SA Wine Industry & Systems is projecting a 6.5% decrease in the 2010 South African harvest compared to the previous year. The good news is that winemakers and viticulturists are mostly satisfied with the quality of the grapes that have been crushed so far.
“The grapes are healthy with excellent grape flavours and analyses,” SAWIS stated.
“The 2010 crop is currently estimated to amount to 1 243 449 tons – a decrease of 6.5 per cent, in effect 86 908 tons less than the 2009 crop and 182 164 tons less than the 2008 record crop”, the industry body projected, adding that the 2010 wine crop, including juice and concentrate for non-alcoholic purposes, wine for brandy and distilling wine, is expected to amount to 948,8 million litres.
“With the exception of Orange River, all the other districts are now anticipating decreases compared to the January estimate. Most blocks that have already been harvested – the older vineyards especially – show considerable decreases compared to 2009.
“Berries are generally smaller and bunches looser than usual. Sunburn, wind and heat damage combined with a shortage of irrigation water and downy mildew outbreaks in some districts have resulted in crop losses.”