Clearing the dust of a dilapidated horse farm’s memory, a reimagining of Baccō Estate emerges with a new lease on life. A remarkable transformation, the plot has evolved into a burgeoning wine estate with a distinct Italian flair.
When the farm was acquired by the visionary client several years ago, it faced the challenge of alien vegetation, primarily the invasive Port Jackson willow. Tasked with the monumental redesign, CNDV Landscape Architects embarked on a journey to salvage the neglected expanse. Unlike many projects, Baccō presented a near-clean slate for CNDV, offering only a few constraints such as contours, drainage lines, existing buildings, and sparse trees. The team, armed with a vision and guided by the unique elements of the land, set out to create a truly extraordinary design.
The entrance, strategically placed opposite an existing counterpart, played a pivotal role in shaping the design, alongside the stream that bisects the property. Soil tests paved the way for the optimal placement of vineyards and diverse grape varieties, forming the foundation for the initial concepts. CNDV meticulously organised the landscape into a slightly formal design, incorporating windbreaks, roads, and visual axes to structure the farm in an orderly manner. The rejuvenation of the existing stream into a wide, informal natural habitat using indigenous plants and trees further underscores the commitment to preserving the farm’s ecological balance. Italian cypresses and poplars, strategically planted in phases, also create axes and windbreaks that add character to the landscape. Finally, the vineyards form the backbone of Baccō, with additional crops slated for planting in the coming years. A significant milestone in this transformation was the completion of the wine cellar, tasting room, and restaurant, complemented by the initial phase of the gardens. The careful selection of mature olives and 1 000-litre cork oak trees adds a touch of sophistication to the surroundings. Embracing indigenous flora, a detailed planting plan was employed featuring a diverse palette of plants in a reserved colour scheme; low-growing shrubs and ground covers, adorned with white, blue, mauve, indigo, and purple flowers, work to create a harmonious balance with the more muted olives and cork oaks.
To guide visitors through the landscape, dark gravel pathways contrasted with red brick edgings are laid out strategically, and water features in the backdrop soothe the bustle of the dust road. The spacious outdoor area with gravel and lawn provides ample room for large gatherings and outdoor functions, ensuring that Baccō is not just a wine estate but a versatile haven for various occasions. As the estate continues to mature, future phases promise to bring additional vineyards, crops, and evolving built forms, enriching the landscape and solidifying its place as a beacon of agricultural and architectural innovation in Paarl. This handywork by CNDV Landscape Architects relays the transformative power of thoughtful design and unwavering dedication to preserving the essence of the land.