Despite drought conditions in Cape Town and bouts of frost in certain wine producing areas, 2018 wine grape harvest has the potential to produce outstanding wines.
According to industry body Vinpro’s harvest report, the total 2018 harvest was 15% smaller than the 2017 harvest, coming in at 1 220 920 tonnes. This is slightly bigger than initially anticipated, given the estimate of a 20% smaller crop size from the drought reports.
Although berries were smaller — affecting tonnage — they are of excellent quality. The hot and dry conditions, while impacting berry size, also meant that vines stayed healthy and were not impacted by pests and rot.
It has been a rough season for most farmers and a real testimony of their hard work and commitment to wine farming.
The smaller harvests are however creating a number of export opportunities for the wine industry to US, China and the rest of Africa. However, the wine industry will need to invest in brand awareness for Western Cape wines.