The terroir covers the sum of the site's constants, including soil composition, latitude, elevation, contour, sun exposure and climate.
Mayime Winery is situated on a semi-arid plateau south-east of the spectacular Winterberge Mountain Range, at the cross section of the R351 from the West and the R67 in the Shiloh Irrigation Scheme of the Eastern Cape.
Much of the land in the Eastern Cape is fertile and lends itself to sheep and cattle farming and deciduous fruit orchards.
The climate, along with the red ‘Karoo’ soil, is perfect for growing the Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Pinotage and Shiraz grapes.
Mayime Winery is situated in the summer rainfall region and receives an annual precipitation of about 413mm. The volume and frequency of rainfall received during the growth and ripening periods influence the conditions for wine grape production. Production practices at Mayime Winery have been adjusted for these conditions with fantastic results.
Mayime Wines also benefit from the dry climate with warmer days, cool nights and little humidity, with enough cold spells for the elimination of dormancy. The monthly distribution of average daily maximum temperatures shows that the average midday temperatures for Whittlesea range from 16.7°C in June to 27°C in January. The region is the coldest during July when the mercury drops to 2.1°C on average during the night.
The prominent wind direction is from easterly and westerly directions, with wind speeds that do not negatively impact vineyard growth. In fact, the wind dries the canopies after wet periods and the East-West row direction is beneficial for disease management.
The vines on Mayime’s 12-hectare winery are mainly grown in the fertile red “Karoo” sandy loam soil along the banks of the Klipplaat that is ideal for viticulture and fruit production. These soils are very similar to the “Karoo” soils found from Robertson to Bonnievale in the Western Cape winelands.
The soil varies from a sandy loam soil with course bigger than 50% stone fractions, to relative deep pale brown soils of homogenous sandy clay loam texture. This well-drained, fertile decomposed granite with a high clay content is well-aerated, with a good balance between drainage and water retention.
The vineyard soil at Mayime Winery has shown high levels of phosphorus and potassium, unlike many South African vineyards known to have low phosphorus levels. The slightly lower pH of the soil has been improved. As per the viticulture and soil report, the potential of the soil is better than expected and recommended for establishing wine vineyards.