L’Avenir’s Hands-On approach to empowerment through design

L’Avenir Wine Estate has taken a hands-on approach to this working wine farm’s layout and design. Motivated to empower through design, L’Avenir’s principal design inspiration is drawn from vineyards and the hands that toil the land.

This approach has appropriately manifested in L’Avenir’s Hands-on Garden – a beautiful integrative space framed by working vines and fountains, which was created by L’Avenir’s farming community. The result is a space where undue barriers, between man, nature and society, are removed and commitment and inclusiveness are celebrated. The garden’s design and layout were the brainchild of L’Avenir’s Vineyard Manager, Leigh Diedericks, who has been an instrumental part of the farm for 25 years. It also features striking sculptures by Zimbabwean roadside sculptor and artist Tafirenyika Manyenga.

This 1,5-ha area is adjacent to the winery and forms a passage from the winery’s Pebbles Afterschool Care Centre to the cellar and Single Block events venue, as well as the striking accommodation facilities, L’Avenir Country Lodge. L’Avenir is fully invested in developing the skills of its community. The same hands that were responsible for the Hands-on Garden also built L’Avenir’s Pinotage Lounge and the Single Block events and conference venue. Inspired and guided by nature, these authentic spaces reflect the elements that are so important to the farm’s single block Pinotage vineyard: water, light, wood (vines) and air. All these elements are creatively incorporated to reflect the farm’s awareness of, and gratefulness to, the environment.

The Hands-on Garden is utilised by L’Avenir’s Pebbles Afterschool Care Centre to provide the learners the opportunity to gain an understanding of vineyard management.  “The garden has not only resulted in a better understanding of viticulture, but the children now have greater appreciation for the important work that their parents are involved in. The garden is a symbolic integration of the community and the workers at L’Avenir Wine Estate and an opportunity to leave a legacy for our next generation,” says Diedericks.

The Hands-on Garden embodies L’Avenir’s values of humility and commitment. With a definite focus on developing the next generation, the Garden is true to L’Avenir’s name – which means “the future” in French. “The Hands-on Garden personifies the spirit of L’Avenir and is a beautiful expression of the precision and determination of our team. We are especially proud of our vineyard manager, Leigh Diedericks, who played a key role in this extraordinary creation,” explains Naretha Ricome.

This unique space honours the skilful workers that have for generations made an invaluable contribution to the Estate and its wine. It’s also a unique way of bringing the essence of this working farm – the vineyards – closer to visitors to the L’Avenir’s Cellardoor, conference facilities and country lodge. This emphasis on the vine is carried through to L’Avenir’s elegant Country Lodge, where nature is acknowledged in soft natural tones, and light wood finishes. Incorporating the exterior into the design and overall experience, guests here can relax next to a rim-flow pool overlooking the dams and working vineyards or enjoy the sunset from their pergola-covered deck.

The Hands-on Garden is a comfortable stole away from the cellardoor and lodge and an ideal opportunity to enjoy the dynamic spirit of L’Avenir, with a glass of Pinotage or Chenin Blanc in hand. The Hands-on Garden is also adjacent to L’Avenir’s helipad, which provides for a striking view from the sky, for groups arriving by helicopter.

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