MICHAEL FRIDJHON: Nitty-gritty of grapes pushes newcomers into niche wines
Damascene’s Jean Smit seeks to marry appellation to each variety
Only a fraction of the 8,000 or so wines produced yearly in SA sell for more than R150 a bottle.
About 5,000 labels change hands at under R70. Most of these come from high-volume cellars: you need economies of scale to stay profitable at those price points, as well as fruit costs of under R6,000/ton. Growers with ample supplies of water can manage on this, but not those in the premium regions.