The South African wine industry is celebrating an exceptional harvest this year thanks to cool temperatures, unusually high rainfall and a late harvest.
In terms of volume, the 2021 wine grape crop is estimated at 1,461,599 tonnes, according to the latest estimate of industry body SAWIS (South African Wine Industry Information & Systems) on 19 May 2021 – that makes it 8.9% larger than previous years.
Balancing 2020 and 2021
The 2021 harvest kicked off around two weeks later than normal due to unusually cool weather conditions throughout the season, which persisted throughout harvest time and resulted in some wine grape producers harvesting their last grapes in May.
Water resources were also replenished in most regions following the recent drought, which contributed to good vine growth, bunch numbers and berry sizes.
“Wine lovers can really look forward to remarkable wines from the 2021 crop,” said Conrad Schutte, consultation service manager of Vinpro. “The cooler weather enabled producers to harvest their grapes at exactly the right time, and viticulturists and winemakers are especially excited about good colour extraction, low pH levels and high natural acidity in cases where vineyards were managed effectively, which all point to exceptional quality wines.”…. https://bit.ly/2SEJH0z ..continues
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The South African wine industry acknowledges today’s announcement by President Ramaphosa to resume local trade and distribution of alcohol under alert level 2 from midnight 17 August 2020, but says the industry still has a long road to recovery.
“Although we are grateful to start trading and delivering online sales again, we are dismayed at the extent of the damage caused to our industry during the temporary ban on exports and extended restrictions on local sales,” says Rico Basson, MD of the wine industry organization Vinpro.
“It might be too little too late. Many wine businesses have already closed down and a long road to recovery lies ahead for the industry as a whole,” says Basson.
The industry is believed to have lost more than R7 billion since the introduction of sales restrictions in March 2020. Following the initial nine-week ban on local sales, five-week ban on exports and second domestic sales ban, Vinpro estimates that more than 80 wineries and 350 wine grape producers would go out of business over the next 18 months, with a potential loss of more than 21 000 jobs across the value-chain.
Vinpro has been working closely with industry partners on a disaster recovery plan to address the urgent need to stabilize the sector, including the extension of further excise relief for the current year, as well as the 2021 season, addressing bottlenecks and challenges at the Cape Town Port and formulating solutions to reduce a current wine surplus of around 300 million litres.
“The wine industry is geared to reopen domestic trade and distribution with all necessary health and safety regulations in place, while focusing on changing behaviour with regard to responsible production, promotion, trade and consumption.”
Wines of South Africa (WoSA) just announced they are launching monthly social media campaigns and an online campaign to promote “Spectacular South Africa” wines.
Building towards a virtual tasting of South African wines on Friday 22 May, the campaigns will run across all export markets, encouraging producers and their importers to become involved and support the hard-hit industry.
“In each market we will be encouraging importers, retailers and trade and to come together and get involved in the campaign and supporting the South African category, firstly on May 22, by hosting a tasting, opening a bottle of wine and sharing it on any of their social media channels, video and photos,” says WoSA’s UK market manager, Jo Wehring.
WoSA is keen to build upon the outpouring of support for the country’s producers at a time when lockdown has also been accompanied by a ban on alcohol consumption across the nation, plus a (now lifted) ban on exports of wine.
Dates and themes for the campaigns:
May 22 – Spectacular South Africa (all SA wines)
June 20 – Drink Chenin
July 24 – rosé
August 28 – sustainability (IPW seal, WWF Champion)
September 25 – MCC
October 10 – Pinotage
The social hastags include:
#SpectacularSouthAfrica #SupportSouthAfrica #DrinkSouthAfrican #southafricanwine #tastingtogether #lockdownwine