Margaret was the daughter of Frederick and Violet.
Frederick came to South Africa in 1893 and a year later was appointed instructor of singing in State-aided schools. He later bought a beautiful farm in a remote part of the Eastern Cape and married Violet Mary Jennings with whom he had six children; Margaret being the 3rd.
Margaret trained as a high school teacher. During the 2nd World War she lost both her brother and her fiancé; her father having died shortly before the war.
To overcome her grief, she accepted a teaching post in the wine and fruit farming district of Robertson in the Western Cape. There she met and married Oscar de Wet who was a grape grower, cattle farmer and horse breeder. She became very involved in the farming activities and displayed an acute financial intelligence.
When her husband died unexpectedly in 1961, leaving her with a farm and four children she took over the seamless running of the business, making award winning wines and breeding champion racehorses.
To commemorate this woman of great ability, fortitude and self-reliance the Margaret label was born.
Sustainable Wine South Africa (SWSA) is the alliance between the Wine and Spirit Board (WSB), the Integrated Production of Wine (IPW) scheme, the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative (BWI) and Wines of South Africa (WOSA).
Together these organisations are driving the South African wine industry’s commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly production. A certification seal appears on each container of wine which has been certified by the Wine and Spirit Board. This seal is a guarantee of origin, vintage and variety as stated on the wine label. It is also a guarantee that the wine complies with IPW criteria.
Water conservation is vital, and every effort is made at Margaret Vineyards to ensure that we use water sparingly. We are constantly training our staff on sustainable methods of conserving water and the safe reuse of wastewater. In the vineyards a drip irrigation system is in place and soil moisture content is carefully monitored. Mulching is also done underneath the vines, which allows the soil to retain its natural moisture.
Our goal at Margaret Vineyards is to reduce the amount of energy required to produce our products and services. Some ways in which we are reducing our energy consumption: During harvest time, the grapes are picked by hand at the break of dawn in order to save energy on cooling grapes when they are brought into the winery. Our winery and cellar have been designed to allow for maximum natural lighting, while energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFL), have replaced our traditional incandescent light bulbs. Solar powered water cylinders have been installed in all farm workers’ houses, to help reduce their cost of living and their impact on the environment.
We are committed to protecting the biodiversity of the land, we seek to conserve, protect and enhance the suitability of our vineyards as a home for wild plants and animals. This includes the removal of alien vegetation such as pine trees and eucalyptus, which has led to a noticeable increase in native bird life and wildlife on the property. The use of cover crops in the vineyards are used to naturally regenerate the soil, and promote micro-life and insect life.