Eco-friendly farm owners 'lose everything' in Paarl wildfire

2017-01-10 13:32
Approximately 15ha of land have been destroyed on the farm, Druk My Niet. (James de Villiers, News24)

Approximately 15ha of land have been destroyed on the farm, Druk My Niet. (James de Villiers, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - A wildfire fanned by gusting winds engulfed large sections of an eco-friendly wine farm in Paarl, destroying a manor house and buildings, some of which are more than 300 years old.

Approximately 15ha of land were destroyed on the farm, Druk My Niet, after fires broke out in Paarl in the early hours of Tuesday.  

"I don't think it's sunk in yet. This is where I work and this is my love, but I didn't lose my home. I'm devastated for the owners and the foreman and his family who have lost everything," Alexandra Mcfarlane, the winemaker on the farm, told News24.

The farm owners, Dorothee and Georg Kirchner, who went to bed around 23:00 on Monday, woke up at 00:00 when they smelled smoke.

They evacuated the area along with the foreman and his family, and no-one was harmed in the blaze.

The Kirchner's four dogs were also safely evacuated.

READ: Probe into whether devastating Cape fires were started deliberately

Vineyards damaged

Mcfarlane said the Kirchner's phoned her around 01:30 to tell her that "the whole farm was gone".

"It was a bit devastating coming here because it happened very quickly. The wind was so hectic that there was no way we could even come up here, so it was only this morning that we could see how much damage there was," Mcfarlane told News24.

She estimated that 15ha of the 20ha of farmland had been destroyed in the fire.

Apart from this, the foreman's house, the manor house, a wine cellar and two buildings that are older than 300 years were also ruined in the fire.

"I don't know if there are any existing vineyards that can be used for the new season. My Merlot hasn't seen any fire yet. But with the amount of smoke and heat that the vineyards have been exposed to, it's very difficult to say what we can do," said Mcfarlane.

The Kirchner family bought Druk My Niet in 2002, and after six years of renovations they produced their first wine in 2008.

WATCH this video:

Read more on:    cape town  |  fires

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.

/Sport
 

Chocolate can be fatal for dogs

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine that is similar to caffeine and is toxic to dogs at certain levels.

 
 

Paws

Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Watch: Proof animals have souls
Would you clone your pet?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.