How did the Cape Fires Affect the Wine Industry?

The fires across the Cape Peninsula were swift, merciless and brutal, destroying homes, fynbos and to a lesser extent, vineyards.

Estimates are that only small amounts of vineyard plantings have been lost, mainly at Cape Point Vineyards, Klein Constantia and Buitenverwachting, but the big question on everyone’s lips is – will the fires have affected the grapes, and ultimately the wines, in other ways?

Let’s get some basics straight. Most white grapes ripen before red grapes and in the cooler climate regions of Constantia and Cape Point, most of the grapes grown are white. Because this year’s harvest was very early, most farms had brought in the majority of their white grapes already and nearly everyone seems to agree that 2015 is looking set to be a stellar year all round.

Right now, Stellenbosch is also under threat from fires and smoke damage, although as a warmer region than Constantia, most grapes of all colours are already picked and being made into wine.