As the South African grape season draws to a close, growers are counting the cost of a difficult year.
Martin Dunnett, trading director of Capespan, said: “There was the potential for an enormous crop in the Orange River which did not materialise. Sugar levels never reached the expected levels, and some varieties failed to colour due to high night temperatures.”
These factors, coupled with a high rejection rate at packing, led to the region’s initial 17 million carton forecast being finally slashed to 11 million.
Capespan’s own UK programmes dropped from 3.5 million cartons to 2.7 million.