A unique Colombard vineyard that was trained on a pergola trellis system, was announced as the winner of the VinPro/Winetech Vineyard Block Competition in the Klein Karoo region.


The regional competition focused on alternative plant widths, trellis and pruning systems this year. “Due to economic realities more and more wine producers are investigating more efficient systems to reduce input costs and obtain higher yields and better quality,” said Johannes Mellet, VinPro’s viticulturist in the Klein Karoo region.


The winning block of Joos Nel on the farm Rose Villa near Calitzdorp is Colombard, clone CO2 on Richter 99, trained on a pergola. The runners up were Nico Fourie from Herold Wines in Herold, with a block Pinot Noir on a double guyot system, and Dereck Calitz from Onrust near Calitzdorp with a Colombard vineyard on a mechanical pruning system.


According to Johannes, the pergola is not commonly used for wine grape cultivation in the Western Cape. However, it has various benefits that are not apparent at first sight.


The trellis system enhances the cordon length per hectare and therefore also the yield. Labour is more productive under the cooler trellis and the supervision and harvesting is easier. Organic material improves and root distribution is better in the cool soil below the trellis.


The pergola is also more cost-efficient in terms of establishment cost (1.5 m cordon width with 3 m row width), mechanisation and fuel. Less actions are needed in the vineyard and there is a decrease in the amount of man hours per action. Canopy and pesticide management is also more cost-efficient in this vineyard.


The VinPro/Winetech Vineyard Block Competition is held annually in the respective regions to identify, celebrate and share the best viticultural practices. A Farmer’s Day will be held on 10 March 2016 from 08:00 and 12:30 in Calitzdorp, during which the practices of the winning blocks will be demonstrated.


Contact Marie-Louise at 023 626 3017 or for the programme and bookings, or visit


ENQUIRIES: Marie-Louise Janse van Rensburg at tel 023 626 3017, e-mail .



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