TGC Newsletter | Week 42 | 2020

I will start off by saying that we're truly grateful to be able to once again reach out to everyone with the start of the 2021 grape season. Growing fruit in the 21st century is no easy task. Economical pressure, climate change, keeping up with consumer trends, and new viruses attacking your labor force are only a few to mention.

At the same time retailers are on the frontlines, keeping their promise by having the consumers back every day of the week, whatever you need, the product will be on the shelves. Thinking outside of the box has a whole new meaning in 2020.

And both growers and retailers once again have proven their resilience and most importantly their synergy in serving people, what life is actually about.

Back to the Grapes!

NAMIBIA

• Good crop load on most of the varieties.

• Expecting to commence harvest week 46, full production week 47.

• The season is a few days delayed compared to the previous season.

• COVID19 has not had too much of an impact on Aussenkehr, however, all protocols are in place for production.

• Early varieties in the coming weeks:

- Green - Early Sweet week 46

- Red - ARRA13 (Passion Star) week 46/47

- Black - ARRA14 (Mystic Dreams) week 49

LIMPOPO | EARLY REGION

• 5 - 7 days delayed compared to the previous season.

• Berry softening week 42/43, and harvest commencing week 45/46.

• Early Sweet and Prime being the first varieties to be harvested.

• The first red seedless variety to follow will be Starlight.

ORANGE RIVER | EARLY MID REGION

• The region is currently in the flowering phase.

• Expecting to commence harvest in week 46, full production only week 47/48.

• 5 - 7 days delay compared to the previous season.

• This region will have substantial newer varieties coming into production.

• The Orange River water flow is sufficient and the quality test has shown good results.

• This region will almost make out 30% of the volumes coming from South Africa.

•Sable Seedless will be harvested from week 49/50.

BERG RIVER | MID REGION

• This region will start with the flowering phase around week 45, two weeks after the Orange River region.

• The drought struck regions in the area received good winter rainfall for the first time in 5 years, restoring groundwater levels and all the benefits that come with mineral-rich rainwater.

• Numerous new varieties are flowering in this region.

• First harvest will be around week 51/52.

HEX RIVER | LATE REGION

• With the drought being something of the past, we learned a lot and implemented more water-efficient farming methods.

• Currently all dams in the Western Cape are overflowing, something to be thankful for.

• Moving into one of the most critical stages of farming grapes, flowering.

• Spring time heat made it just in time with both night and day temperatures increasing and allowing both ground temperatures to rise that enhances microbe activity to help with nutrient absorption, also escalating photosynthesis that contributes to a good berry set.

• We'll keep you updated on the later region in the following newsletters.

• Overall winter seemed to have past and warmer temperatures are moving in fast

SHIPPING AND LOGISTICS

• Delays and congestion experienced during the citrus season at the port of Cape Town have been managed back to acceptable levels. We will do everything possible from our side to manage timely shipments, however, wind conditions and COVID19 still needs to be taken into account.

This season we at The Grape co will not become acquainted with "the new normal", but rather create "the new extraordinary". So watch this space, South Africa is different...

Please reach out to us if you need any more info!