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South African wine production to fall 8%

South Africa's wine grape harvest is smaller than usual, but wine producers say the quality will be the best to be seen in years.

South Africa’s wine harvest will drop 8 percent and the prize of grapes will increase 10 percent more for grapes this year.

Before the heat wave hit, cooler than usual spring and early summer temperatures had slowed the ripening of the grapes and benefited the flavors.

Erhard Wolf, who heads the grape and wine buying team of Distell, the wine and spirits conglomerate, described the quality of this year's harvest as "outstanding, despite a picking season that was shorter than average, placing enormous pressure on harvesters and cellar resources"

Vinpro, the organisation representing the independent wine producers, agreed with Wolf's description.

Richard Rowe, KWV's chief wine maker, said: "I concur with Distell that the high quality this year is due to the cooler spring and summer and late ripening."

by S. C.
08 april 2009, World News > Africa