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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

Red South African wine may fall in price as a result of the largest crop in the country's history. The 2004 harvest was 6.5% greater than in 2003, weighing in at an estimated 1,018.5 million litres (1,314,364 tons). Although the 2004 figure includes juice and concentrate for non-alcoholic purposes, two of the biggest players in South Africa point to increased red plantings - and price decreases - as a result. James Reid, Western Wines' operations director for South Africa, spoke to Harpers from his Stellenbosch HQ: The reds have come down in price a bit,' he said. Pinotage, for example, has come down in price a little, and that's come about through increased plantings. White prices have slightly climbed over the past two years, while red prices have done the opposite. In the past, whites have been too cheap and reds too expensive, so now there's a healthy balance to the pricing.' Gerard Barnes of Raisin Social said that up until a couple of years ago, there had been a shortage of red wine in South Africa. He added: With plantings in Australia, South Africa and South America, red is leading the glut. I think that South Africa, like the rest of the wine world, will realise that red wine is not a commodity in short supply, and to maintain competitiveness, I think we will see bulk prices coming down.'