New series: identifying Environmental hotspots in the wine industry



Study No1 : South Africa

The first study takes a close look at the South African Wine Industry.  As part of a four-edition series of studies on the global wine industry, this will showcase the sector’s touchpoints across nations and countries’ environmental performance in wine.

The first study in the series takes an in-depth look at South Africa and the growing importance of the wine industry nationally for the country. Over the autumn, we are looking forward to progressively publishing further national studies on wine. These studies form part of our continuous monitoring of the wine industry globally and will be part of a range of living documents we will continue to publish and update on the topic. A sneak peek of our analysis can be found below:

South African wine traditions date back to 1659, when the country’s very first vintages were produced in Cape Town. Today, South Africa is the ninth-largest wine producing market globally. The country’s agricultural area in terms of grape cultivation is around 93,021 hectares (930km2), with an even balance of red (44.8%) and white varieties (55.2%) grown across these vineyards.

While the wine industry in South Africa is one of the world’s most famous and successful, it faces challenges. A good deal of these are threatened by current supply of resources such as water, as well as their subsequent misuse. Specifically, water shortages pose considerable challenges to the sustainability of the South African Wine industry, with dam levels at 21.5% capacity. Once water levels fall below 15% in the country, this water is unusable due to pollution. Similarly, the water that remains is at risk of contamination from wastewater sources produced from the winemaking process, causing infections or disease in humans.  

For more information, access the full report here. Cheers!



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