Many wine grape producers have not yet fully recovered from the effect of the three-year drought in the Western Cape. 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. According to the latest survey, SA Wine Industry Information & Systems performed among producer cellars and viticulturists, the 2019 wine grape harvest might at this stage be smaller than in 2018, a year in which the Western Cape was affected most severely affected by the drought. “The berries and bunches are smaller, lighter and less dense than usual,” said Francois Viljoen, manager of viticulture consultation service at wine producers’ body Vinpro. “This trend can be attributed to unfavourable weather conditions during flowering and set in October and November, as well as above average winds experienced at the start of summer.” Viljoen said ma...

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