Media Release - December 2012

The 2013 wine grape crop should amount to 1 384 357 tons. The industry (producer cellars and viticultural consultants) estimated the crop size on 23 November 2012. This represents a decrease of 0.8% relative to the 2012 crop, but could still potentially be the third biggest crop in history. The 2013 wine crop - including juice and concentrate for non-alcoholic purposes, wine for brandy and distilling wine - should amount to 1 070.3 million litres, calculated at an average recovery of 773 litres per ton of grapes.

South African wine producers are looking forward to a good crop despite a decrease in total plantings, mainly for the following reasons:

  • One of the best winter seasons in the Western Cape for many years, with chilly conditions and sufficient rain which alleviated the drought conditions in the coastal regions of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Malmesbury especially. By the end of winter all the big catchment dams were filled to capacity, while the soil water levels in dryland vineyards were also sufficiently supplemented.
  • In recent years wine producers have continuously adapted viticultural practices and increased yields per hectare - while retaining quality - in an attempt to align costs with grape and wine prices.
  • On the whole weather conditions were favourable during the flowering and set period; even so, weak and uneven set occurred in certain vineyards due to cold and windy weather conditions. At this stage grapevines appear to be ±7 to 12 days later than usual.

With regard to the respective regions, the following pertains:

? Producers and viticulturists in the Worcester, Breedekloof, Robertson and Klein Karoo regions, who harvested record or very large crops in 2012, are very excited about the forthcoming harvest, but they agree that the 2012 yields are not likely to be repeated.

? In the coastal regions of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Malmesbury the crop is expected to be better than in 2012, but at this stage the Orange River region especially is looking forward to a considerably bigger crop - or rather a more normal crop following the exceptionally smaller crops of the past two years.

? In the Olifants River region the crop has been constant in recent years and this year should be no exception - a slight increase is estimated, compared to the 2012 bumper crop.

Domestic sales of natural wine for the 12-month period November 2011 to October 2012 show that the market increased by 2.4% to 319.3 million litres, compared to the corresponding period the previous year. Exports of natural wine for the 12-month period from December 2011 to November 2012 increased by 18.3%. This growth is ascribed to exports of bulk wine and white wine.

The stock level on 31 December 2013 at producer and private cellars is expected to increase to 461.4 million litres, compared to 447.0 million litres on 31 December 2012.

For further enquiries, please contact Yvette van der Merwe (tel 021-807 5703, fax 086 559 0274, email



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Direkteure / Directors: A M Kruger (Voorsitter / Chairman), C E Potgieter, Dr J Deist, H J Basson, B H Botha, J J L Fillis, S Rens. Sekretaris / Secretary: A J Matthee.

S A Wynbedryf-Inligting & -Stelsels MSW / S A Wine Industry Information & Systems NPC

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