It's official: South Africa's grape crop breaks previous record

The South African Table Grape Industry has released intake figures which show that two weeks ago the upper end of the crop estimate was already exceeded by the intakes of 71.8 million 4.5kg cartons.

This will be the most grapes South Africa has ever produced, helped by a new generation of high-yielding varieties, and well over the 67.5 million 4.5kg cartons attained during the 2016/17 season.

Most regions did very well, the Berg River surprising with its two million more cartons (19.2 million) than estimated (17.3 million). And if it weren't for rain in the Orange River region, which cost it some cartons, the crop would've been even bigger.

In the Berg River young vineyards of new high-yielding varieties came out of the starting blocks quicker than anticipated - usually a full crop is only expected by year 3 - which is part of the reason behind their unexpectedly high crop, complemented by exceptional packouts.

The last blocks of Crimson and Scarlotta are being packed in the Hex River. The region recovered very well from rain earlier in the season, SATI notes.

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