Glass still half empty for SA wine harvest in 2019 - Vinpro

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With close to two thirds of the 2019 wine grape harvest already in cellars, the most recent estimate indicates that the harvest may be somewhat smaller than last year, says Vinpro.

Vinpro is a non-profit that represents 3 500 South African wine producers, cellars and industry stakeholders.

The latest survey that wine industry body SAWIS (SA Wine Industry Information & Systems) performed among producer cellars and Vinpro viticulturists indicated that the 2019 wine grape harvest might at this stage be even smaller than in 2018.

Last year, the Western Cape was affected severely by a three-year drought.
 
"The berries and bunches are smaller, lighter and less dense than usual," said Francois Viljoen, manager of Vinpro's viticulture consultation service, in a statement issued on Monday.

"This trend can be attributed to unfavourable weather conditions during flowering and set in October and November, as well as above average winds experienced at the start of summer."
 
Many vineyards, especially dryland vineyards, have not yet fully recovered from the effect of the drought, which also continued in the Klein Karoo region during 2018.
 
According to Viljoen, the rainfall that occurred in March in certain areas of the Western Cape necessitated greater inputs to control disease, while rot will also contribute to losses in certain wine grape areas and farms.
 
The Northern Cape's weather conditions have been moderate so far, with normal yields being expected in this region.
 
The official 2019 Wine Harvest Report will be issued in May.

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