In the past weeks, the KÖLLA Overseas Team has been focusing on the procurement of the southern hemisphere grape season, the team visited some of the growers in South Africa, and saw the crops first hand, noting some new developments compared to last year.
An almost normal winter
In the southern part of the hemisphere, the past winter was quite ordinary. In regions where there were fortunately more winter rains, the reservoirs are full. This is not always to be expected due to frequent periods of drought. In more tropical regions, such as Groblersdal in South Africa, average rainfall was measured.
A late spring
A few cold fronts at the beginning of spring delayed the flowering of the light-coloured grapes in particular. «In some regions – especially Piura, Peru and South Africa – we observed that the early white varieties were already in their blossom period at the same time and so a harvest loss of 10-15% is to be expected,» Jose Claure explains. The ripening process of the dark grapes was comparatively more advanced at that time, which had positive effects.
The evolution of new varieties
Jose Claure continues: «In various regions of the world, we have noticed that new varieties are gradually becoming more popular. However – and to the disappointment of many growers – not all varieties deliver the productivity and profitability that our partners expect. For this reason, we suspect that many varieties will decline again within the next three seasons. The diversity of varietal experiments is also decreasing – producers are instead focusing more on specific solutions.»
A season with good production
Based on current observations, with the exception of the early white varieties, record production can be expected for the coming grape season. «However, the extremely unsettled climate in the past makes us cautious about making a definitive statement at this point» states grape expert Claure. In order to act with foresight, to offer customers the best possible service and to ensure maximum success for producers, the KÖLLA Overseas team is always in close contact with grape producers and regions worldwide.