A strong season has come to a close with the latest estimates putting the total volumes for the region between 6.7 and 6.9mil. Compared to last season’s 5.5mil packed, we’ve seen an increase between 21% and 25%.
Volumes were drastically lower than expected, but good quality fruit was seen throughout. The latest estimate puts the total volumes for the region between 18.7 and 18.9mil. Compared to last season’s 20.5mil packed, we’ve seen a drop between 8% and 9%.
BERG RIVER REGION
The first Crimson Seedless volumes were harvested during week 6 with good berry size as well as colour. Various Black Seedless varieties such as Adora, Sweet Joy and Autumn Royal came in to production during week 6, with production picking up as we move into week 7.
Week 6 was also the start of the first Autumn Crisp volumes from the region. This variety is known for its exceptional eating quality!
Unfortunately, the sluices from the Berg River dam were closed in week 5 due to the extreme drought in the Western Cape. This is concerning for those growers that are solely depended on the river as a source of water supply. We trust that the growers will be able to finish the season with the water quantities left in their dams.
HEX RIVER REGION
Week 7 will see the introduction of Crimson Seedless volumes that will come into full production the week thereafter. The cool evenings in the previous week contributed to excellent colouration.
Harvesting also commences on the first Autumn Crisp of the Hex River Valley with an increase of young block volumes. We're excited about the eating experience this variety will bring to the consumer.
Black Seedless volumes will continue into the coming weeks with the new late black varieties. We can clearly see the effects of the drought and extremely hot days that we experienced in the previous weeks. This is noticeable on the overall average size and unevenness of the Crimson Seedless. The eating quality of the grapes is contagious as we are seeing crispy healthy grapes overall.
CAPE TOWN DROUGHT
Cape Town - The South African Weather Service is predicting rainfall heading for the drought-stricken Western Cape late on Friday, 9 February.
According to the weather service, there is an 80% chance of rainfall in the province, with predictions of 10-20mm of rain in most areas and up to 30-50mm possible near mountains and catchment areas. The predicted rainfall is likely to persist into Saturday morning.
This forecast is not for the production regions and harvest will continue as is.
SOUTH AFRICAN FUN FACT OF THE WEEK
Rooibos tea has become a worldwide favourite for its fresh taste and excellent health properties. It is only grown in a small region (in the Cederberg) of South Africa, and has to be exported in massive quantities from here.