South African grape crop at lowest level in 14 years, wine grape area shrinks!



Attending a Tour Guiding course this week, one of our topics was the South African Wine Industry, taught to us by winemaker and consultant Pieter de Waal of Hermit on the Hill. Generously he gifted me the latest The South African Wine Industry Directory 2020, a publication which I have never seen. I have extracted some key information from the publication below.

The latest key information about our wine industry is the following:

#. In 2019 the total wine grape crop reached 1,25 million tonnes, somewhat smaller than the drought-struck crop of 2018, and the lowest in 14 years

#.  The wine grape area shrunk by 6 % in the past five years, reflecting the financial pressure of wine farmers, fewer vines replaced than were uprooted. 

#. Priority markets for the South African wine industry are the USA, China, and Africa, the goal by 2025 being for these countries/regions to amount to at least 25% in total. 

#. Almost two-thirds of our country’s wine grape production is ethically certified, a huge leap from 12% in 2015, our country being the largest producer of Fairtrade wines in the world. 

#.  Area under wine grape production: 99519 ha

#.  Wine grape producers: 2873

#.  Producing cellars: 543

#.  Number of vines under cultivation: 275 million 

#.  Harvest: 1,2 million tons, 960 million liters

#.  Wine consumption: 431 million liters Domestic, 420 million liters exported

#.  Wine export: 51 % 

#.  South African share of world’s vineyards:  1,6 %

#.  World ranking of South Africa in area under vines: 15th 

#.  World ranking of South Africa in wine volume: 10th 

#. South African wine consumption : 7,9 liters per capita per annum 

#.  Value of the South African wine industry: R36 billion 

#   Wine Tourism is planned to add R15 billion to the economy of the Western Cape by 2025, with a  resultant job creation benefit. 

#.  Number of South African wine routes : 22 (Agulhas Wine Triangle, Bot River Vineyards Association, Breedekloof Wine & Tourism, Constantia Wine Route, Darling Wine Route, Durbanville Wine Route, Elgin Valley Wine Route, Franschhoek Vignerons, Hemel-en-Arden Winegrowers Association, Klein Karoo Wine Route, Orange River Wine Route, Paarl Wine Route, Plettenberg Bay Winelands, Robertson Wine Valley, Santam Swartland Wine & Olive Route, Stanford Wine Route, Stellenbosch Wine Route, Tulbagh Wine Route, Wellington Wine Route, West Coast Wine Route, Worcester Wine & Olive Route, SA Brandy Homes). 


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein


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