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Information sessions to reflect on wine industry status, vineyard trends

How is the wine industry doing one year after the launch of Covid-19, and what's new in the field of wine grape growing? Winetech and Vinpro, through their Winetech Vinpro Regional Information Days, will be answering these and more during a series of sessions, four of which can be attended digitally and one physically from 6 to 20 May 2021.
andrewhagen via
andrewhagen via Fotolia

"Representatives of Vinpro and SAWIS (SA Wine Industry Information & Systems) kick off each of the sessions with an overview of the state of the South African wine industry one year after the onset of Covid-19 in the country – an extremely challenging year for the majority of wine-related businesses," says Conrad Schutte, manager of Vinpro's viticultural consultation services. "Thereafter industry experts will share vineyard technical research, trends, practical tips, Winetech research projects and Gen-Z trials that are relevant to the respective regions."

During the Robertson region’s digital session on 6 May, an overview will be provided of the past season's climatic conditions and the accumulation and breakdown of sugar and acidity during ripening. This session will also reflect on the reasons for the widespread occurrence of powdery mildew this year and how to prevent and manage it going forward, while also focusing on the susceptibility of rootstocks to the most important nematodes.

Producers in Breedekloof and Worcester can join the live webinar on 11 May, which will review post-harvest fertilisation during a late-season, errors and successes with weed control, pests and diseases during this past season and a new pest in wine and table grape vineyards called Lobesia.

The Cape South Coast’s digital session on 13 May will focus on the status, management and impact of the leafroll virus on the South African wine industry. Industry experts provide a global perspective on South Africa’s leafroll status and introduce new commercially available tools for monitoring and analysing these infections, as well as progress in California with a mating disruption programme for mealybugs in vineyards.

Finally, the presenters will outline the effect of the leafroll virus on grape composition and wine quality, as well as the economic considerations with regard to the control of leafroll.

Wine grape producers and viticulturists in the Olifants River region will meet at Die Keldery in Vredendal on 18 May for an overview of research projects and vineyard trails in the region, as well as a comparison of 2.3 and 4-litre drippers to determine which irrigation system would be the best option to improve and maintain soil health.

On 20 May, Paarl and Swartland’s digital overview of the 2021 will explore the wine grape harvest, the effect of Pinotage ripeness on the composition of the grapes, wine and wine style, as well as practical lessons learned on the management of downy and powdery mildew during the past season and the development of wine grapes that are resistant to these two grapevine diseases.

The registration fee for each of the sessions is R150 per person. Those who have registered will receive a link 24 hours before the digital sessions.

Book online or contact Lesley Paulse on 021 276 0432 and email at az.oc.orpniv@yelsel.

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