The value of wine exports grew by 4% in 2018, despite a difficult season and a long-term trend of producers dwindling. The value of exports grew to R9,6bn, says industry association Wines of SA, despite a low-yielding harvest due to the regional drought. Wine is one of SA’s largest agricultural exports, with nearly 100,000ha of vineyards, mostly in the Western Cape, accounting for 4% of world production. The industry contributes R36bn to GDP and employs nearly 290,000 people. It has faced strong headwinds in recent years including the drought in the Western Cape and increasing production costs. There are 25% fewer producers than a decade ago, according to wine producers body VinPro. It says the only way to ensure sustainability is for farmers to increase prices they receive for wine. Vinpro previously reported that many wine-grape farmers were either leaving the industry, uprooting vines for more profitable crops or not replacing vineyards. The Bureau for Economic Research and the B...

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