March 15, 2006
Wine harvest predictions
Every vine decides how many grapes it needs to produce each year.
Strong winds, rain or drought, hungry bugs and human hands can reduce this number but not increase it.
Some influential person in the planning department of the South African wine industry predicted a ‘white wine lake’ in 2002. So farmers removed some white vineyards and planted reds in their place.
By 2005, South Africa had fewer white vineyards. The white vines we had decided to produce fewer grapes. After the harvest this country discovered that we had collectively made 15% less white wine in 2005 than in 2004. And much less than predicted.
This year, its worse. We’re nearing the end of the harvest and we hear that there are fewer white grapes than normal because of the lack of rain in December and January.
Then we still have to assess the result of the damage done to perfectly good white grape juice in cellars shut down for 6 or 8 hours without electricity.
To the wine drinker all this probably means that there’ll be some shortages of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc from South Africa.
So they’ll buy more of these wines from somewhere else.
And we’ll have to think of planting some new vineyards.
Posted by graham knox at March 15, 2006 8:11 AM
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