2010 Wine grape crop - smaller than 2009 in all districts, except Orange River

The 2010 wine grape crop should amount to 1 319 246 tons, according to the crop estimate by theindustry (producer cellars and viticultural consultants) on 27 November 2009. This represents a decrease

of 0.8 per cent compared to the 2009 crop. The 2010 wine grape crop, including juice and concentrate for

non-alcoholic purposes, wine for brandy and distilling wine, is expected to amount to 1 006,6 million litres,

calculated at an average recovery of 763 litres per ton of grapes.

The only region estimated to have a bigger crop than in 2009 is the Orange River region. The estimate of

a 30% crop increase for 2010 in the region is ascribed to a very favourable season so far. This should be

viewed against the very small 2009 crop which was approximately 31% lower than in 2008.

In all other wine regions the crop is estimated to be lighter in a spring and early summer season described

by producers and viticulturists as challenging. A late winter caused uneven budding and in some instances

budding was delayed. Due to regular showers and at times heavy rainfall until November producers had to

implement thorough and intensive control programmes, even so there are widespread crop losses due to

downy mildew. Pressure from oidium is also high at the moment and pests such as snout beetles, long

horn grasshoppers, snails, etc. have occurred. On two occasions a gale force southeaster and

northwesterly wind have been responsible for damage to vines. Cold and windy conditions during the

flowering and set periods have resulted in uneven and weak set.

Another reason for the anticipated decrease in crop size is the fact that total plantings have decreased by

821 ha since 2006.

Domestic sales of natural wine for the 12-month period November 2008 to October 2009 show that the

market contracted by 5.7 per cent to 295 million litres, compared to the corresponding period the previous

year. Brandy sales show an 8.8 per cent decrease during the same period. The export of packaged wine

shows an increase of 9.4 per cent, while exports of bulk wine have decreased by 20 per cent.

The combination of the economic downturn, which has resulted in a decrease in sales, and the impact of

the World Cup soccer tournament which should increase sales, suggests that domestic sales of both wine

and brandy will more or less stand still in 2010.

The strong exchange rate, the economic turmoil in South Africa's main export markets, the nonprofitability

of our wines in a key market such as the UK and the availability of the product will be

determining factors in future wine exports and make sales forecasts almost impossible.

The stock level on 31 December 2010 at producer and private cellars is expected to decrease to 296.2

million litres, compared to 336.4 million litres on 31 December 2009.

For further enquiries please contact Yvette van der Merwe (tel 021-807 5703, fax 021-807 6000, email