BERG RIVER REGION
The season is slowly coming to an end in this region with single producers finishing their harvest as soon as week 8. The gradual drop in volumes from this area is expected to continue in the weeks to come.
Crimson Seedless volumes are already on the decline with limited volumes continuing up to week 10. Sugranineteen volumes will still be firm week 9, although volumes will decrease fast moving into week 10.
The first Autumn Crisp was harvested in week 7. The crisp texture along with a satisfying eating experience marks this as one of the varieties to look out for in future. As the dominating late white seedless along with Sweet Globe, volumes will continue into week 9.
With the mild weather, we experienced excellent coloration on the black seedless varieties. The Adora Seedless and Autumn Royal volumes will continue into next week with declining volumes.
Overall the region experienced a difficult season with regards to volumes and estimates that were not reached. Water supply is a big challenge and rainfall will be crucial in the coming weeks.
HEX RIVER REGION
The Hex River production area is in the middle of their notorious Crimson Seedless harvest window. The grapes are looking excellent! We have a crunchy texture that’s standing out this season. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and we have about 5 weeks left on the Crimson Seedless volumes.
The drought and heat waves we experienced in the Western Cape influenced bunch size and evenness greatly. With out-of-the-box methods and years of experience, our growers still managed to produce more than 50% extra-large product on their crops.
The first Sugranineteen volumes will be harvested from week 9. Coloration will show more consistency in the coming weeks with the cooler evenings moving in.
Week 9 will also see the first Adora Seedless and Autumn Crisp volumes harvested, and these volumes will only increase going into week 10. We expected these varieties earlier, but the season is tending to be 7 to 10 days later throughout.
All mid-season varieties will finish towards the end of week 8, and we look forward to the exceptional quality of the Red Seedless and Autumn Crisp that will follow for the coming weeks.
Prayers were answered week 7 with rain in the later region. Some production units depleted their water sources at this stage and couldn’t be more thankful for this life-line.
We estimate a big drop in volumes for the Hex River region from week 14. Water will stay a discussion point in the Western Cape for months to come and we trust for a wet winter.
Over all the production regions of South Africa we tend to be down by volumes no less than 20% this season.