- Alfalfa is a 7,000ha property owned by the van der Merwe family with 410 ha dedicated to 19 grape varieties. Chenin Blanc and Pinotage are specialties.
The farm is in the Breede River Valley, near Worcester, WC, South Africa. Alvi’s Drift winery takes its name from the low water bridge crossing the Breede River on Alfalfa.
Built by Albertus Viljoen(Alvi) van der Merwe(the 1st) in 1928 to allow access to the family property, the drift became known locally as Alvi’s Drift.
From humble beginnings, the property and cellar were built up substantially over time by Alvi’s son Bertie. Latterly the running was taken over by Bertie’s sons Alvi and Johan who have continued to grow the business built up by their father.
Alfalfa has extensive and diverse business interests, including a dairy with cheese making facility managed by Johan. The success of the dairy lead to the creation of the Alvi’sDrift brand as a vehicle to market the family’s wine production.
Alvi manages the vineyards, citrus, stone fruit, fodder and of course, the winery. It was a natural progression to produce wine under the brand Alvi’sDrift.
The winemaking team of Alvi van der Merwe and Henk Swart bottled the maiden vintage of Alvi’sDrift in 2004. Linley Schultz joined the team in late 2009 and together they manage the farm’s 6,000 tonne winery.
The property includes a game reserve with eland, springbok, ostriches and gemsbok among others.