Haut Espoir is a boutique wine estate and cellar in Franschhoek, South Africa.
Developed and run by the Armstrong Family since 1999, we produce distinctive, handcrafted wines in harmony with nature. The literal translation of Haut Espoir is 'High Hope'.
We are the custodians of a 23 hectare farm, of which 8 hectares are planted with shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc. The remainder of the land is dedicated to fynbos restoration, a riverine ecosystem, olive groves and vegetable and herb garden.
At Haut Espoir, winemaking goes hand in hand with conservation. We have been transitioning to Biodynamics since 2011. We focus on minimal impact to the environment with our viticultural practices. We have actively restored the environment around us and no fungicides, insecticides or commercially bought fertilisers are used. Water conservation is practised daily and our winery effluent is managed through a bio-reactor and wetland system.
Visitors to our farm will experience warm hospitality, grand views, and a unique insight into intentional winemaking.
Haut Espoir and our journey
In 2011, Haut Espoir began the transition to biodynamic agriculture and we continue to strive for holistic environmental practises . Producing handcrafted wines in harmony with nature has been our guiding principle. Biodynamics is a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition. Biodynamics was first developed in the early 1920's based on the spiritual insights and practical suggestions of the Austrian writer, educator and social activist Dr. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Biodynamic farmers work with the subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health.
Haut Espoir is on the biodynamic journey because we strive for a diverse, balanced and healthy farm that is sustainable and produces the highest quality wines in a harmonious, sustainable ecosystem. We also seek to embody a triple bottom line approach (ecological, social and economic sustainability), taking inspiration from Steiner’s insights into social and economic life as well as agriculture. We have relationships to share resources with other farms, local restaurants, Le Franschhoek Hotel, and community groups often use our facilities.
Examples of biodynamics in action on Haut Espoir include:
Using compost preparations made from fermented manure, minerals and herbs that help restore and harmonize the vital life forces of the farm and to enhance the quality and flavor of our crops
Integrated Pest Management strategies such as beneficial cover crops and insects organic preparations and chicken coops
Minimal harvest resulting in healthy, unstressed vines
No commercial fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides or non-organic additives used in the vines or in the wine-making process
Organic vegetable and fruit garden and eggs available for the staff of Haut Espoir
Custom crush initiative to support other winemakers
Effluent treated in a wetland and bioreactor system as water is a precious resource we conserve and protect
Biodiversity focus and active regeneration of fynbos and riverine areas
Miminal external inputs: e.g. recycling building materials, waste products used to generate compost and resources.