High quality grapes promise excellent wines this year

Wine consumers can look forward to an exceptional 2017 vintage from South Africa, according to the annual South African Wine Harvest Report issued by winemakers’ organisation, Vinpro.

High quality grapes promise excellent wines this year
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The report said that the 2017 vintage had produced healthy, small berries with good intensity.

“Greater variation between night and day temperatures during the ripening stage gave the colour and flavour formation a further boost, which is indicative of remarkable quality wines,” said Francois Viljoen, manager of VinPro’s viticulture consultation service.

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According to the report, yields across production regions had varied. Some areas, such as Malmesbury/ Swartland, Paarl and Robertson, had achieved excellent quality grapes and higher yields than those of the previous season, while other areas had suffered crop losses due to adverse weather conditions.

The SA Wine Industry Information and Systems estimated the overall wine grape crop at 1 425 283t, which was 1,4% higher than in 2016.

“A decrease was expected due to the second consecutive very dry, hot season. However, cooler nights throughout the growing season and the absence of significant heat waves during harvest time buffered the effect of the drought to some extent,” Viljoen said.

On a positive note, the dry weather had ensured generally healthy vineyards, with few incidents of disease or rot.

Rain was still much needed, however, particularly with the 2018 wine grape season around the corner. “We’re really hoping for rain during the upcoming post-harvest and winter period,” Viljoen said.

Jeandré Du Preez is the newest addition to the Farmer’s Weekly team. Originating from a Riversdal farming family, she has farming in her blood. After school she furthered her studies at Stellenbosch and has been working as an agricultural journalist for the past two years. She says she feels privileged to write about an industry paramount to the survival of all South Africans and is inspired by the innovative solutions with which the farming community bridges the many challenges they face. She enjoys being able to combine work with travel and appreciates the modesty and friendliness with which South Africa’s farmers share their accomplishments. She enjoys being able to combine work with travel and appreciates the modesty and friendliness with which South Africa’s farmers share their accomplishments. If she is not writing or visiting farms, you’ll find her relaxing with a good mystery novel or exploring her other passions: travelling and cooking.