- Posted by joseluis.molina
- On 26 December, 2017
- 0 Comments
Melody come out on top at Aussenkehr annual block competition
Every year, a select group of judges take on the heat of Aussenkehr in Namibia, to evaluate commercial vineyards with the aim of finding the best block of the season. The annual Aussenkehr block competition is a serious event – with participation and interest growing each year.
The invitation to participate in the competition is open to all growers of the area; from Noordoewer through to Aussenkehr. Certain criteria are set out which must be complied with in order to enter a block/s.
The judges are professional individuals from the table grape industry and could include qualified soil scientists, agrochemical consultants and experienced producers. The judging process entails spending three days in the sunny Aussenkehr assessing the contesting blocks. Judges are tasked to identify good agricultural practices, inspecting soil profile holes, but also spotting the possible faults that crept in during the preparation stages. Managers of the submitted block have to appear in front of the judging panel to answer a number of questions regarding the fertilizer prorgamme, irrigation scheduling and overall management of the vineyard.
Aussenkehr, with its extreme weather conditions and challenging landscape, is known for producing some of the best Flame in the world. Varieties such as Early Sweet and Thompson seedless are also favourites produced in Aussenkehr. It is no surprise then that the annual block competition in Aussenkehr sees numerous entries of the above-mentioned varieties, while entries of new varieties were only submitted during the last two years.
Jan du Plessis and Ben du Toit, general manager and senior manager at Orange River Vineyard Investments (ORVI), soon realized the potential for their Melody block and decided to enter the block for the 2017 competition. As the season developed, the vines grew very well, bunches developed beautifully and soon an amazing crop was starting to realise. As the harvesting time approached, the berries started to increase in size, bunches became fuller and the overall visual appearance improved.
Judgement day came at a time when the first signs of colour development appeared on the berries, but luckily that did not influence the judges and they could see the amazing crop hanging on very well-developed vines with a strong and healthy canopy. There was no doubt that this Melody is in the running for first place.
On Saturday the 4th of November, the annual Aussenkehr block competition reached the final stage – the prize giving and announcement of the winning block. The Melody block at ORVI, managed by Jan and Ben, was crowned the winner of the 2017 Aussenkehr block competition! Early Sweet and Flame took second and third place, respectively.
SNFL would like to congratulate the ORVI team with this fantastic result. Thank you to everyone involved who made this block such a success.