After mile and miles of desert there is green!
Aussenkehr is a real oasis, grape plantations as far as you can see.
A map the plantations in Aussenkehr, 2000 ha is already planted with the same again awaiting development.
Namibia Grape Company/ Capespan packhouse. New system all connected to wifi, there are no more punnets which are under or over weight.
Weighing is done on a light system which is faster and more accurate. The system recognises if the same punnet is being weighed twice.
All information on a screen.
These grapes are from a last picking when the vines are 'cleaned'
Here here two lines being packed at the same time, extra large go into boxes and large into punnets.
Sun Choice is Capspan's Namibian brand.
This smaller of Capespan's two packhouses.
It take 30 hours to bring the grapes down to 0.5 degrees. The pallets are covered so that the air goes into the boxes through the holes in the side. The cool rooms have fans to draw the cold air through the boxes.
Precool: The grapes come in at 30 degrees and are cooled to 20 degrees.
New variety Sweet Nectar in the coldstore. It is checked every week to evaluate how they do in storage. This is part of the overall evaluation process for a new variety.
First year 8-10 bunches on vine. New varieties are producing good yields and need less labour.
Capespan use the upside-down irrigation system, which can't be damaged by crates. Drip irrigation systems don't work here, the upside-down system cools blocks in the evening by around 5 degrees.
In Aussenkehr growers use the flat roof system which gives much more coverage and so more protection from the hot sun.
Kobus Bothma shows us the vineyards.
It is 5-6 degrees cooler under the vines.
Red Globe seeded: These grapes were 30mm, bigger than the standard 24mm.
Witches Fingers planted in a trail vine yard.
Cotton Candy also in the trial area, these are super sweet at 22 brix. There is only 4 hectares planted at he moment, they go to the South African domestic market but will be exported next year.
Sweet Sapphire: 3 hectares have been planted as a trial, more will be planted if the market demands them.
The new trial area set up this year with 26 different varieties growing side by side for easy comparison.
The new power station in Aussenkehr which will triple the power supply in 6-12 months time.
The grapes which do not make the cut are dried for raisins.
More of the Sweet Sapphire variety.
Namibia Grape Company offices.
The new pump systen is on rails to move up and down with the river level.
It will pump 800c/m of water per hour.
At the moment there is enough water but not enough for expansion. This project should be completed in January.
The 'village' where 20,000 people live at the height of the season.
Houses are made from reeds which they gather from the river banks.
There is still a lot of land which can be developed.