South Africa expecting record vintage

The 2013 South African wine grape harvest season exceeded the expectations, according to Vinpro a service organisation for 3,600 South African wine producers.

This will be the biggest wine grape crop ever produced, it says.

The 2013 wine grape crop is expected to reach 1,491,432 tons according to the latest estimate (April 30) of the SA Wine Industry Information and Systems (Sawis). This exceeds the 2012 crop by 5.4% and is 4.6% bigger than the previous record crop in 2008. With the exception of Robertson, the rest of the nine wine districts had bigger crops than in 2012 with record crops in Olifants River, Breedekloof and Worcester.

The 2013 wine harvest – including juice and concentrate for non-alcoholic purposes, wine for brandy and distilling wine – is expected to amount to 1,152 million litres, calculated at an average recovery of 773 litres per ton of grapes. 

Bigger harvests are expected in all the wine districts, with the exception of Robertson, and record crops are on the cards for Olifants River, Breedekloof and Worcester. After two dry and consequently smaller vintages, Malmesbury produced a considerably bigger crop and in the Orange River district it is evident that the vineyards are starting to recover from the flood damage that occurred in 2011.

Vinpro says that although the crop was harvested later than usual and over a short time, the cold, wet winter constituted ideal weather conditions during the flowering and berry set period.

Moderate weather conditions during this harvest season throughout the various viticultural areas contributed to the size and quality of this year’s harvest.

It was also said to be a particularly healthy year with effective disease and pest control by producers where needed.