The Vergenoegd Daily Duck Ritual
It’s a duck’s life at Vergenoegd Wine Estate in the Stellenbosch wine region, where their flock of Indian runner ducks are considered a part of the family (and the workforce). Visit this luxury Cape Town wine estate to see how they fit in and enjoy a giggle at the same time.
See How They Run
The running of the ducks takes place every day at 10h30, 12h30 and 15h30 as they commute to and from work in the vineyards. Indian runner ducks have very small wings and instead of waddling about like normal garden-variety ducks, they sprint upright like over enthusiastic penguins.
This band of feathered friends are in charge of pest control in the vineyards of Vergenoegd. They have an insatiable appetite for snails which they devour with great enthusiasm all day long. As they forage among the vines they also fertilise the soil with their droppings and spread it around as they move about.
Unsurprisingly, this unusual form of keeping the vines free of unwanted visitors means that the use of pesticides is kept to a minimum on the estate, earning Vergenoegd a WWF biodiversity certification.
It also means that the wines produced here are as natural and pure as possible.
The flock of Indian Runner ducks at Vergenoegd Wine Estate have a great employment package. In return for their services, they receive a morning and evening feed of grain and are sheltered safe from harm in spacious undercover pens at night. They have a full time duck attendant to watch over them and cater to their every need.
After work in the afternoons they are free to enjoy leisure time ambling about the lawns of the estate and swimming in the ponds.
A breeding herd is kept separately from the workers and the resulting ducklings are either sold to interested parties, put to work in the fields or join the breeding elite.
Any eggs produced by the workers are checked for quality and sold in the estate shop.
If you would like to learn more about the ducks during your visit to this winery, book a tour of the Duck Facility. These take place from 9am to 10am every day and include a tour of the duck breeding project, an explanation of the birds’ role in the daily operations of the farm, and a visit to their living quarters.
Be sure to include a visit to the Stellenbosch winelands to enjoy this unique experience during your luxury Cape Town break.