Once a year — pretty much at the start of the vintage — the great and good of the wine industry gather in Cape Town for the VinPro Symposium. Organised by the grape producers’ official organisation, it aims to give growers and winemakers a real sense of focus before the year gathers pace.

While there’s not much a producer can do in late January to influence the quality of the crop ripening on the vines, there’s no harm in stimulating a little thought. In an industry where lead times are counted more in decades than in months, you can never start soon enough...

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