Cape Drought Makes South African Wine Pricier But Tastier

The drought in South Africa’s Northern and Western Cape provinces is billed as the worst on record, with Cape Town residents forsaking baths in favor of 90-second showers. At least the wine is getting better.

Drier weather meant fewer pests damaging vine leaves in the world’s eighth-biggest wine producer and the warm temperatures helped boost the quality of the 2018 vintage, according to Vinpro, which represents 2,500 wine producers and cellars in the local industry of 36 billion rand ($2.9 billion) annually. Varietals ranging from sauvignon blanc to pinotage, a local hybrid of pinot noir and cinsaut, have benefited.

“Greater variation between night and day temperatures during the ripening stage gave the color and flavor formation a further boost, which are indicative of…

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