2018 vintage meets producer expectations
Winemakers have expressed satisfaction with the quality of wine produced during the 2018 season, despite dry weather conditions and limited water resources, according to Francois Viljoen, Vinpro consultation services manager.
He said the dry, warm weather resulted in healthy, small berries with good flavour intensity. Greater variation between night and day temperatures during the ripening stage gave the colour and flavour formation a further boost, which resulted in wines of remarkable quality.
The South African wine industry expected the 2019 wine grape crop to return to normal levels in most regions, thanks to good rainfall after a three-year drought. The Klein Karoo was, however, still experiencing a serious water shortage, he said.
At the beginning of November, the levels of the most important dams in the Western Cape were as follows: Theewaterskloof Dam (58%), Berg River Dam (99%), Steenbras Dam (70%), Brandvlei Dam (59%), and Clanwilliam Dam (96%). Groundwater levels were also looking more positive in the Swartland, where producers mainly cultivated dryland vineyards, Viljoen said.
He said water supplies in the Olifants River region, which had been hardest hit by severe water shortages during the 2018 season, had improved, due to good rainfall that had resulted in the Clanwilliam Dam reaching full capacity. It would, however, still take some time for vineyards to fully recover.
Managing director of Vinpro, Rico Basson, said the prices of bottled wine were still expected to increase, while average bulk wine prices had already increased considerably. – Siyanda Sishuba