An initiative started by the Chris Hani District Municipality in 2012 by planting 5ha of grapes in the Shiloh Irrigation Scheme has resulted in the first community wine ever produced in the Eastern Cape Province. The vineyard run by the Mayime Cooperative is located in the Enoch Mgijima Municipality and is one of the successful programmes of the Shiloh Irrigation Scheme with 395 beneficiaries.
The Executive Mayor, Cllr Koliswa Vimbayo, led a high powered delegation to the Western Cape in Stellenbosch in a bid to explore possible avenues for the winery to become a success. The visit to Lategaanskop, Bergsig and Botha Kelder wineries is aimed to draw experience from knowledgeable growers and wine producers in the area.
An additional 7ha of grapes was planted in 2015 through an investment led by the Chris Hani Development Agency. This also included procurement of tractors and equipment for the vineyard.
The Shiloh Vineyard currently provides employment to 20 people for general maintenance which includes weeding, prunning and spraying. It is producing two types of wine and these are Chardonnay (white wine) and Pinotag (red wine).
Through a partnership with Farm Vision the plan is to plant about 100 ha over a five year period. This partnership will also see the construction of a 100 tons winery in the Shilor Irrigation Scheme aimed to create more jobs in the winery and vineyard. Critical to this the Mayime Cooperative are the major shareholders in this partnership.
“Approximately R10,5 million investment is required to build a winery in the Shilo Vineyard and a further investment to build the primary agriculture in those areas. The intention is to ensure that the complete value chain which leads up to bottling and labeling happens within the precincts. This will also give a major boost to the local economy”, the Executive Mayor also added.
The district municipality through the Chris Hani Development Agency has developed a business plan to raise funding for the establishment of the winery. The Shilo Vineyard will be launched next week on 19 March 2017 in Whittlesea.
For inquiries liaise with Buli Ganyaza on 083 514 5526