South Africa expects good quality harvest despite ‘most challenging’ conditions
South Africa’s grape harvest this year was the “most challenging” in living memory, according to suppliers, with severe drought contributing to sizeable crop reductions in some areas.
Speaking to Harpers, Bibendum buyer for South Africa, Paul Meihuizen, said that official figures indicate the overall crop will be down by 15%, while the dryland Swartland region has been more severely affected, with crop sizes down by as much as 50%.
However, Meihuizen says that despite the harsh conditions and drop in volume, he expects the quality to be good this year, “especially on the white wines that could be harvested early.” He added that the “reds are shaping up well despite the challenges and smaller yields. Later-ripening varieties were more challenging but are of good quality.”