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Drought, tough economy hurt SA wine sales

Wine sales in South Africa dropped by around 10 million bottles last year.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - Wine sales in South Africa dropped by around 10 million bottles last year.

That's according to industry representative, Vinpro.

The non-profit company hosted an information day that gave an overview of the state of the wine industry and provided wine businesses with insight into the latest global trends.

South Africa's wine industry contributes R36.1 billion to the country's GDP.

In 2018, wine farms produced just over 302,000 tons of grapes.

Vinpro managing director Rico Basson said that following the repricing of wine upwards, mainly due to the drought, consumers bought less of the product.

"The reasons would be affordability, it would be other products but it would also be the tough economy. So, unfortunately, it would seem that the days of fairly cheap wine are over, I think. The consumer would probably look towards premium category, brands are important."

Basson said that the knock-on effect was that suppliers of labels and cork, as well as other sectors in the wine production line, also sold less product.

Despite this, the sector was positive about its 2020 growth prospects.