South African grape producers expect an increase in volumes this season. The country’s grape industry organisation, SATI, estimates volumes of between 63 and 70 million 4.5 kg cartons. Last season saw production of 62 million cartons, while the current record stands at 67 million cartons in the 2016-17 season. According to a SATI press release, “Good winter rains to date have largely broken the severe drought in the Western Cape. This positive outlook, linked to new plantings and new higher-yielding cultivars, brings the South African table grape industry back on its ‘organic’ growth trend over the past four years.”
The earliest Northern Provinces region is expected to produce a better crop than last year. This was the only region to have increased its output in the previous season. Next comes the Orange River region, with harvest opening in early November expected to see a return to normal crop volumes. Last year’s drought hit the Olifants River region hardest, but vineyards seem to have recovered well thanks to good winter rains. Moreover, new vines planted before the drought are expected to enter full production. Similarly, production volumes for the Berg River and Hex River regions are expected to return to normal.