Record grape harvest for South Africa

16 May 2013

South Africa’s wine industry has seen the biggest grape crop ever produced after a bumper 2013 harvest season, wine consultation organisation VinPro announced in its harvest report on Tuesday.

“The total crop is 4.6% higher than the record crop in 2008 – and high-quality wines are anticipated for the 2013 vintage,” VinPro’s consultation service manager, Francois Viljoen, said in the report.

According to the South African Wine Industry Information and Systems, the 2013 wine grape crop is predicted to reach about 1.5-million tons – 5.6% higher than the 2012 crop.

Bigger harvests are also expected in all of the Western Cape’s nine wine districts, excluding Robertson. Record crops are predicted for Worcester, Breedkloof and Olifants River.

“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,” Viljoen said.

Despite a delayed and shorter-than-usual harvest season, good weather conditions impacted positively on wine grape quality. It was also a particularly healthy year, with effective disease and pest control by producers.

“Producers, viticulturists and winemakers are excited about a promising crop in terms of quality,” he said.

“The moderate harvest season contributed to intense colour, exceptional flavour and good structure in the red cultivars, especially for Pinotage appearing good in terms of size and quality.

“Throughout the industry winemakers anticipate excellent fruity and tropical white wines with fresh characteristics,” he said.

SAinfo reporter