As the 2017 wine grape harvest nears its end in South Africa, consumers can look forward to great wines from this vintage.

Viticultural consultants from the wine industry body, VinPro, says nearly all the regions have finished harvesting, earlier than usual.

“Ideal weather conditions set the table for exceptional quality wine grapes, especially during the first part of harvest time,” says Francois Viljoen, manager of VinPro’s viticultural consultation service. “The days weren’t too hot – compared to characteristic heatwaves in February – and the nights cooled down, which were beneficial during the ripening stage to ensure good flavour and colour development.”

Temperatures rose in March, but grape analyses and quality remained good throughout.

Although the current drought is said to have an effect on the size of the harvest, the smaller berries that resulted from this contributed to greater colour and flavour concentration. The dry conditions also resulted in healthy vineyards with almost no pests, diseases or the occurrence of rot, which added to the quality of this year’s grapes.

“We are grateful that the weather played along during the 2017 harvest, but looking towards the 2018 wine grape season that is around the corner, we are really hoping for rain during the upcoming post-harvest and winter period,” says Viljoen.

The official South African Wine Harvest Report 2017 will be issued on 9 May 2017

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