The South African wine industry has been experiencing one of its best phases in recent history. Wineries are gaining international recognition, wine makers are winning coveted awards and the amount of quality wine available is more than it’s ever been before. 2018 looks like it could be the year where the optimism is slightly reigned in though. Drought, political instability and a struggling economy can all lay claim to having a detrimental effect on the SA wine industry.
Influential wine industry insider and Wine Cellar’s SA portfolio manager James Pietersen, has focused on 2 wine industry trends for 2018 that he feels will be important regardless of the uncertainty surrounding the industry. James says his 2 trends are ‘planning ahead with an old vine vision’ and ‘drought resistance’.
James emphasised that ‘climate change is a reality and being in the middle of the worst drought in 100 years is a clear indication that things are set to change’. He went on to say, ‘vineyards are of the hardest, most marginal plants out there, as a matter of fact, and grapes make the best wine when they struggle’. Vines need water and vineyards need to preparation for the inevitable lack of water supply. Either this will lead to the introduction of cultivars more suited to our climate such as Verdelho or to the relocation of certain wine producing areas.
James goes on to mention the importance of old vines and how wineries need to have long-term vision when planting vineyards in order to sustain the quality that consumers are becoming used to. Read the full Bizcommunity article.