Following a few very tough years, the South African wine industry is being buoyed by a new sense of optimism on the back of record export levels, the likelihood of one of the best harvests this year, the penetration of new markets and growing praise from some of the wine world's most influential opinion formers.
|WOSA CEO Su Birch|
Su Birch, CEO of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), confirmed that exports for 2012 had reached 417 million litres, 10 million litres more than the previous record of 407 million litres achieved in 2008 and a 17% increase on volumes in 2011. "The record levels are the result of a more favourable currency, as well as the global shortage of wines, stemming from a significant drop in the recent harvests of competitor wine-producing nations in Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.
"At this stage, all indications are that this year's local crop could be the third biggest in recorded history. This is assuming that good weather conditions continue, there is a speedy and peaceful resolution to the farmworker strikes and harvests come in on time. The anticipated crop size is despite a decrease in total plantings, thanks to one of the best winter seasons in the Western Cape for many years."