VINPRO l SA wine grape crop set to be good, but below 5 year average

South Africa’s 2020 wine grape harvest will, according to the industry’s first estimate, be equal to or larger than in 2019, but still smaller than the average wine grape crop over the past five years.

According to South African Wine Industry Information & Systems (SAWIS), wine grape producers realised a yield of 1.244 million tonnes in 2019, and the average wine grape crop over the past five years was 1.360 million tonnes. “At this early stage we evaluate the wine grape crop size according to the prevailing seasonal conditions up to now,” says Conrad Schutte, consultation service manager of the wine industry body Vinpro.

“Depending on the cultivar and wine goal, the grapes will still develop and ripen over the next 60 to 100 days before being harvested. In this window, the environmental conditions and management inputs will have a substantial effect on the final harvest quality and size.”

Most wine grape growing areas have experienced a good season up to now, with the exception of widespread frost damage in the Northern Cape and ongoing drought in the Klein Karoo.