We experienced a wet and cold winter, especially in the Western Cape region which went through a difficult drought period the previous 5 years. Currently, the average dam levels are above 92%... just three years ago dam levels were dwelling around 35%...
In the past week, temperatures below 0°C (32°F) was reached in the lower parts of the Orange River region. This might lead to isolated cases of frost damage and we will keep evaluating. Temperatures are slowly climbing and soon enough we will see exponential growth as shoots commence with growth.
With these cold days came sufficient cold units that equal sufficient rest for the vines. This allows for solid root construction and growth, especially for the amount of newer vineyards and varieties planted. Bud break is also well underway in all the regions and this is an indication that Spring is moving in fast and that the harvest is less than 10 weeks away.
We're also excited to announce that the first commercial volumes of Muscat Beauty by San Jose will be coming out of South Africa this coming season. The Grape Company has exclusive rights for Southern Africa on this variety and will continue to build on the name it already has, world wide.
The early varieties seem to have good bunch counts and are showing similar production timing than last year. We're in the early development phase and will give an in-depth report on volumes and timing in the coming weeks.
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