5 years ago

Northern Cape Business 2017-18 edition

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  • Upington
Northern Cape Business 2017/18 is the seventh edition of this highly successful publication that has, since its launch in 2009, established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the Northern Cape Province. Officially supported and utilised by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the Northern Cape.

OVERVIEW Grapes and wine

OVERVIEW Grapes and wine The Orange River region produces fine grapes and delicious wines. SECTOR INSIGHT KLK has bought a 50% share in Carpe Diem Raisins, a packer and exporter of highquality raisins. • After a long drought, 160mm of rain fell in one day in January. • Grape juice concentrate is exported to Japan. Despite weather conditions that lurched from drought to flood in the last months of 2016 and the first days of 2017, grape farmers and wine producers are positive about crop estimates for the current season. Specific weather conditions were good at crucial times: dry weather for harvesting, cool nights to promote colour development in black and red grapes. The South African table grape industry has been investing in some new varietals which produce a better yield, and this is also paying off. Volume of 4.5kg carton equivalents TABLE GRAPE CROP Actual packed volumes: 2014/15 Actual packed volumes: 2015/16 Final crop estimate: 2016/17 Orange River 17.6 18.6 20.5 Total South Africa 59.3 58.1 65.4 SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN TABLE GRAPE INDUSTRY Almost a third of South Africa’s table grape crop is produced in the fertile Orange River region of the Northern Cape. Seventy percent of the Sultana grapes grown in the Lower Orange River Region are used for vine-fruit products. There are 1 250 Sultana grape growers in the province, producing three Sultana-type grapes which rank among the best in the world: the Sultana Clone H5, a new hybrid called Merbein Seedless, which has proved resistant to splitting after rain, and the most popular type, the 143B. The following vine-fruit products are produced in the Northern Cape: Sundried Thompson Seedless Raisins; Dipped Orange River Sultanas; Golden Sultanas; Muscat Raisins; Monuca Raisins. NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017/18 48

OVERVIEW An example of successful Sultana-grape production in the province is SAD Vine Fruit (Pty) Ltd, which owns the largest dried-vine fruit processing and packaging plant in South Africa. The Upington-based firm employs more than 350 people when in full production. As much as 80% of vine fruit grown in South Africa is exported, primarily to Europe. Diversified agri-company KLK recently purchased a half share in Carpe Diem Raisins, an exporter of high-quality raisins. The South African Table Grape Industry Partnership promotes South Africa in international markets. Wine According to SA wine industry statistics, the Orange River region has about 5% of the total hectares under wine grapes in South Africa, and just over 3% of the total number of vines. New vineyards are being planted. Warm to hot conditions, coupled with the nutrient-rich land on the banks of the Orange River and sharply contrasting temperatures at times, combine to produce consistently excellent wines. Average annual rainfall in the area is 150mm, but the eastern part of the region from Kanoneiland to Groblershoop received that amount— and more —in one day in January. The Northern Cape’s Orange River wine region accounts for 25.6% of South Africa’s Colombard vines and 10% of Chenin Blanc. The focus is on Colombard and Hanepoot grapes. Orange River Cellars (ORC) is a large co-operative with six wineries. Grapes are collected from 749 farmers. OWC has a winery at its head office in Upington and at Keimoes, Groblershoop, Kakamas and Grootdrink. Orange River Concentrate Producers (part of the ORC group) produces about 7.5-million litres of white grape juice concentrate, a percentage of which is exported to Japan where the Itochu Corporation uses it in soft drinks and food. ORC supplies wine to Tops at Spar which now has 691 stores across the country, (having opened 45 new ones in 2015) and makes Tops’ private label “Carnival”. ORC has also been selling wine in China, the USA and Europe for a number of years through its Norweco division. Unique labelling aims to capture local markets, so ORC wines are called “Star Tree” in the US and “Goddess” in Denmark. The Douglas Wine Cellar produces about 6 000 cases per year. Together with the Landzicht cellar (just over the border in the Free State), the Douglas Wine Cellars is a GWK company. The Douglas cellar crushes 7 000 tons of grapes every year and produces 5.6-million litres of wine. Hartswater Wine Cellar is a part of the region’s other big agricultural company, Senwes. Two wine brands (Overvaal and Elements) are produced in the Hartswater irrigation area north of Kimberley. New growers There are plans to add 40 000 tons of grapes for wine, juice and raisins to the Northern Cape’s capacity. A draft six-year plan has been developed for the Northern Cape Vineyard Development Scheme which will be implemented by the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the National Agricultural Marketing Council, the Land Bank, Distell, Winetech and Orange River Wine Cellars. Blocuso farm has developed 18ha of Villard Blanc including an irrigation system and a trellis system. Grapes are sold to ORC. Bringing Merbein raisins on stream led to a product supply agreement with Pioneer Foods. The project has 16 permanent employees but is not yet self-sufficient. ONLINE RESOURCES Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development: Orange River Cellars: SA Wine Industry Information & Systems: South African Table Grape Industry: South African Wine and Brandy Company: Wines of South Africa: 49 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017/18

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