2004 grape harvest same size as 2003 ...

The 2004 wine grape harvest is estimated at 1 239 095 tons according to the industry's estimate of 28 November 2003. This is almost equal to the 2003 grape harvest. It is expected that the 2004 wine harvest, including juice and concentrate for non-alcoholic purposes, rebate and distilling wine, will amount to 956,2 million litres at an average recovery of 772 litres per ton of grapes. 

It is particularly red wine production that shows a strong increase, which can still be attributed to the plantings of the past five years. An increase in the harvest is expected in all the wine regions except Olifants River, Paarl and Swartland where decreases are expected. However, follow-up rain, in particularly the dry land areas, is a prerequisite to realise this harvest.

Good late winter rain and cold weather conditions that prevailed led to good and even budding in most of the regions. Favourable weather conditions in the spring led to very good growth conditions and, in general, the vines grow very good this year. The pressure of diseases was furthermore very low up to the end of November as a result of these favourable weather conditions. No problems were experienced during the flowering and set period, which increases the expectations of a good harvest.

Producers in the dry land areas agree that follow-up rains from middle December to middle January is extremely essential to realise a good harvest, as soil water levels were not replenished to its maiximum during winter.

Domestic sales of natural wine show a 13,3 per cent decrease for the twelve-month period November 2002 to October 2003 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. Exports of natural wine grew by 6,3 per cent for the corresponding periods. Measured over the same periods brandy sales decreased by 0,6 per cent.

Above-mentioned results in an estimated increase in the stock level at co-operatives and cellars to 367,6 million litres on 31 December 2004 compared to 353,7 million litres on 31 December 2003.

For further enquiries please contact Yvette van der Merwe
Tel: +27 (0) 21 807-5719
Email: yvette@sawis.co.za