 horses, having an in-house art gallery and an award-winning restaurant offering a new 'Everyday Gourmet' menu. Cavalli (it means horse in Italian, by the way) has taken to creating an environment that’s both stylish and sustainable. So much so that pinning down every eco-friendly feature feels like an impossible task.

For starters, Cavalli has planted thousands of indigenous plant species to encourage the return of birds, insects and other wildlife to the farm. Bat boxes have also been placed across the farm to attract these rather cute flying fur balls to the property. Why them in particular? They help decrease the number of insects and consequently the use of harmful and poisonous chemicals. Rumour has it a few tootin’ owls have moved in too.

Speaking of our feathered friends, the estate’s number of bird species stands at sixty and also includes our national bird the Blue Crane, with several breeding pairs spotted canoodling on the estate grounds. Cavalli is also an ambassador of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and sponsors of the International Crane Foundation in its initiatives.

Then there’s the food. Real food that’s nourishing and revolves around local ingredients. Cavalli’s Restaurant, with Executive Chef Calum Anderson at the the helm, is the first Green Star Rated restaurant in the country. On top of creating classic —and devastatingly good dishes—with contemporary twists, the kitchen has adopted every measure to minimise waste generation, as well as recycling and reusing wherever possible.

The building also uses a geo-exchange system incorporating the dam for heating and cooling, solar energy and a waste water treatment plant that recycles 93% of the estate’s water. They also provide 17 bicycle racks to encourage visitors and staff to push pedals.

Did we mention all the beautiful horses? It’s the Ritz equivalent of equine living quarters with all the horsey trimmings. There are ten hectares of pristine paddocks attached to a world-class indoor equine arena, where a horse named Wine Women and Song has his morning lunge. That’s one thing you’ll hear often at Cavalli, the sound of hoofs hitting the ground.

Address: Cavalli Estate, Strand Rd (R44) in Somerset West Contact: (021) 855 3218. Website: Opening hours: Wednesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Sundays lunch only.