2018 vin­tage meets pro­ducer ex­pec­ta­tions

Farmer's Weekly (South Africa) - - Commodity Outlook 2019 -

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

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