NEED CAMPING INFO:Die Mas Boerdery produces the bulk of its export grapes about 15 km upstream at 2 of our farms called Waterval and Waterkloof, the first farms in Kakamas. It is adjacent to the Neus Weir and waterval, the place where all the 32 km long water canals in Kakamas originate. The water is being pumped from our “sluis 1” through well designed Drip irrigation systems into the vineyards. But the vineyards was not there always, someone had to do the job. Enter some heavy machinery, a few kilo’s of explosives, and BAM, there you have a good piece of land to plant some trellis poles, irrigation lines etc. The young vines are planted during the spring and they soon start to bud. From here on it will be 2 years before the first small harvest and at least 7 years to break even.
Die Mas Boerdery produces five of the most important varieties of table grapes, namely very early Prime Seedles, Sugraone, and later Thompson Seedless, al 3 white Seedless grapes, Flame Seedless, a popular early red seedless variety, and La Rohelle, a more traditional black seeded grape.
Once everything is in full production, the amount of manual labour is staggering,
During winter time the new canes need to be pruned an turned on the trellis wires.
After budding the unwanted infertile shoots need to be manually removed, as all the grotwh need to be channelled into the fruit bearing canes. Futher attaching and spreading of the canes and removal of unwanted leaves and inferiour bunches add to the labour costs.
Once you have established the final fruit count you must start with the trimming of the bunches, uneven shoulders, long tails etc will be removed until you have a perpectly shaped bunch. Now how does that look? The shape of the African continent of course. And to perfect the bunch to completion you even need to remove the single unwanted berries that are not evenly shaped, too small or even damaged by birds or our extreme weather circumstances. Always keeping perfect growth conditions like water, sunlight and optimum plant nutition and health as a definite must have.
Early in November the first grapes ripen and need to be picked, packed, inspected, paletised and cooled. Die Mas Boerdery is one of the shareholders in the Groot Gariep Cool Stores in Kakamas. During table grape season from November to Januarie, this world class facility is a beehive of activity as trucks need to be unloaded, scanned and stacked in overhead cooling racks as soon as possible. After about 48 hours of cooling to minus 0.5 degrees centigrade the pallets are removed and are loaded into refrigerated trucks holding 28 pallets each driving straight down to Cape Town harbour where they will be shipped to mainland Europe and the UK.