South Africa produces about 4% of the worlds wine supplies

South Africa produces about 4% of the world's wine supplies

The most-recent wine harvest in South Africa was the smallest in over a decade, according to figures released this week.

At just over 1.2m tonnes, the country's harvest for 2018 came in 15% down on 2017, trade organisation Vinpro said today. A drought in the south-west of the country has been running for around three years, hampering wine producers' attempts to irrigate vines.

"The 2018 harvest season was really challenging, due to a prolonged drought which some believe to be the worst in 100 years, and accompanied by water restrictions and frost damage in some areas," says Francois Viljoen, manager of Vinpro's viticultural consultation service.

Although the harvest was poor in quantity, Vinpro was keen to emphasise that its quality was not affected. "The dry weather throughout the season did have its advantages as vines were healthy, with little or no pests and diseases being recorded in most regions," the organisation said.

Viljoen added: "Winemakers are very happy with the general wine quality at this stage in spite of the challenging conditions earlier in the season and limited water resources."

South Africa is the world's eighth largest wine-producing country, according to Vinpro, and produces about 4% of the world's wine.

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