[:en]The South African wine industry can expect a smaller wine grape harvest in 2016, should the dry seasonal conditions persist in November.

This is the message from the regional viticulturists of VinPro, the representative organisation for some 3 500 wine producers and cellars.

The winter and spring were drier than normal in many regions. A lower rainfall caused a decline in groundwater levels, and the majority of irrigation dams are between 40% and 60% full. “The heatwave that occurred in the last week of October, is also an anomaly at this time of the year and placed further pressure on water resources and available ground water, as the vineyards’ water usage has increased drastically,” said Francois Viljoen, manager of the VinPro Consultation Service.

Although the amount of flower clusters looks promising so far, continued drier weather conditions through the flowering and berry set stages could still result in a lower wine grape harvest than in 2015. According to Viljoen some dryland vineyards that flower later may already have been negatively influenced. “There is an urgent need for rain in during November,” said Viljoen.

Producers in the Klein Karoo, Robertson, and the Overberg did receive good southeastern rainfall during the season however, but the dry conditions at the end of October may even have an effect on production here too.

Winter was cold enough to ensure good dormancy. Although bud break generally occurred evenly and on time, cultivars that usually bud later, like Sauvignon Blanc, had an even later and uneven bud break.

Producers uprooted more vineyards this year than they planted, and according to Viljoen the question of how long production can be maintained with a smaller, ageing amount of vineyards remains pertinent.

“One positive aspect of the drier season is how healthy the vineyards are this year. The prevalence of common fungal diseases and pests is very low thus far,” Viljoen concluded.

The full report of seasonal conditions in the respective wine growing regions is available on www.sawis.co.za.

FrancoisViljoen
[:za]Die Suid-Afrikaanse wynbedryf kan ’n kleiner wyndruifoes in 2016 verwag, mits die droë seisoenstoestande gedurende November voortduur.

Dit aldus die streekswingerdboukundiges van VinPro, die verteenwoordigende organisasie vir sowat 3 500 wynprodusente en kelders.

Die winter en lente was in heelwat streke droër as normaal. Verlaagde reënval het daartoe gelei dat grondwatervlakke afgeneem het, en die meerderheid besproeiingsdamme is tussen 40% en 60% vol. “Die hittegolf wat tydens die laaste week van Oktober voorgekom het, is ook ongekend vir dié tyd van die jaar en het natuurlik verdere druk op waterbronne en beskikbare grondwater geplaas, aangesien die wingerde se waterverbruik drasties verhoog het,” vertel Francois Viljoen, bestuurder van die VinPro Konsultasiediens.

Hoewel die aantal blomtrosse sover goeie belofte inhou, kan die droër weerstoestande vanaf die blom- en setperiode ʼn laer wyndruifoes as in 2015 meebring. Volgens Viljoen is sommige droëlandwingerde wat later blom moontlik alreeds negatief beïnvloed. “Daar is ’n dringende behoefte aan reën gedurende November,” sê Viljoen.

Produsente in die Klein Karoo, Robertson en die Overberg het gedurende die seisoen goeie suidoostelike reënval ontvang, maar die droë toestande einde Oktober mag selfs hier ʼn effek op produksie hê.

Die winter was koud genoeg om goeie rusbreking te verkry. Hoewel uitbot oor die algemeen egalig en op tyd voorgekom het, het kultivars wat gewoonlik later bot, soos Sauvignon Blanc, selfs later en onegalig uitgebot.

Produsente het vanjaar meer wingerde uitgetrek as aangeplant en volgens Viljoen bly die vraag staan hoe lank produksie in stand gehou kan word met ʼn kleiner, ouerwordende aantal wingerde.

“Een pluspunt van die droër seisoen, is hoe gesond die wingerde vanjaar is. Die voorkoms van algemene swamsiektes en plae is sover baie laag,” vertel Viljoen.

Die volle verslag van seisoenstoestande in die onderskeie wyndruifverbouingsareas is beskikbaar by www.sawis.co.za.
FrancoisViljoen

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