Record year for wine harvest and production expected

In 2012, South Africa exported a record 415 million litres of wine, beating the 2008 record of 411 million litres, said Wines of South Africa CEO, Su Birch.

- Advertisement -

And according to new crop information released by the South African Wine Industry Information and Systems (SAWIS), 2013 will be another record year for the wine industry. Yvette van der Merwe, executive manager of SAWIS said the 2013 wine grape crop was likely to amount to over 1,38 million tons, a decrease of 0,8% relative to the 2012 crop, but still potentially SA’s third biggest crop ever recorded.

Van der Merwe said the 2013 wine crop, including juice and concentrate for non-alcoholic purposes, wine for brandy and distilling wine, should amount to 1,070 billion litres, calculated at an average recovery of 773l/t of grapes. “Producers have reported one of the best winter seasons in the Western Cape for many years.

“By the end of winter all the big catchment dams were filled, while soil water levels in dryland vineyards were also sufficiently supplemented,” said Van der Merwe. She also said that in recent years wine producers had continuously adapted viticultural practices and increased yields per hectare, while retaining quality, in an attempt to align costs with grape and wine prices.

- Advertisement -

Domestic sales of natural wine for the 12-month period November 2011 to October 2012 showed that the market increased by 2,4% to 319,3 million litres, compared to the previous year. Exports of natural wine for the 12-month period from December 2011 to November 2012 increased by 18,3%, said Van der Merwe.