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A new winery or wine company was established in South Africa every five days over the past year, according to figures released with the launch of the 2006 John Platter Guide yesterday (November 8).

This followed on the 57 new entries the year before.

During this period about 800 new wines were tasted by the guides, while 300 others fell away. The 14-person Platter tasting panel worked through a record 5,400 wines in preparing the book.

Platter publisher Andrew McDowell said a substantial number of the newcomers to the guide this year were small-scale cellars, including wine-farming families making wines under their own labels, business or professional people entering the trade, or winemakers attached to established cellars who were branching out on their own.

"The trend towards micro-vintning is reflected in the latest official statistics. These show that nearly half of all producers now crush less than 100 tons of grapes, compared with just 24% as little as five years ago," McDowall said.


Sectors: Wine

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