Suid-Afrikaanse wynprodusente het in die 2013-oesjaar van die grootste stygings in insetkostes oor die afgelope 10 jaar beleef, maar ’n groter oes en gunstige groei in uitvoere het die effek daarvan op winsgewendheid effens gebuffer. Dít volgens die VinPro Produksieplan Opname wat vir die tiende agtereenvolgende jaar deur dié dienste-organisasie vir die wynbedryf uitgevoer is om die koste van wyndruifverbouing en winsgewendheid op plaasvlak te ontleed. JANA LOOTS het met Pieter van Niekerk en Andries van Zyl, VinPro landbou-ekonome wat die projek dryf, gesels oor die hoof bevindinge.
In this fast-tracking, ever changing cyber-world, where instant gratification has become another one of our key senses, the marketing and selling of wine online is a growing, but complicated challenge. ARNOLD KIRKBY looks at this relatively young, multifaceted and dynamic segment of the wine industry.
Until recently, craft beer was considered the tipple of choice for hipsters and hopheads only. However, with the growing number of local craft breweries, it seems that even South Africa has caught up with the international craft beer boom. Beer is often considered a cheaper, mass-produced threat to wine, but there seems to be many who believe that craft beer can actually work with wine, not against it.
by Elona Hesseling
Aldehydes are chemical compounds formed by the oxidation of alcohols in wine. While these compounds are responsible for the oxidation characteristics in healthy wine, they can contribute positively to the overall aroma in trace concentrations, especially in certain wine styles such as sherry.
by Elona Hesseling
Alignment between grape production and the eventual wine goal, the application of the right technology, replacement of unprofitable vineyards and higher labour productivity were the main distinctive factors that set apart the top 50 wine grape producers participating in VinPro’s Production Plan Survey in 2013. These results imply that management savvy and progressive innovation – and not necessarily region or even farm size – were the main drivers of top performers.
It seems fitting that the theme of this issue of WineLand is innovation – that magical ability to think out of the box and challenge status quo by improving on what the next guy may be perfectly content with. The reality is that innovation impacts the bottom-line and is increasingly becoming a requirement for success in every link of the value-chain.
Without disregarding the reality that research and development certainly has a price tag, innovation does not necessarily have to be ex-pensive. By changing an existing vertical shoot positioning system – the trellising method used for most South African vineyards – to an adapted Smart-Dyson trellis, Graham Beck’s Derick Hamman almost doubled the yield of some of their Sauvignon Blanc vineyards (p37).
Similarly, harvesting grapes at night requires more effort than capital, but could lead to significant quality improvement, power saving and, of course, avoiding Stellenbosch’s nightmarish day time traffic. Read more about Elona’s late night harvesting excursions on p24.