How South African vineyards are surviving the drought
Through planning and preservation
The extreme water shortage afflicting South Africa is causing nearly all aspects of life and industry to adapt. Historically, Cape Town has been highly regarded as a premier wine producer, but as a business that requires a vast amount of water, the vineyards have had to get resourceful to survive the drought.
Corlea Fourie, the head of viticulture at Bosman Family Vineyards, told Saveur that planning and preserving is essential to staying afloat. "Fixing leaks, measuring water use, planning meetings; it’s meant hours of training our 260 staff members,” Fourie said.
The vineyards have also worked to rid the area of plants that naturally use a lot of water such as eucalyptus and pine trees. Fourie also explained that they "mulch under the vines like crazy which suppresses weed growth and helps the soil to retain natural moisture.”
Adapting to the extreme drought, Fourie believes that the wine industry in Cape Town, as well as other dry locations, has a lot of work ahead to keep high production. “I will never forget this harvest – it’s reminded me that we have a tremendous amount to learn,” Fourie said.
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