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2012-13 season

South Africa: Early grape estimates on par with last season

Early estimates for the 2012-13 South African grape season are much the same as last year, when 54.65 million cartons were harvested. This season's estimate is between 53.8 and 55.1 million cartons.



In the Northern Province Region, the fruit set on the early varieties were a little heavier than expected due to cold weather conditions in early September, thus more hand thinning needed to be done until now to eliminate possible uneven berry sizes. Harvesting on Early Sweet is expected to start around week 44, with Prime to follow in week 45 and 46 (normal harvest period). Fruit set has already occurred in Redglobe, leading to the possibility of an earlier than normal harvest window for this variety. Vines are very healthy and good quality grapes are expected.

In the Orange River Region the initial estimate shows a good to heavy crop volume on varieties in this region. Fruit set on the early varieties was also little heavier than expected due to colder weather conditions in early September. Harvesting on the early varieties in the early part of the region is expected to start in weeks 46 to 47
(± 5 – 7 days later than the previous season). Vines are very healthy and good quality grapes are expected.

Prime, Flame Seedless and Starlight are in full bloom in the Olifants River Region and
thinning activities have started. Initial estimates show a good crop volume on early varieties compared to the 2011/12 volumes. The season is 5 – 7 days later than the previous season and harvesting on the early varieties should commence from week 48. Vines are very healthy and good quality grapes are expected.

In the northern (early) part of the Berg River Region the early varieties are expected to be in full bloom by the 3rd week of October, which is ± 5-7 days later than the 2011/12 season. The entire region is still experiencing relatively cool weather, with
intermittent warm days, leading to the possibility of a harvest being up to 7 days later than the previous season. Most of the early varieties show good fertility, with healthy vines.

In the Hex Valley River Region early varieties are entering the flowering period and early indications are that the fertility is average to good. The whole region is still experiencing relatively cool weather, with intermittent warm days.

Source: South African Table Grape Industry newsletter

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